Eos - Greek Goddess Eos

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Gill, N.S. "Eos - Greek Goddess Eos." ThoughtCo, Aug. 9, 2016, thoughtco.com/greek-goddess-eos-118057. Gill, N.S. (2016, August 9). Eos - Greek Goddess Eos. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/greek-goddess-eos-118057 Gill, N.S. "Eos - Greek Goddess Eos." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/greek-goddess-eos-118057 (accessed October 20, 2017).
Eos Chariot
Eos Chariot. Public Domain. Courtesy of Bibi Saint-Pol at Wikipedia.

Eos was a Titaness and the Greek goddess of the dawn. She is portrayed as a winged goddess who would rise each morning from her home near the edge of Oceanus and ride her chariot across the sky, thus bringing in the dawn. Her chariot was pulled by two horses, as described by Homer’s Iliad. The names of the horses were Lampus and Phaethon. Eos is commonly described as having a rosy appearance, with rosy fingers, a light, and a flowing pink gown woven with flowers.

She is commonly depicted wearing a tiara with wide feathered wings.

Family

Eos is the daughter of Hyperion and Theia. Hyperion was one of the twelve Titan children of Gaia and Uranus, and Theia was also a Titaness. Hyperion and Theia had three children: Helios (the sun), Selene (the moon), and Eos (the dawn). Eos was the third, and thus youngest of the three children.

Eos was married to Astraeus, who was an astrological deity and the established Titan-god of the dusk. Thus, the marriage of Astraeus, the god of dusk, and Eos, the goddess of dawn, was appropriate, as together they became nightfall and daybreak. The couple had many children together. Their spawn came to be associated with the occurrences in the sky during what is referred to as twilight. Their children included the four Winds (Anemoi), Boreas, Notus, Furus, Zephyrus, along with the five Astra Planeta: Phainon (Saturn), Phaethon (Jupiter), Pyroeis (Mars), Hesperos (Venus), and Stilbon (Mercury).

Cursed by Aphrodite

Eos is said to have also consorted with Ares, the god of war. As a result, she was cursed with an unquenchable sexual desire by a jealous Aphrodite. This caused Eos to abduct a number of young men throughout her time. Included in her abductions were Cephalus, Tithonus, Orion and Cleitus.

Her human lovers also included Orion, and Kephalus. Eos had a habit of granting immortality to some of the young men that she abducted. Cleitus was made immortal by Eos, and she also asked for Tithonus to be made immortal, but in asking she failed to also ask for eternal youth for him, so he was forced to live endlessly as a helpless old man.

It is also said that Eos had two sons with the mortal Tithonus before he was trapped as an old man. Their two sons were Memnon and Emathion. Memnon fought on the Trojan side in the famous Trojan War in Troy, and was eventually killed in battle.

Homeric Descriptions

Eos was mentioned several times throughout Homer’s tales the Iliad and the Odyssey:

Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Oceanus, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the ships with the armor that the god had given her.

— Iliad xix.1

But soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, then gathered the folk about the pyre of glorious Hector.

— Iliad xxiv.776

That brightest of stars appeared, Eosphoros, that most often heralds the light of early-rising Dawn (Eos Erigeneia).

Odyssey xiii.93

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Gill, N.S. "Eos - Greek Goddess Eos." ThoughtCo, Aug. 9, 2016, thoughtco.com/greek-goddess-eos-118057. Gill, N.S. (2016, August 9). Eos - Greek Goddess Eos. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/greek-goddess-eos-118057 Gill, N.S. "Eos - Greek Goddess Eos." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/greek-goddess-eos-118057 (accessed October 20, 2017).