Βορεαδαι

The name by which the children of the North Wind, or Boreas, were generally referred to. Most strictly, it was the name of his twin sons, Calais and Zetes whose mother was Orithyia, the daughter of Erectheus, who had been abducted by the god on the banks of the Ilysses (Table 11). The two young men had wings, attached in some versions to their heels and in others to their sides like birds. Like thier father, they were the spirits of the winds, whose names were added in antiquity to the verb 'to blow'. Calais was 'he who blows gently' and Zetes was 'he who blows strongly'. Like their father again, they were born in Thrace, and their main characteristic was speed.

They took part in the expedition of the Argonauts and played an especially important part during their stay with King Phineus by pursuing the Harpies, who were tormenting the king. There are, however, different traditions about this incident. In some versions they freed the king by forcing the Harpies to fly away and making them promise to leave Phineus in peace in the future and in others they killed two or three of them. Some accounts make no mention of the Harpies and claim that the Boreades inflicted punishment on Phineus, who had blinded the children he had had by their sister, Cleopatra.

There are also different accounts of their deaths. One claims that they failed to catch the Harpies and died on their way back; but according to the most common one they took part in the whole of the Argonauts' expedition and were present at the funerary games held in honour of Pelias (see Jason). There they won the prize for running, but they were killed shortly after by Heracles who did not forgive them for advising the Argonauts to leave him in Mysia when he was delayed in the search for Hylas. When the Boreades were returning from the funeral rites of Pelias, the hero found them on the island of Tenos and killed them. He erected two pillars to them, which shook every time the north wind blew on the island.

Boreas also had two daughters, Cleopatra, who was married to Phineus, and Chione (see Butes).

{E2 DICTIONARY OF CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY}

Table of Sources:
- Apoll. Rhod. Arg. 1, 211ff.; 2, 273ff.; 1, 1298ff.
- schol. on Apoll. Rhod. 2, 178
- schol. on Hom. Od. 14, 533; 12, 69
- Hyg. Fab. 14, 19; 273
- Apollod. Bibl. 3, 15, 2ff.; 1, 9, 21
- Ovid, Met. 6, 711ff.
- Serv. on Virgil, Aen. 3, 209
- schol. on Pind. Pyth. 4, 181

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