Aeolus (son of Hellen)

In Greek mythology, Aeolus[1] (/ˈləs/; Ancient Greek: Αἴολος, Aiolos [a͜ɪ́olos], Modern Greek: [ˈe.o.los] (About this soundlisten) means "quick-moving, nimble") 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[2] and the nymph Orseis, and a brother of Dorus, Xuthus, Xenopatra,[3] and, in some sources, of Amphictyon (who is otherwise a brother of Hellen).[4] He married Enarete, 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.[5] Laodice, daughter of Aloeus, was also called her wife who mothered his sons, Cretheus and Salmoneus[6] while others mentioned a certain Iphis, daughter of Peneus, as the mother of Salmoneus.[7]

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, Athamas, Cretheus, and Salmoneus, as the representatives of the four main branches of the Aeolic race.[2][8] Other sons included Deioneus, Perieres,[9] Cercaphus,[10] Magnes,[11] Macar,[12] Macedon[13] and sometimes Xuthus,[14] Aethlius,[15] Ceyx,[16] Minyas.[17] Another son is named Mimas, who provides a link to the third Aeolus in a genealogy that seems very contrived. Calyce, Peisidice, Perimede and Alcyone were counted among the daughters of Aeolus and Enarete.[18] In some accounts, however, Alcyone's mother was described to be Aegiale.[19]

This Aeolus also had an illegitimate daughter named Arne (Melanippe or Antiope), begotten on Melanippe, daughter of the Centaur Chiron. This Arne became the mother of the second Aeolus, by the god Poseidon.[20] Tanagra, the daughter of Asopus, was sometimes given to have Aeolus as her father.[21] Aeolus was also credited to begat Iope (or Cassiopeia), wife of Cepheus and thus, mother of Andromeda.[22]

Comparative table of Aeolus' family
Relation Names Sources
Homer Hes. Hom. Pindar Hellan. Eur. Apollon. Ovid Str. Diod. Apollod. Hyg. Paus. Clem. Step. Eus.
Iliad Sch. Sch. Ody. Hym. Sch. Pyth Ion Fab.
Parents Hellen and Orseis
Spouse Enarete
Children Xuthus
Macar or Macareus
Macedon [23]
Deion [24]
Arne or
Melanippe or

Genealogy of HellenesEdit

Genealogy of Hellenes


  1. ^ Chaucer's Eolus (de Weever, Jacqueline (1996). Chaucer Name Dictionary, s.v. "Eolus". (Garland Publishing) Retrieved on 2009-10-06
  2. ^ a b Hesiod, Ehoiai fr. 4 as cited in Scholia on Pindar, Pythian Ode 4.263
  3. ^ Hellanicus in scholia on Plato, Symposium, 208 (p. 376)
  4. ^ Smith, William. "Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology". The Ancient Library. Archived from the original on October 12, 2012. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, 1.7.3; Scholium on Pindar's Pythian Ode iv. 190. In the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women (fr. 10(a)), his children are: Cretheus, Athamas, Sisyphus, Salmoneus, Deioneus, Perieres, Peisidice, Alcyone, Calyce, Canace and Perimede; one other son's name, perhaps Magnes, is lost in a lacuna.
  6. ^ Scholia on Homer, Odyssey 11.235
  7. ^ Hellanicus in scholia on Plato, Symposium, 208 (p. 376)
  8. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1864), "Aeolus (1), (2) and (3)", in Smith, William (ed.), Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, 1, p. 35
  9. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 2.21.7, 4.2.2 & 6.22.2
  10. ^ Strabo. Geographica, 9.5.18
  11. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 6.21.11
  12. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 242 & 243
  13. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Μακεδονία with Hellanicus, Hiereiai tes Heras en Argei as the authority
  14. ^ Scholiast on Homer, Iliad 1.2
  15. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 5.8.2
  16. ^ Clement of Alexandria, Exhortations 4.9
  17. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3.1093 ff
  18. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1.7.3
  19. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 65
  20. ^ Diodorus Siculus, Bibliotheca historica 4.67.3 – 5
  21. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 9.20.1
  22. ^ Stephanus of Byzantium, Ethnica s.v. Ἰόπη
  23. ^ Macedon was only mentioned as the son of Aeolus, not naming Iphis as his mother.
  24. ^ not clearly stated but as suggested by the passage, Cephalus, the grandson of Aeolus which directs to him.