Aeolus is a name shared by three mythical characters, was the ruler of the winds in Greek mythology. These three personages are often difficult to tell apart, and even the ancient mythographers appear to have been perplexed about which Aeolus was which. Diodorus Siculus made an attempt to define each of these three, and his opinion is followed here. Briefly, the first Aeolus was a son of Hellen and eponymous founder of the Aeolian race; the second was a son of Poseidon, who led a colony to islands in the Tyrrhenian Sea; and the third Aeolus was a son of Hippotes who is mentioned in Odyssey book 10 as Keeper of the Winds who gives Odysseus a tightly closed bag full of the captured winds so he could sail easily home to Ithaca on the gentle West Wind. But instead his men thought it was filled with riches, so they opened it which is why the journey was extended. All three men named Aeolus appear to be connected genealogically, although the precise relationship, especially regarding the second and third Aeolus, is often ambiguous.
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