Meet the Anemoi, the Greek Gods of Weather



Boreas Abducting Oreithyia by Giovanni Francesco Romanell

Greece has seen much turbulent summer weather with storms, rains and floods lashing different parts of the country.

While tourists dash for shelter from the rain, and lightning bolts light up the Acropolis, it is worth considering how the ancient Greeks explained the weather.

Although Zeus is well known for his thunderbolts, it is the Anemoi which seem to correspond more specifically with the winds and the weather they brought to Greece.

Each such god was ascribed a cardinal direction from where they would bring the wind and other weather phenomena.

Minor gods, sometimes depicted as winged men or as just gusts of wind, Boreas was the north wind and bringer of cold winter air.

Zephyrus was the west wind and bringer of light spring and early-summer breezes, and Notus was the south wind and bringer of the storms of late summer and autumn.

Eurus was another god but was not associated with any of the specific ancient Greek seasons, of which they had only three.

There were a host of other, more minor, Greek deities whose names were gives to the particular winds which would blow at different times of the year.

The Romans also adopted some of these gods, giving them new names, but still ascribing to them the power to bring different types of weather.

So, the next time a Greek summer day is washed out by thunder, rain and lightning perhaps it is one of the Anemoi, come back to take their place in the pantheon.