God of Wind arrived between the natural divinities in the Mycenaean Greece. A Priestess of the Winds from Mycenaean Knossos written in Linear Script B. Such function in the Knossos palace is providing us proof that the cult of the winds was an essential one and that its deities persisted there. Hesiod mentioned only three such as God of Wind by their names; they are Boreas who is the north wind, Zephyrus, the west wind, while Eurus is the east or southeast wind, he also used the surname Argestus who is the bearer of brightness. South wind called by the Greeks Notus worshiped. When the ancient time, a divine family of the winds was growing till eight members.
Besides Zephyrus, Boreas, Eurus, and Notus another four members were referenced, but they never became well known. Apeliotus – was the southeast wind, Lips – the southwest wind, Skeiron, the northeast wind that combined with the Attic month June and July – Skiroforion and certainly kaikias, the northwest wind from the Greek word like “badness”.
The myth is the dictum that the God of Wind, the children of Astraeus, the God of Night-sky and father of stars and the Goddess of Eos. According to Homer, a leader over the winds was the King Aeolus. The winds defeated as his instruments, he kept them locked, and he let them go out when he or the gods needed.
Athenian King Erechtheus
The classical authors reinforced the cult of winds in many places of Greece. Always a special, individually named wind was worshiped, which determined the weather at a particular period of the year or a certain place. The Athenians cherished Boreas, who according to the myth kidnaped Oreithyia, the daughter of the Athenian king Erechtheus. They construct a temple to Boreas near the river Ulysses because they believed that it was the North Wind who helped them to defeat the Persian formation.
The Spartans waiting for the east wind Eurus and its delightful rain, and they called him as Savior of Sparta. In Methana a ritual survived, in which a cock reduced and where they walk with this animal in advance around the vineyards. This special act had to banish Lives, the southwest wind, which was bringing rain. The inhabitants of the island Kos pursued the sacrifices for the cooling Etesian winds are known “coming back every year.” People of the Greek towns in the southern part of Italy used the tributes of an ass and this time upon the evil of the north wind.
The God of Wind are always depicted as the personifications of men with their wings, but normally with different appearances and attributes. This type, a man with wings, was inspired by the Near-Eastern iconography and their faith in Ramman, the god of wind, thunder, and storms, who came to the Syrian mythology as Adad-Ramman. This winged Nature-god represented on the Near-Eastern cylindrical seals from 15th century BCE, discovered in the Mycenaean necropolis of Parati.
Pictures of the Wind-god got on some Greek Black-figured vases from 6th century BCE, and we noticed that between some miniature ivory figures, representing some mythological events, this image could be recognized, but such illustrations sporadic. After the Greek-Persian Wars, the pictures showing the God of The Wind and specially Boreas that became more familiar.
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Due to an interest of the Athenians in Boreas, the myth regarding North Wind and Oreithyia was in fashion on the Greek Red-figure ornaments until the Late Classical period. Boreas – the coldest and mighty wind – was depicted in the dramatic poses, dressed in a little cloth, which was moving around his body, the same as his curling hair and beard like flying. Later on, this curly hair and beard with depicted spikier.
The vase-painters pictured small wings around his legs, but Pausanias was saying that the God had snake-tails and not good feet. Also, his sons who Zetes and Kalais are the comrades of Jason in the Argo and became winged as they matured adults and they have performed again with these small wings around legs.
Zephyrus, the west wind, was a fine and a pleasant one. People called him the patron of the plants because he brought moisture for them. He was described as a young man with beautiful face and grooved hair while keeping flowers and fruit in his light covering, which was surrounding his body. Later on, he was named Favonius by the Romans.
The south wind Notus was known as dynamic, stormy and dangerous wind mainly when seamen were sailing. The Greeks were frightened of him, mainly when he blew together with the north wind. Notus depicted as a young, beardless man with long hair, covered by short mantle with one open arm. He kept in his hands a container for water – hydria which from which all the rain was gushing out.
Eurus, the east wind, was delivering the bad storms, but he was more kind to the people than his siblings Boreas and Notus. He also was wearing a short mantle girdling his body. He just described as a curly-headed man with an unclean beard and with some sadness in his face. Seldom he was called Apeliotus, and the Romans called him Vulturnus.
Apeliotus was, in reality, the name for the southeast wind, which was giving to people a fresh rain. Hence they pictured him as a curly-hair man with a kind expression, dressed in a light cloth and keeping inside his draping fabrics some flowers. And his brother Lips who was Lukewarm southwest wind was also bringing rain.
The Athenians Skeiron named the northwest wind. According to Pausanias, it was a cute wind, which was departing over the Skeins’ cliffs and Molourian rocks to the sea. The name Skelton taken from the mythological events, combined with the king’s son of Megara, who represented as an honest man, but according to the other myths, Skeiron was a robber.
Theseus, when he seized Eleusis, killed him and after installed in his honor the Isthmian Games under the shelter of Poseidon who is the God of Sea.
Kaikias, the northeast wind, had a bad name in Greece as the beneficiary of snow, coldness, and blizzards. It was the reason, why he took this name and why he had this image. He expressed as a man with severe features in his face, with a long hair and a beard. Hail is bleeding out from his round vessel, which he is always leading.
To see all the images of the Wind-Gods together, we have to turn our attention to the Tower of the Winds in Athens, near of the Roman Agora. The tower, which was built as an Horologion as time-clock in the half part of the first century BCE by the Syrian designer Andronicus Cyrrhestes, was made on the ground-plan of the eight angles. The reliefs of the eight anthropomorphisms of the winds are decorating the fries, in which from every pertinent side a particular god-wind with his name represented.
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