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Greek god of the winds. In the OdysseyHomer represents Aeolus as the mortal ruler of the floating island of Aeolia. He gives Odysseus a favourable wind for his voyage and a bag in which the unfavourable winds are confined, but Odysseus's careless companions open the bag, releasing the winds and driving their ship back to shore. Later writers depicted Aeolus as a minor god rather than a human being. The Aeolian harp is named for him.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Aeolus, visit Britannica.com.