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.

epic long poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style

Another Aeolus appeared in Homer's Odyssey, the Greek epic 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 .

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