Tim Boucher

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Aeolus in the Odyssey (Greek myth)

This Aeolus lived on the floating island of Aeolia and was visited by Odysseus and his crew in the Odyssey. After their misadventure in Polyphemus’ cave, Aeolus gave them hospitality for a month and provided them a west wind to carry them home to Ithaca. He also provided a gift of an ox-hide bag containing all winds but the west. Odysseus and his crew members traveled steadily and anxiously for several days, but with his native land in sight, Odysseus sank overpowered by sleep. His men proceeded to indulge their curiosity to see the costly presents which they thought the bag contained, opened it unwittingly, and out burst the imprisoned winds with such a roar that the force drove the ship back to Aeolus’ island. Aeolus refused to provide any further help,[6] because he believed that their short and unsuccessful voyage meant that the gods did not favour them. This Aeolus was perceived by post-Homeric authors as a god, rather than as a mortal and simple Keeper of the Winds (as in the Odyssey).

Source: Aeolus (Odyssey) – Wikipedia

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  1. Tim B.

    https://www.theoi.com/Text/HomerOdyssey10.html

    “[1] ‚ÄúThen to the Aeolian isle we came, where dwelt Aeolus, son of Hippotas, dear to the immortal gods, in a floating island, and all around it is a wall of unbreakable bronze, and the cliff runs up sheer. Twelve children of his, too, there are in the halls, six daughters and six sturdy sons, and he gave his daughters to his sons to wife. These, then, feast continually by their dear father and good mother, and before them lies boundless good cheer. And the house, filled with the savour of feasting, resounds all about even in the outer court by day, and by night again they sleep beside their chaste wives on blankets and on corded bedsteads.

    [13] “To their city, then, and fair palace did we come, and for a full month he made me welcome and questioned me about each thing, about Ilios, and the ships of the Argives, and the return of the Achaeans. And I told him all the tale in due order. But when I, on my part, asked him that I might depart and bade him send me on my way, he, too, denied me nothing, but furthered my sending. He gave me a wallet, made of the hide of an ox nine years old, which he flayed, and therein he bound the paths of the blustering winds; for the son of Cronos had made him keeper of the winds, both to still and to rouse whatever one he will. And in my hollow ship he bound it fast with a bright cord of silver, that not a breath might escape, were it never so slight. But for my furtherance he sent forth the breath of the West Wind to blow, that it might bear on their way both ships and men. Yet this he was not to bring to pass, for we were lost through our own folly. “

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