Aeolus (Myths and Legends of the World)
Ancient Greek mythology included two characters named Aeolus. One of them was king of the region known as Thessaly in northern Greece. He and his two brothers, the sons of a ruler named Hellen, were the legendary ancestors of the Greek, or Hellenic, people.
Another Aeolus appeared in Homer's Odyssey, the Greek that told the adventures of a warrior named Odysseus and his companions. This character was a skilled sailor whom Zeus, chief of the gods, placed in charge of all the winds. Aeolus kept the winds in a cave on the floating island of Aeolia, releasing them according to the gods' requests or his own wishes. He helped Odysseus by giving him a bag containing all the winds that might prevent him from reaching home, a gift that backfired when Odysseus's men opened the bag. Later writers, including the Roman poet Ovid, occasionally confused or combined the two Aeoluses.
See also ODYSSEY, THE.
(The entire section is 154 words.)
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