Aeolus (son of Poseidon)

In Greek mythology, Aeolus[1] (/ˈləs/; Ancient Greek: Αἴολος, Aíolos [a͜ɪ́olos], Modern Greek: [ˈe.o.los] (About this soundlisten) "quick-moving, nimble") was a son of Poseidon by Arne, daughter of Aeolus. He had a twin brother named Boeotus.


Arne confessed to her father that she was with child by the god Poseidon; her father, however, did not believe her, and handed her over to a man named Metapontus, King of Icaria. When Bœotus and Aeolus were born, they were raised by Metapontus; but their stepmother Autolyte (wife of Metapontus) quarrelled with their mother Arne, prompting Bœotus and Aeolus to kill Autolyte and flee from Icaria. Bœotus, accompanied by Arne, went to southern Thessaly, and founded Boeotia; but Aeolus went to a group of islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea, which received from him the name of the Aeolian Islands. According to some accounts this Aeolus founded the town of Lipara. Although his home has been traditionally identified as one of the Aeolian Islands (there is little consensus as to which), near Sicily, an alternative location has been suggested at Gramvousa off the northwest coast of Crete.

Aeolus had six sons and six daughters, whom in Homer he wed to one another and the family lived happily together. Later writers were shocked by the incest: in Hyginus,[2] the day Aeolus learned that one of his sons, Macareus, had committed incest with his sister Canace he expelled Macareus and threw the child born of this incestuous union to the dogs,[3] and sent his daughter a sword by which she was to kill herself.[4] Other late accounts claim that Macareus had a daughter named Amphissa, beloved by Apollo.


  1. ^ Chaucer's Eolus (de Weever, Jacqueline (1996). Chaucer Name Dictionary, s.v. "Eolus". (Garland Publishing) Retrieved on 2009-10-06
  2. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae 238 & 242
  3. ^ Ovid, Heroides 11
  4. ^ Plutarch, Parallela minora 28