Aeolus: Wikis


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Aeolus (Greek: Αἴολος Aiolos /ájjolos/, Modern Greek: /ˈe.o.los/  ( listen), Latinized as Æolus[1]) was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology.

In truth, the name was shared by three mythic characters. These personages are often difficult to tell apart, and even the ancient mythographers appear to have been perplexed about which Aeolus was which. Diodorus Siculus made an attempt to define each, and his opinion is followed here.[2] Briefly, the first Aeolus was a son of Helios and eponymous founder of the Aeolian race; the second was a son of Poseidon, who led a colony to islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea; and the third Aeolus was a son of Hippotes who is mentioned in Odyssey book 10 as Keeper of the Winds who gives Odysseus a tightly closed bag full of the captured winds so he could sail easily home to Ithaca on the gentle West Wind. All three men named Aeolus appear to be connected genealogically, although the precise relationship, especially regarding the second and third Aeolus, is often ambiguous.


Son of Hellen

This Æolus was son of Hellen and the nymph Orseikhhs, and a brother of Dorus, Xuthus and Amphictyon. He was described as the ruler of Aeolia (later called Thessaly) and held to be the founder of the Aeolic branch of the Greek nation. Æolus married Enarete, daughter of Deimachus (otherwise unknown). Æolus and Enarete had many children, although the precise number and identities of these children vary from author to author in the ancient sources.[3][4] The great extent of country which this race occupied, and the desire of each part of it to trace its origin to some descendant of Aeolus, probably gave rise to the varying accounts about the number of his children. Some scholars contend that the most ancient and genuine story told of only four sons of Aeolus: Sisyphus, Athamas, Cretheus, and Salmoneus, as the representatives of the four main branches of the Aeolic race.[2] Other sons included Deioneus, Perieres, Cercaphas and perhaps Magnes (usually regarded as a brother of Macedon) and Aethlius. Another son is named Mimas, who gives a link to the third Æolus in a genealogy that seems very contrived. Calyce, Peisidice, Perimele and Alcyone were counted among the daughters of Æolus and Enarete.[5] This Æolus also had an illegitimate daughter named Arne, begotten on Melanippe, daughter of the Centaur Cheiron. This Arne became the mother of the second Æolus, by the god Poseidon.

Son of Poseidon

Aeolus by Alexandre Jacovleff shows Aeolus as an embodiment of Wind himself.

This Æolus was a son of Poseidon by Arne, daughter of Æolus. He had a twin brother named Boeotus. Arne confessed to her mother that she was with child by the god Poseidon; her father, however, did not believe her, and handed her over to a man named Metapontus, King of Icaria. When Bœotus and Æolus were born, they were raised by Metapontus; but their stepmother (Autolyte, wife of Metapontus) quarrelled with their mother Arne, prompting Bœotus and Æolus to kill Autolyte and flee from Icaria. Bœotus (accompanied by Arne) went to southern Thessaly, and founded Boeotia; but Æolus went to a group of islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which received from him the name of the Aeolian Islands; according to some accounts this Æolus founded the town of Lipara. Although his home has been traditionally identified as one of the Æolian Islands (there is little consensus as to which), near Sicily, an alternative location has been suggested at Gramvousa off the northwest coast of Crete. Æolus had six sons and six daughters, whom in Homer he wed to one another and the family lived happily together. Later writers were shocked by the incest: in Hyginus,[6] the day Æolus learned that one of his sons, Macareus, had committed incest with his sister Canace he expelled Macareus and threw the child born of this incestuous union to the dogs,[7] and sent his daughter a sword by which she was to kill herself.[8] Other late accounts claim that the child, a daughter named Amphissa, was rescued and later beloved by Apollo.


  1. ^ Chaucer's Eolus (Weever, Jacqueline (1996). Chaucer Name Dictionary, s.v. "Eolus". (Garland Publishing) Retrieved on 2009-10-06
  2. ^ a b Schmitz, Leonhard (1864), "Aeolus (1), (2) and (3)", in Smith, William, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, pp. 35, 
  3. ^ Bibliotheca i. 7. §3
  4. ^ Scholium on Pindar's Pythian Ode iv. 190.
  5. ^ Apollodorus i. 7. ~ 3)
  6. ^ Hyginus. Fabulae, 238, 242.
  7. ^ Ovid. Heroides, 11.
  8. ^ Plutarch. Parallel Lives, p. 312.

External links

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AEOLUS, in Greek mythology, according to Homer the son of Hippotes, god and father of the winds, and ruler of the island of Aeolia. In the Odyssey (x. 1) he entertains Odysseus, gives him a favourable wind to help him on his journey, and a bag in which the unfavourable winds have been confined. Out of curiosity, or with the idea that it contains valuable treasures, Odysseus' companions open the bag; the winds escape and drive them back to the island, whence Aeolus dismisses them with bitter reproaches. According to Virgil, Aeolus dwells on one of the Aeolian islands to the north of Sicily, Lipara or Strongyle (Stromboli), where he keeps the winds imprisoned in a vast cavern (Virgil, Aen. i. 52). Another genealogy makes him the son of Poseidon and Arne, granddaughter of Hippotes, and a descendant of Aeolus, king of Magnesia in Thessaly, the mythical ancestor of the tribe of the Aeolians (Diodorus iv. 67).

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


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From Latin Aeolus from Ancient Greek Αἴολος (Aiolos)

Proper noun




  1. (Greek mythology) the name of a number of characters in Greek mythology, including the founder of the Aeolian race, and a god with power over wind

Simple English

[[File:|thumbnail|400px|right]]Aeolus or Eolus was the king of winds in Greek mythology. Although he varied from story to story, he was sometimes said to have had all the winds in a bag. In the Odyssey, he gave that bag to Odysseus to help him get home. Aeolus was the son of Hellen and a nymph named Orseis. Aeolus' brothers were Dorus, Xuthus and Amphictyon.

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