Fast Facts: Aeolus
- Pronunciation: ee-uh-luh-s
- Origin: Aeolia, Greece
- Role: Keeper of the Winds
- Symbols: Open bag, Aeolian harp
Who Is Aeolus?
In Greek mythology, is a name shared by three mythical 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 made an attempt to define each of these three (although it is clear that he also became muddled), and his opinion is followed here.
- The first Aeolus was a son of Hellen and eponymous founder of the Aeolian race.
- The second Aeolus was a son of Poseidon, who led a colony to islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
- The third Aeolus was a son of Hippotes who is mentioned in Odyssey and the Aeneid as the Keeper of the Winds.
Aeolus (son of Hippotes)
In Greek mythology, Aeolus was the keeper of the winds and king of the island of Aeolia, one of the abrupt rocky Lipara islands close to Sicily. Later classical writers regarded him as a god.
Aeolus was the son of Hippotes, son of Mimas, a son of Aeolus, son of Hellen. He was most frequently conflated with Aeolus, the son of Poseidon, god of the sea. According to some accounts, Hippotes married the same Melanippe who was the mother of Arne.
This Aeolus lived on the floating island of Aeolia and was visited by Odysseus and his crew in the Odyssey. After their misadventure in Polyphemus’ cave, Aeolus gave them hospitality for a month and provided them a west wind to carry them home to Ithaca.
Aeolus (son of Hellen)
In Greek mythology, Aeolus was the ruler of Aeolia (later called Thessaly) and held to be the founder of the Aeolic branch of the Greek nation.
Aeolus was the son of Hellen and the nymph Orseis, and a brother of Dorus, Xuthus and, in some sources, of Amphictyon (who is otherwise a brother of Hellen). He married Enarete, daughter of Deimachu. This Aeolus also had an illegitimate daughter named Arne, begotten on Melanippe, daughter of the Centaur Chiron. This Arne became the mother of the second Aeolus, by the god Poseidon.
Aeolus (son of Poseidon)
In Greek mythology, Aeolus was a son of Poseidon by Arne, daughter of Aeolus. He had a twin brother named Boeotus. According to some accounts this Aeolus founded the town of Lipara.