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date: 01 December 2022



  • J. N. Bremmer


Aeolus, (1) the Homeric ruler of the winds (Od. 10. 1–79). Unlike Virgil (Aen. 1), Homer makes him a human by suppressing the idea that winds are minor deities. (See wind-gods.) He lives in Aeolia, a floating island, in the furthest west. His six sons and six daughters have married one another. Already the 5th cent. found this incest intolerable: *Euripides (Aeolus) made Aeolus force his daughter *Canace to commit suicide because of her love for her brother *Macareus; Ovid (Her.11) paints the drama in shrill colours. In Hellenistic times he was worshipped by the Liparaeans (Diod. Sic. 20. 101. 2).(2) The son of *Hellen and eponym of the Aeolians occurs first in Hesiod (frs. 9, 10 M–W) but is clearly presupposed by Homer (Il. 6. 154; Od. 11. 236 f.). His original home is the north of Greece, where many of his descendants are located. (3) Son of *Poseidon and Melanippe, who is exposed together with his brother Boeotus.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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