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Eos facts for kids

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Personification of the Dawn
Eos by Evelyn De Morgan (1895)
Ancient Greek Ἠώς
Abode Sky
Animals Cicada, horse
Symbol Saffron, cloak, roses, tiara
Color Red, white, pink, gold, saffron
Mount A chariot drawn by two horses
Personal information
Consort Astraeus, Orion, Cephalus, Cleitus, Ares, Tithonus
Children The Winds (Boreas, Eurus, Notus and Zephyrus), the Stars (Eosphorus/Hesperus, Pyroeis, Stilbon, Phaethon, and Phaenon), Memnon, Emathion, and Astraea
Parents Hyperion and Theia
Siblings Helios and Selene
Roman equivalent Aurora
Etruscan equivalent Thesan
Slavic equivalent Zorya
Hinduism equivalent Ushas
Japanese equivalent Ame-no-Uzume
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In ancient Greek mythology and religion, Eos ( Ionic and Homeric Greek Ἠώς Ēṓs, Attic Ἕως Héōs, "dawn" or Aeolic Αὔως Aúōs, Doric Ἀώς Āṓs) is the personification of the dawn, who rose each morning from her home at the edge of the river Oceanus to deliver light and disperse the night.

In Greek literature, Eos is presented as a daughter of the Titans Hyperion and Theia, the sister of the sun god Helios and the moon goddess Selene.

A terracotta lekanis dish depicting dawn eos on chariot with four horses eros a woman and a swan late 4th century metropolitan museum of art cropped detail eos
Eos in her four horse-drawn chariot, terracotta red-figure lekanis vase, late 300s BC, Canosa, Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Each day she drives her two-horse chariot, heralding the breaking of the new day and her brother's arrival. Thus, her most common epithet of the goddess in the Homeric epics is Rhododactylos, or "rosy-fingered", a reference to the sky's colours at dawn, and Erigeneia, "early-born". Although primarily associated with the dawn and early morning, sometimes Eos would accompany Helios for the entire duration of his journey, and thus she is even seen during dusk.

Eos figures in many works of ancient literature and poetry, but despite her Proto-Indo-European origins, there is little evidence of Eos having received any cult or being the centre of worship during classical times.


Eos was almost always described with rosy fingers or rosy forearms as she opened the gates of heaven for the Sun to rise. She is pictured on Attic vases as a beautiful woman, wearing a saffron mantle, crowned with a tiara or diadem and with the large white-feathered wings of a bird. She was often depicted spreading dew from an upturned urn, or with a torch in hand, riding a chariot.

Greek and Italian vases show Eos/Aurora on a chariot preceding Helios, as the morning star Eosphorus flies with her. Because Hermes' rod had the power to both induce sleep to mortals and wake them up, some times he is seen preceding the chariot of Eos (and that of Helios) as the new day breaks.


Eos leaves her home, which was at the edge of ocean, every morning to wake her brother, Helios. She opens the gates of heaven so that Helios can ride his chariot across the sky each day.


Eos, Sig. Guglielmi's drawing of a statue of Aurora by John Gibson (1790-1866).

The myth of Eos and Tithonus is very old.

The myth goes that Eos fell in love with and abducted Tithonus, a handsome prince from Troy, either the brother or the son of King Laomedon (the father of Priam). She went with a request to Zeus, asking him to make Tithonus immortal for her sake. Zeus agreed and granted her wish, but Eos foolishly forgot to ask for eternal youth as well for her beloved. So for a while the two lived happily in her palace, but their happiness eventually came to an end when Tithonus’ hair started turning grey as he aged. Tithonus never died as he had gained immortality as Zeus promised, but he kept aging and shrivelling, and was soon unable to even move. In the end, Eos locked him up in a chamber, where he withered away alone, forever a helpless old man. Out of pity, she turned him into a small bug, a cicada (Greek τέττιξ, tettix).

This myth might have been used to explain why cicadas were particularly noisy during the early hours of the morning, when the dawn appears in the sky.


L'Aurore Philippe Magnier Louvre MR3243 - 20141107
L' Aurore, 1693, bronze statue of Eos by Philippe Magnier (1647-1715), on display at Louvre Museum, France.

The abduction of Cephalus had special appeal for an Athenian audience because Cephalus was a local boy, and so this myth element appeared frequently in Attic vase-paintings and was exported with them.

In the literary myths, Eos snatched Cephalus against his will when he was hunting and took him to Syria. Although Cephalus was already married to Procris, Eos bore him three sons, but he then began pining for Procris, causing a disgruntled Eos to return him to Procris, but not before sowing the seeds of doubt in his mind, telling him that it was highly unlikely that Procris had stayed faithful to him this entire time.

Cephalus, troubled by her words, asked Eos to change his form into that of a stranger's, in order to secretly put Procris’s love for him to the test. Cephalus, now disguised, offered Procris to marry him, who at first declined but eventually agreed. He was hurt by her betrayal, so the couple parted ways, but eventually they got back together. This time however it was Procris’s turn to doubt her husband’s fidelity; while hunting, he would often call upon the breeze ('Aura' in Latin, sounding similar to Eos’s Roman equivalent Aurora) to refresh his body. Upon hearing that, Procris followed and spied on him. Cephalus, mistaking her for some wild animal, threw his spear at her, killing his wife.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Eos para niños

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