Aeolus

Aeolus

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Aeolus was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

. In fact this name was shared by three mythic characters. These three personages are often difficult to tell apart, and even the ancient mythographers appear to have been perplexed about which Aeolus was which. Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus
Diodorus Siculus was a Greek historian who flourished between 60 and 30 BC. According to Diodorus' own work, he was born at Agyrium in Sicily . With one exception, antiquity affords no further information about Diodorus' life and doings beyond what is to be found in his own work, Bibliotheca...

 made an attempt to define each of these three (although it is clear he also became muddled), and his opinion is followed here. Briefly, the first Aeolus was a son of Hellen
Hellen
Hellen , the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, brother of Amphictyon and father of Aeolus, Xuthus, and Dorus. His name is also another name for Greek, meaning a person of Greek descent or pertaining to Greek culture, and the source of the adjective "Hellenic".Each of his sons founded a primary tribe of...

 and eponym
Eponym
An eponym is the name of a person or thing, whether real or fictitious, after which a particular place, tribe, era, discovery, or other item is named or thought to be named...

ous founder of the Aeolian race; the second was a son of Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

, who led a colony to islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea
Tyrrhenian Sea
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy.-Geography:The sea is bounded by Corsica and Sardinia , Tuscany, Lazio, Campania, Basilicata and Calabria and Sicily ....

; and the third Aeolus was a son of Hippotes
Hippotes
Hippotes can refer to a number of people from Greek mythology:*Hippotes, father of Aeolus, the keeper of the Winds in the Odyssey. He was a mortal king....

 who is mentioned in Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

book 10 as Keeper of the Winds
Anemoi
In Greek mythology, the Anemoi were Greek wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came , and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions...

 who gives Odysseus a tightly closed bag full of the captured winds so he could sail easily home to Ithaca
Ithaca
Ithaca or Ithaka is an island located in the Ionian Sea, in Greece, with an area of and a little more than three thousand inhabitants. It is also a separate regional unit of the Ionian Islands region, and the only municipality of the regional unit. It lies off the northeast coast of Kefalonia and...

 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 Aeolus was son of Hellen
Hellen
Hellen , the son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, brother of Amphictyon and father of Aeolus, Xuthus, and Dorus. His name is also another name for Greek, meaning a person of Greek descent or pertaining to Greek culture, and the source of the adjective "Hellenic".Each of his sons founded a primary tribe of...

 and the nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

 Orseis
Orseis
In Greek mythology, Orseis, was the water-nymph of a spring in Thessalia, Greece, and the mythical ancestor of the Greeks. It is uncertain whether she was believed to be the daughter of Oceanus or the river-god of Thessalia, Peneios. There is even a possibility that she was the daughter of Zeus...

, and a brother of Dorus
Dorus
-People:*Dorus de Vries, Dutch footballer*Dorus Rijkers, Dutch lifeboat captain*Stage name of Dutch comedian Tom Manders-Greek mythology:*Dorus, son of Hellen and founder of the Dorian nation*Dorus, son of Apollo and Phthia, and the father of Xanthippe...

, Xuthus
Xuthus
In Greek mythology, Xuthus was a son of Hellen and Orseis and founder of the Achaean and Ionian nations. He had two sons by Creusa: Ion and Achaeus and a daughter named Diomede.- Hesiod :...

 and, in some sources, of Amphictyon
Amphictyon
Amphictyon , in Greek mythology, was the second son of Deucalion and Pyrrha, although there was also a tradition that he was autochthonous ; he is also said to be a son of Hellen son of Deucalion and Pyrrha. Amphictyon was king of Thermopylae and married a daughter of Cranaus of Athens...

 (who is otherwise a brother of Hellen). Described as the ruler of Aeolia
Aeolia
Aeolia may refer to:*Aeolia, another name for Aeolis in Anatolia*Aeolia, an older name for Thessaly before the Greek Dark Ages*The home of Æolus, son of Hippotes, a character in the Odyssey*Aeolia , a character found in Mother 3...

 (later called Thessaly
Thessaly
Thessaly is a traditional geographical region and an administrative region of Greece, comprising most of the ancient region of the same name. Before the Greek Dark Ages, Thessaly was known as Aeolia, and appears thus in Homer's Odyssey....

) and held to be the founder of the Aeolic branch of the Greek nation, this Aeolus married Enarete
Enarete
In Greek mythology, Enarete , daughter of Deimachus, was the wife of Aeolus and ancestress of the Aeolians. Her children were Canace, Sisyphus, Deioneus, Salmoneus, Macar, Cretheus, Athamas, Perieres, Calyce, Peisidice, Perimede and in some myths, Alcyone. She may have been the mother of Arne, if...

, daughter of Deimachus (otherwise unknown). Aeolus and Enarete had many children, although the precise number and identities of these children vary from author to author in the ancient sources. 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
Sisyphus
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity...

, Athamas
Athamas
The king of Orchomenus in Greek mythology, Athamas , was married first to the goddess Nephele with whom he had the twins Phrixus or Frixos and Helle. He later divorced Nephele and married Ino, daughter of Cadmus. With Ino, he had two children: Learches and Melicertes...

, Cretheus
Cretheus
In Greek mythology, Cretheus or Krētheus was the king and founder of Iolcus, the son of Aeolus and Enarete. His wives were Tyro and either Demodice or Biadice. With Tyro, he fathered Aeson, Pheres, and Amythaon...

, and Salmoneus
Salmoneus
In Greek mythology, Salmoneus was the son of Aeolus and Enarete, the brother of Athamas, Sisyphus, Cretheus, Perieres, Deionus, Canace, Alcyone, and Perimede. Salmoneus was the father of Tyro by his first wife Alcidice, the second one being Sidero....

, as the representatives of the four main branches of the Aeolic race. Other sons included Deioneus
Deioneus
In Greek mythology, Deioneus or Deion is a name attributed to the following individuals:*Son of Aeolus, king of Phocis, and father of Cephalus, Actor, Aenetus, Phylacus, Nisus and Asterodia....

, Perieres
Perieres
In Greek mythology, Perieres or Perieris, was a son of Aeolus and husband of Gorgophone. He was the father of Leucippus and Aphareus. He is often confused with Gorgophone's second husband, Oebalus . With Oebalus, Gorgophone was the mother of Tyndareus, Hippocoon and Icarius....

, Cercaphas and perhaps Magnes
Magnes (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Magnes was a name attributed to two men.*Magnes, son of Zeus and Thyia, daughter of Deucalion, or of Aeolus and Enarete, or of Argus and Perimele, eponym and first king of Magnesia, and brother of Makednos...

 (usually regarded as a brother of Macedon
Makednos
Makedon, also Macedon or Makednos , was the eponymous mythological ancestor of the ancient Macedonians according to various ancient Greek fragmentary narratives...

) and Aethlius
Aethlius
Aethlius was, in Greek mythology, the first king of Elis, father of Endymion. He was the son of either Zeus and Protogeneia , and was married to Calyce. According to some accounts, Endymion was himself a son of Zeus and first king of Elis. Other traditions again made Aethlius a son of Aeolus, who...

. Another son is named Mimas, who provides a link to the third Aeolus in a genealogy that seems very contrived. Calyce
Calyce (mythology)
In Greek mythology, Kalyke , Calyce or Calycia is the name of several characters.*A daughter of Aeolus and Enarete. Some sources state that she was the mother of Endymion, king of Elis, by her husband Aethlius, king of Elis or by Zeus...

, Peisidice, Perimele and Alcyone
Alcyone
In Greek mythology, Alcyone was the daughter of Aeolus, either by Enarete or Aegiale. She married Ceyx, son of Eosphorus, the Morning Star....

 were counted among the daughters of Aeolus and Enarete
Enarete
In Greek mythology, Enarete , daughter of Deimachus, was the wife of Aeolus and ancestress of the Aeolians. Her children were Canace, Sisyphus, Deioneus, Salmoneus, Macar, Cretheus, Athamas, Perieres, Calyce, Peisidice, Perimede and in some myths, Alcyone. She may have been the mother of Arne, if...

. This Aeolus also had an illegitimate daughter named Arne, begotten on Melanippe
Melanippe
In Greek mythology, Melanippe referred to several different people.* Daughter of the Centaur Chiron. Also known as Hippe or Euippe. She bore a daughter to Aeolus, Melanippe or Arne...

, daughter of the Centaur Cheiron. This Arne became the mother of the second Aeolus, by the god Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

.

Son of Poseidon


This Aeolus was a son of Poseidon by Arne, sister of Aeolus. He had a twin brother named Boeotus
Boeotus
In Greek mythology, Boeotus was the eponym of Boeotia in Greece. Poseidon fathered both Aeolus and Boeotus with Arne . It was then through Boeotus that Arne became the ancestress of the Boeotians. In some traditions Boeotus is the father of Ogyges.A late source tells the story of Boeotus' marriage...

. Arne confessed to her father 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
Icaria
Icaria, also spelled Ikaria , is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 10 nautical miles southwest of Samos. It derived its name from Icarus, the son of Daedalus in Greek mythology, who fell into the sea nearby. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Ikaria peripheral...

. 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 Aeolus to kill Autolyte and flee from Icaria. Bœotus (accompanied by Arne) went to southern Thessaly, and founded Boeotia
Boeotia
Boeotia, also spelled Beotia and Bœotia , is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the region of Central Greece. It was also a region of ancient Greece. Its capital is Livadeia, the second largest city being Thebes.-Geography:...

; but Aeolus went to a group of islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which received from him the name of the Aeolian Islands
Aeolian Islands
The Aeolian Islands or Lipari Islands are a volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, named after the demigod of the winds Aeolus. The locals residing on the islands are known as Eolians . The Aeolian Islands are a popular tourist destination in the summer, and attract up to...

; accord­ing to some accounts this Aeolus founded the town of Lipara. Although his home has been traditionally identified as one of the Aeolian Islands (there is little consensus as to which), near Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

, an alternative location has been suggested at Gramvousa off the northwest coast of Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

. Aeolus 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
Incest
Incest is sexual intercourse between close relatives that is usually illegal in the jurisdiction where it takes place and/or is conventionally considered a taboo. The term may apply to sexual activities between: individuals of close "blood relationship"; members of the same household; step...

: in Hyginus
Gaius Julius Hyginus
Gaius Julius Hyginus was a Latin author, a pupil of the famous Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor, and a freedman of Caesar Augustus. He was by Augustus elected superintendent of the Palatine library according to Suetonius' De Grammaticis, 20...

, the day Aeolus learned that one of his sons, Macareus
Macareus (son of Aeolus)
Macareus or Macar was, in Greek mythology, the son of Aeolus and either Enarete or Amphithea.He and his sister Canace fell in love with each other and had a child together...

, had committed incest with his sister Canace
Canace
In Greek mythology, Canace was a daughter of Aeolus and Enarete, and lover of Poseidon.Canace had seven brothers and six sisters. Her brothers were Athamas, Cretheus, Deioneus, Macar , Perieres, Salmoneus and Sisyphus. Her sisters were Alcyone, Arne, Calyce, Peisidice, Perimele and Tanagra...

 he expelled Macareus and threw the child born of this incestuous union to the dogs, and sent his daughter a sword by which she was to kill herself. Other late accounts claim that the child, a daughter named Amphissa
Amphissa (mythology)
Amphissa was in Greek mythology, an incest daughter of Aeolus's son, Macareus, with his sister, Canace. Both he and his sister killed themselves.Amphissa was beloved by Apollo....

, was rescued and later beloved by Apollo
Apollo
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in Greek and Roman mythology...

.

Son of Hippotes


This Aeolus is most frequently conflated with Aeolus, the son of Poseidon
Poseidon
Poseidon was the god of the sea, and, as "Earth-Shaker," of the earthquakes in Greek mythology. The name of the sea-god Nethuns in Etruscan was adopted in Latin for Neptune in Roman mythology: both were sea gods analogous to Poseidon...

, god of the sea. It is difficult to delineate this Aeolus from the second Aeolus, as their identities seem to have been merged by many ancient writers. The father of this third Aeolus is given as Hippotes
Hippotes
Hippotes can refer to a number of people from Greek mythology:*Hippotes, father of Aeolus, the keeper of the Winds in the Odyssey. He was a mortal king....

, son of Mimas
Mimas
Mimas may refer to:*Mimas , son of Gaia in Greek mythology, one of the Gigantes slain by Hephaistos*Mimas , a son of Amycus and Theona, who escorted Aeneas to Italy...

, a son of the first Aeolus (son of Hellen). According to some accounts, Hippotes married the same Melanippe
Melanippe
In Greek mythology, Melanippe referred to several different people.* Daughter of the Centaur Chiron. Also known as Hippe or Euippe. She bore a daughter to Aeolus, Melanippe or Arne...

 who was the mother of Arne
Arne
In Greek mythology, Arne or Melanippe was a daughter of Aeolus and Melanippe , daughter of Chiron. She was born as a foal as her mother had been transformed into a horse as a disguise, but was returned to the human form and renamed Arne...

 . This Aeolus lived on the floating island of Aeolia
Aeolia
Aeolia may refer to:*Aeolia, another name for Aeolis in Anatolia*Aeolia, an older name for Thessaly before the Greek Dark Ages*The home of Æolus, son of Hippotes, a character in the Odyssey*Aeolia , a character found in Mother 3...

 and was visited by Odysseus
Odysseus
Odysseus or Ulysses was a legendary Greek king of Ithaca and the hero of Homer's epic poem the Odyssey. Odysseus also plays a key role in Homer's Iliad and other works in the Epic Cycle....

 and his crew in the Odyssey
Odyssey
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern Western canon, and is the second—the Iliad being the first—extant work of Western literature...

.
He gave hospitality for a month and provided for a west wind to carry them home. He also provided a gift of a bag containing all winds but the west, which Odysseus's crew members unwittingly opened just before they were to reach Ithaca. Unfortunately, they were blown back to Aeolia, where Aeolus refused to provide any further help, because he believed that their short and unsuccessful voyage meant that the Gods did not favour them. This Aeolus was perceived by post-Homeric authors as a god, rather than as a mortal and simple Keeper of the Winds (as in the Odyssey).

In the Aeneid
Aeneid
The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of roughly 10,000 lines in dactylic hexameter...

 by Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

, Juno
Juno (mythology)
Juno is an ancient Roman goddess, the protector and special counselor of the state. She is a daughter of Saturn and sister of the chief god Jupiter and the mother of Mars and Vulcan. Juno also looked after the women of Rome. Her Greek equivalent is Hera...

 offers Aeolus the nymph
Nymph
A nymph in Greek mythology is a female minor nature deity typically associated with a particular location or landform. Different from gods, nymphs are generally regarded as divine spirits who animate nature, and are usually depicted as beautiful, young nubile maidens who love to dance and sing;...

 Deiopea
Deiopea
Deiopea is the name of two characters in Greek mythology:* Deiopea, one of the Nereids * Deiopea, a nymph that Juno promised in marriage to Aeolus if he would unleash his winds against Aeneas' ships. She was in the train of Cyrene....

 as a wife if he will release his winds upon the fleet of Aeneas
Aeneas
Aeneas , in Greco-Roman mythology, was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Aphrodite. His father was the second cousin of King Priam of Troy, making Aeneas Priam's second cousin, once removed. The journey of Aeneas from Troy , which led to the founding a hamlet south of...

.

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