Monday, 30 April 2012

A-Z: Zephyrus, the gentle wind.

I end on a highly geeky note with the Greek Anemoi; Boreas, Notus, Zephyrus and Eurus, the 4 winged guardians of wind. Zephyrus, or just Zephyr (Greek: Ζέφυρος, Zéphuros, "the west wind"), in Latin Favonius, is the Greek god of the west wind. The gentlest of the winds, Zephyrus is known as the fructifying wind, the messenger of spring. It was thought that Zephyrus lived in a cave in Thrace.
Zephyrus was reported as having several wives in different stories. He was said to be the husband of his sister Iris, the goddess of the rainbow. He abducted another of his sisters, the goddess Chloris, and gave her the domain of flowers. With Chloris, he fathered Carpus ("fruit"). He is said to have vied for Chloris's love with his brother Boreas, eventually winning her devotion. Additionally, with yet another sister and lover, the harpyPodarge (also known as Celaeno), Zephyrus was said to be the father of Balius and XanthusAchilles' horses.
One of the surviving myths in which Zephyrus features most prominently is that of Hyacinth. Hyacinth was a very handsome and athletic Spartan prince. Zephyrus fell in love with him and courted him, and so did Apollo. The two competed for the boy's love, but he chose Apollo, driving Zephyrus mad with jealousy. Later, catching Apollo and Hyacinth throwing a discus, Zephyrus blew a gust of wind at them, striking the boy in the head with the falling discus. When Hyacinth died, Apollo created the hyacinth flower from his blood.[2]
In the story of Cupid and Psyche, Zephyrus served Cupid by transporting Psyche to his cave.


Zephyrus' Roman equivalent was Favonius, who held dominion over plants and flowers. The name Favonius, which meant "favorable", was also a common Roman name.

Yet again taken from Wikipedia, I thought it would serve well as the last blog post of the challenge. It feels like the gentle winds of the west have been breezing through blog land this last month, inspiring some and extinguishing others. It has been a wild ride folks and you have all been a part of it!


  1. Ah, a god of spring winds, how appropriate for an end to A to Z. I teach a Greek segment as a part time lit prof, and I do love the Spartans. They definitely capture my imagination as a fiercely independent group, whose women were allowed to roam free, work out in gymnasiums, and had lovers in a time when women in Athens were not even allowed citizenship in the supposedly radical democracy.

  2. Cassandra - congrats on ending the A-Z, though I know you came in last minute, I still feel you earned the 'survivors' badge I've created - YES! I have Photoshop 6 beta trial :), so I'll be working on that 100th badge I promised you.

    Pop over to the blog, I've got you on a list of bloggers I think would be worth your while to check out :)

    Spartans... kick ass warriors, man and woman alike :)