In Greek mythology, Astraeus (/əˈstriːəs/) or Astraios (Ancient Greek: Ἀστραῖος means "starry") was an astrological deity. Some also associate him with the winds, as he is the father of the four Anemoi (wind deities), by his wife, Eos.
God of the Dusk
|Parents||Eurybia and Crius|
|Offspring||Boreas, Notus, Eurus, Zephyrus, Phainon, Phaethon, Pyroeis, Hesperos, Stilbon, Astraea|
His name “Astraeus” (Ancient Greek Ἀστραῖος, translit. Astraîos) is derived from the Greek word ἀστήρ (astḗr) meaning “star”. Ἀστήρ itself is inherited from the Proto-Indo-European root *h₂ster- (“star”), from *h₂eh₁s- , “to burn”. "Astraea" shares this same etymology.
According to Hesiod's Theogony and Bibliotheca, Astraeus is a second-generation Titan descended from Crius and Eurybia. However, Hyginus wrote that he was descended directly from Tartarus and Gaia and referred to him as one of the Gigantes. Servius, perhaps conflating him with the Giant like Hyginus did, wrote that he took arms and fought against the gods.
Astraeus married Eos, the goddess of the dawn. Together as nightfall and daybreak, they produced many children associated with what occurs in the sky during twilight.
They had many sons, including the four Anemoi ("winds"): Boreas, Notus, Eurus, and Zephyrus, and the five Astra Planeta ("Wandering Stars", i.e., planets): Phainon (Saturn), Phaethon (Jupiter), Pyroeis (Mars), Eosphoros/Hesperos (Venus), and Stilbon (Mercury). A few sources mention another daughter, Astraea, the goddess of innocence and, occasionally, justice.
He is also sometimes associated with Aeolus, the Keeper of the Winds, since winds often increase around dusk.
In Nonnus's epic poem Dionysiaca, Astraeus is presented as an oracular god whom the goddess Demeter visits, concerned about her daughter Persephone's future as she had started to attract a significant number of admirers on Olympus and worried that she might end up marrying Hephaestus. Astraeus then warned her that soon enough, Persephone would be ravished by a serpent and bear fruit from that union, which greatly upset Demeter.
- ^ Hard, p. 48.
- ^ Beekes, R. S. P., Etymological Dictionary of Greek (Leiden: Brill, 2009), 1:156–57.
- ^ Hesiod. The Theogony of Hesiod. Forgotten Books. p. 13. ISBN 978-1-60506-325-6.
- ^ Servius, On Virgil's Aeneid 1.132
- ^ Smith, William (1859). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Little, Brown and Company. p. 389.
- ^ Cicero wrote: Stella Veneris, quae Φωσφόρος Graece, Latine dicitur Lucifer, cum antegreditur solem, cum subsequitur autem Hesperos; The star of Venus, called Φωσφόρος in Greek and Lucifer in Latin when it precedes, Hesperos when it follows the sun – De Natura Deorum 2, 20, 53.
Pliny the Elder: Sidus appellatum Veneris … ante matutinum exoriens Luciferi nomen accipit … contra ab occasu refulgens nuncupatur Vesper (The star called Venus … when it rises in the morning is given the name Lucifer … but when it shines at sunset it is called Vesper) Natural History 2, 36
- ^ Barney, Stephen et al., transl., ed. (2010). The Etymologies of Isidore of Seville. Cambridge U. Press. p. 105.
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- ^ Anthon, Charles (1855). A Classical Dictionary. Harper & Brothers. p. 219.
- ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 6.1–6.105
- Hard, Robin, The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology: Based on H.J. Rose's "Handbook of Greek Mythology", Psychology Press, 2004. ISBN 978-0-415-18636-0. Google Books.
- Nonnus, Dionysiaca; translated by Rouse, W H D, I Books I-XV. Loeb Classical Library No. 344, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1940. Internet Archive