Zephyrus/West Wind. In ancient Greek religion and myth, the Anemoi were wind gods who were each ascribed a cardinal direction from which their respective winds came, and were each associated with various seasons and weather conditions. They were the progeny of Eos and Astraeus or, Thyphoeus. The Anemoi are minor gods and are subject to the god Aeolus. They were sometimes represented as gusts of wind, and at other times were personified as winged men. They were also sometimes depicted as horses kept in the stables of the storm god Aeolus, who provided Odysseus with the Anemoi in the Odyssey. The Spartans were reported to sacrifice a horse to the winds on Mount Taygetus. Astraeus, the astrological deity, and Eos / Aurora, the goddess of the dawn, were the parents of the Anemoi, according to the Greek poet Hesiod. Of the four chief Anemoi, 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, the southeast wind, was not associated with any of the three Greek seasons, and is the only one of these four Anemoi not mentioned in Hesiod's Theogony or in the Orphic Hymns. The deities equivalent to the Anemoi in Roman mythology were the Venti. These gods had different names, but were otherwise very similar to their Greek counterparts, borrowing their attributes and being frequently conflated with them. Boreas was the Greek god of the cold north wind and the bringer of winter. Although normally taken as the north wind, the Roman writers Aulus Gellius and Pliny the Elder both took Boreas as a north-east wind, equivalent to the Roman Aquilo. Boreas is depicted as being very strong, with a violent temper to match. He was frequently shown as a winged old man with shaggy hair and beard, holding a conch shell and wearing a billowing cloak. Pausanias wrote that Boreas had snakes instead of feet, though in art he was usually depicted with winged human feet. Boreas' two sons Calais and Zetes, known as Boreads, were in the crew of the Argo as Argonauts. Boreas was closely associated with horses. He was said to have fathered twelve colts after taking the form of a stallion, to the mares of Erichthonius, king of Dardania. These were said to be able to run across a field of grain without trampling the plants. Pliny the Elder thought that mares might stand with their hindquarters to the North Wind and bear foals without a stallion. The Greeks believed that his home was in Thrace, and Herodotus and Pliny both describe a northern land known as Hyperborea Beyond the North Wind where people lived in complete happiness and had extraordinarily long lifespans. He is said to have fathered three giant Hyperborean priests of Apollo by Chione. Boreas was also said to have kidnapped Orithyia, an Athenian princess, from the Ilisos. Boreas had taken a fancy to Orithyia and had initially pleaded for her favours, hoping to persuade her. When this failed, he reverted to his usual temper and abducted her as she danced on the banks of the Ilisos. Boreas wrapped Orithyia up in a cloud, married her, and with her, Boreas fathered two sons, the Boreads, Zethes and Calais, and two daughters, Chione, goddess of snow, and Cleopatra. From then on, the Athenians saw Boreas as a relative by marriage. When Athens was threatened by Xerxes, the people prayed to Boreas, who was said to have then caused winds to sink 400 Persian ships. A similar event had occurred twelve years earlier, and Herodotus writes: Now I cannot say if this was really why the Persians were caught at anchor by the stormwind, but the Athenians are quite positive that, just as Boreas helped them before, so Boreas was responsible for what happened on this occasion also. And when they went home they built the god a shrine by the River Ilissus. The abduction of Orithyia was popular in Athens before and after the Persian War, and was frequently depicted on vase paintings. In these paintings, Boreas was portrayed as a bearded man in a tunic, with shaggy hair that is sometimes frosted and spiked. The abduction was also dramatized in Aeschylus's lost play Oreithyia. In other accounts, Boreas was the father of Butes and the lover of the nymph Pitys. The Roman equivalent of Boreas was Aquilo. This north wind was associated with winter.