Zephyrus In Greek mythology, the West Wind, son of Astraeus and Eos; married to Chloris; father of Carpus, god of fruit; also father of Balius and Xanthus, immortal horses of Achilles, by Podarge; called Favionius by the Romans and also known as Caurus. Zephyrus also loved Hyacinthus, a young male, but Hyacinthus loved Apollo. The angry West Wind caused Hyacinthus’s death by blowing the quoit of Apollo against Hyacinthus’s head. Frequent use is made of Zephyrus in literature. Ovid’s Heroides (14.39) cites the wind, and Chaucer, in the Prologue to The Canterbury Tales, opens with
When Zephirus eek with his swete breeth Enspired hath in every holt and heeth The tendre croppes . . .
In The Bard Thomas Gray writes:
Fair laughs the Morn and soft the Zephyr blows, While proudly riding o’er the azure realm In gallant rim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm.
Zephyrus appears in Botticelli’s paintings, breathing life into Flora in Primavera and wafting Venus to the shore in The Birth of Venus. In ancient art Zephyrus is often portrayed as partly unclothed, carrying flowers in the folds of his robe.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante
Also known as:
Zephyr is the spirit of the west wind, the bringer of pleasant weather, associated with spring. Although he has a reputation for being the gentlest of the Anemoi wind spirits, he is violent in love. Zephyr is blamed for the death of Hyacinth. After he raped the Harpy, Podarge, she gave birth to Achilles’ horses. His consorts include his sisters, Chloris and Iris, but he also adores young men. Zephyr lives in a cave in Thrace.
Achilles; Anemoi; Harpies; Hyacinth; Iris
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Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.