Aeolus

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Aiolos (Αίολος), Latinized as Aeolus, Eolus, Aeolos, or Aiolus, was the Keeper of the Winds in Greek Mythology. He let the winds out at appropriate strengths and directions according to the whims of the higher gods. He lived on the floating island of Aiolia and was visited by Odysseus and his crew in the Odyssey. He gave hospitality for a month and provided for a west wind to carry them home. Unfortunately he also provided a gift of a bag containing each of the four winds, which Odysseus' crew members opened just before their home was reached. They were blown back to Aiolia, where Aeolus refused to provide any further help. (Odyssey X, 2; Virgil I, 52)

His home has been traditionally identified as one of the Aeolian Islands (there is little consensus as to which), near Sicily, on a mountain. An alternative location has been suggested at Gramvousa off the north west coast of Crete.

Several other figures have had the name Aeolus. One was the son of King Hippotes, and gave his name to the Aeolian region. Another was the son of the god Poseidon by the female mortal Arne, although in some texts this is given as the source of Aeolian.

Aeolus, with Enarete, was the father of Canace, Sisyphus, Deioneus, Salmoneus, Macar, Cretheus, Athamas, Perieres, Calyce, Peisidice, Perimele and (in some myths) Alcyone. Aeolus murdered Canace when she fell in love with Macar.

It is unclear which Aeolus married Arne. He may be one of the two people described above, or a third Aeolus. Arne was the ancestress of the Boeotians.

It is also unclear which is the son or lover of Melanippe and which (if any) fathered Perieres.

Aeolus was sometimes associated with Astraeus, the father of the Winds.