Boreas in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology

(*Bore/as or Βορᾶς), the North wind, was, according to Hesiod (Hes. Th. 379), a son of Astraeus and Eos, and brother of Hesperus, Zephyrus, and Notus. He dwelt in a cave of mount Haemus in Thrace. (Callim. hymn. in Del. 63.) He is mixed up with the early legends of Attica in the story of his having carried off Oreithyia, the daughter of Erechtheus, by whom he begot Zetes, Calais, and Cleopatra, the wife of Phineus, who are therefore called Boreades. (Ov. Met. 6.683, &c.; Apollon. 1.211; Apollod. 3.15.2; Paus. 1.19.6.) In the Persian war, Boreas shewed his friendly disposition towards the Athenians by destroying the ships of the barbarians. (Hdt. 7.189.) He also assisted the Megalopolitans against the Spartans, for which he was honoured at Megalopolis with annual festivals. (Paus. 8.36.3.) According to an Homeric tradition (Il. 20.223), Boreas begot twelve horses by the mares of Erichthonius, which is commonly explained as a mere figurative mode of expressing the extraordinary swiftness of those horses. On the chest of Cypselus he was represented in the act of carrying off Oreithyia, and here the place of his legs was occupied by tails of serpents. (Paus. 5.19.1.) Respecting the festivals of Boreas, celebrated at Athens and other places, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Βορεασμοί. - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

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