Family & Other Connections
[ad]There are three different possibilities for who ‘Aeolus’ was and who was his family. Firstly he was the son of Hellen and the nymph Orseis, brother to Dorus, Xuthus and Amphictyon. This Aeolus founded the Aeolians, one of the primary tribes of Greece, as well as begetting his own offspring.
The second and third possibilities seem to have a similar view of Aeolus’ traits and achievements, the separate identities merging so that it is difficult to distinguish which is responsible for what. The second Aeolus’ father is Mimas, son of the first Aeolus, while the third Aelous’ father was Poseidon and his mother was Arne – given as either Aeolus’ sister or mother.
Information & Stories
It is Aeolus, son of Poseidon who was believed to be a god, as opposed to a mortal keeper of the winds. He lived on the floating island of Aeolia and gave shelter to Odysseus for a month during the Odyssey. When Odysseues departed, Aeolus provided a west wind to take him home, and also gifted him a bag containing all winds but the west wind.
Inside the hollow heart of the island, Aeolus keeps the Anemoi Thuellai (spirits of violent storm winds) and Aellai (spirits of sudden, sharp gusts of wind; harpies) locked away. Since storm winds were often visualised as furious horses, Aeolus developed the name Hippotades, or ‘The Reiner of Horses’.
Hera also seeks Aeolus’ help with the winds, and offers him the nymph Deiopea as a wife if he will release them upon the fleet of Aeneas.
The second Aeolus lived on one of the Aeolian, or Lipari, Islands.
Click the thumbnail to see a larger version.