Boreas ("north wind" or "devouring") was the Greek god with that name, one of the Anemoi the Winds, the winged sons of Eos and Aeolus: Eurus the East Wind, Notus the desiccating South Wind, and Zephyrus the gentle West Wind. Boreas was usually depicted as a racy old man, winged and very strong.

Boreas had two sons, two daughters, and twelve mares which are said to be able to run across a field of grain without trampling the plants. Pliny (Natural History iv.35 and viii.67) thought that mares might stand with their hindquarters to the North Wind, and bear foals without a stallion. When Athens was threatened by Xerxes, the people prayed to Boreas, who caused winds to sink 400 Persian ships.

Boreas and Oreithyia, Evelyn Morgan (a romantic version)

Boreas and Oreithyia

Boreas and Oreithyia

He kidnapped Oreithyia, an Athenian princess, from the river llissus and with her fathered the Boreads and Chione.

His Roman mythological equivalent was Aquilo.

The Greeks believed that his home was in Thrace, and Herodotus and Pliny both describe a land beyond the northern wind known as Hyperborei, where people lived in complete happiness to extreme years.

Boreas was the father of Butes.

Boreas and Oreithyia, Louvre K35

Boreas and Oreithyia, Peter Paul Rubens

Marble statue of Boreas from the Archaeological Museum of Delos

Boreasmi or Boreasmus Festival

The Anemoi


Boreas’ Rape of Oreithyia, Peter Paul Rubens c. 1615

Mythology Images

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