|Aura nymph, Athenian
figure vase C5th B.C.
THE AURAI (or Aurae) were the nymphs of the breezes. They were named as daughters of the earth-encircling river Okeanos or the north-wind Boreas.
In the story of Kephalos they, or a single Aura, were equated with the dawn-goddess Eos. There was also a Titan goddess named Aura.
| OKEANOS (Homer Odyssey 4.561)
 BOREAS (Quintus Smyrnaeus 1.683)
Homer, Odyssey 4. 561 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"The world's end, the Elysian fields . . . [there] for men's refreshment Okeanos sends out continually the high-singing breezes of the west (aetai zephyroio)."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 88 ff (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"[The Titan Prometheus calls on the spirits of nature to witness his torment:] O you bright sky of heaven (dios aithêr), you swift-winged breezes (takhypteroi pnoiai) [i.e. the Aurai], you river-waters (pêgai potamôn), and infinite laughter of the waves of sea (pontos), O universal mother Earth (panmêtôr gê), and you, all-seeing orb of the sun (panoptês kyklos hêlios), to you I call! See what I, a god, endure from the gods."
Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 115 ff :
"[The Okeanides arrive on the mountain of Prometheus in a winged chariot:] Our group has come in swift rivalry of wings to this crag as friend to you, having won our father's consent as best we might. The swift-coursing breezes (aurai) bore me on . . . unsandalled I have hastened in a winged car."
Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy 1. 683 ff (trans. Way) (Greek epic C4th A.D.) :
"[The Breezes brought Ares news of the death of his daughter Penthesilea in the war of Troy:] For the Aurai (Breezes), Boreas' (North-wind's) fleet-winged daughters, bare to him, as through the wide halls of the sky he strode."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 70 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"The East Wind [Euros] left the rosy chamber of Eos (Dawn) his mother, and fanned the blazing pure all night long, stirring up the windfed leaping fire; the wild Aurai (Breezes), neighbours of the sun, shot the gleams into the air."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 302 ff :
"[Ariaden was abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos:] Boreas (the North Wind) lovelorn himself cared nothing for the maid stricken with desire--yes, even the Aurai (Breezes) themselves must have had a spite against the maiden when they carried the ship [of Theseus away] to the Athenian land."
- Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound - Greek Tragedy C5th B.C.
- Quintus Smyrnaeus, Fall of Troy - Greek Epic C4th A.D.
- Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.