It is not agreed who were the parents of Triton; but he was a sea-deity, the herald and trumpeter of Oceănus and Neptune. He sometimes delighted in mischief, for he carried off the cattle from the Tanagrian fields, and destroyed the smaller coasting vessels; so that to appease his resentment, the Tanagrians offered him libations of new wine. Pleased with its flavor and taste, he drank so freely that he fell asleep, and tumbling from an eminence, one of the natives cut of his head. He left a daughter called Tristia.
The poets ordinarily attribute to Triton, the office of calming the sea, and stilling of tempests: thus in the Metamorphoses we read, that Neptune desiring to recall the waters of the deluge, commanded Triton to sound his trumpet, at the noise of which they retired to their respective channels, and left the earth again habitable, having swept off almost the whole human race.
This god is exhibited in the human form from the waist upwards, with blue eyes, a large mouth, and hair matted like wild parsley; his shoulders covered with a purple skin, variegated with small scales, his feet resembling the fore feet of a horse, and his lower parts terminating in a double forked tail: sometimes he is seen in a car, with horses of a bright cerulean. His trumpet is a large conch, or sea-shell. There were several Tritons, but one chief over all, the distinguished messenger of Neptune, as Mercury was of Jupiter, and Iris of Juno.