World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Aura (mythology)

Article Id: WHEBN0027039878
Reproduction Date:

Title: Aura (mythology)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Velificatio, Greek mythology, La Flora, List of Greek mythological figures, Nicaea (mythology)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Aura (mythology)

Aura velificans, caryatid from the agora of Thessalonica (late 2nd–early 3rd century)

In Greek and Roman mythology, Aura is the divine personification of the breeze. The plural form, Aurae, "Breezes," is often found.

The velificatio, a billowing garment that forms an arch overhead, is the primary attribute by which an Aura can be identified in art. A pair of velificantes (figures framed by a velificatio) that appear on the Augustan Altar of Peace have sometimes been identified as Aurae.[1] Pliny describes statues of the Aurae velificantes sua veste, "making a sail with their garment," at the Porticus Octaviae in Rome.[2] Aurae can resemble Nereids, from whom they are distinguishable mainly by the absence of marine imagery.[3]

The Augustan poet Ovid introduces Aura into the tragic story of Cephalus and Procris, playing on the verbal similarity of Aura and Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn who was the counterpart of Greek Eos.[4]

The Dionysiaca of Nonnus (early 5th century) presents the most extended mythology of Aura, though Nonnus is both late and idiosyncratic. In the Dionysiaca, Aura was the daughter of Lelantos and Periboa and mother of Iacchus by Dionysus.

Aurae are also said to partially resemble ghosts, and can become part of the breeze, or can prevent it. They appear to disappear into the air, which, along with the fact that they glide, is why they are often mistaken for spirits of the departed. They are also said to sometimes work with Aeolus, Master of Winds, and are the more gentle cousins of the Harpies.

See also



  1. ^ Paul Zanker, The Power of Images in the Age of Augustus (University of Michigan Press, 1988, 1990), pp. 240–241.
  2. ^ Pliny, Natural History 36.29.
  3. ^ Babette Stanley Spaeth, "The Goddess Ceres in the Ara Pacis Augustae and the Carthage Relief," American Journal of Archaeology 98 (1994), pp. 77–78.
  4. ^ Ovid, Ars Amatoria 3.687–746 and Metamorphoses 7.672–862; Peter Green, From Ikaria to the Stars: Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern (University of Texas Press, 2004), pp. 253–254. See also Servius, note to Aeneid 6.445.

External links

  • Myths of Aura translated from the Dionysiaca, The Theoi Project
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.