Aura

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Aura is a breeze-related minor god from Greek and Roman mythology.

While Quintus Smyrnaeus claims that the Aurae are the daughters of Boreas, the North-wind, Nonnus claims that Aura was the daughter of the Titan Lelantos and the mother by Dionysus of Iacchus, a minor divinity associated with the Eleusinian rites. Aristophanes, Phrynichus, and Plato’s contemporaries, the Athenian comic poet Metagenes, wrote a play with the working title Aurae. The tragic tale of Cephalus and Procris is introduced by the Augustan poet Ovid in the Ars Amatoria and again in the Metamorphoses. Ovid may have done this to capitalize on the linguistic similarities between Aura and Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn (Greek Eos), who was Cephalus’ lover. Ovid had Cephalus describe how it was his routine to seek out the cold wind after a hunt in the Metamorphoses.

Featured image: A velificans, perhaps Aura, marble relief caryatid from the agora of Thessalonica (first half of the second century AD), Paris, Louvre MA 1393

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