Web Theoi
BRONTE & ASTRAPE
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Βροντη Brontê Bronte Thunder
Αστραπη Astrapê Astrape Lightning

BRONTE and ASTRAPE were the goddesses of thunder and lightning, ministers of the weather-god Zeus.

They were late classical inventions. In early Greek myth the elder Kyklopes Brontes and Steropes personified the same phenomena.

PARENTS
Nowhere stated

Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 14 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
[From a description of an ancient Greek painting depicting the death of Semele :]
"Bronte (Thunder), stern of face, and Astrape (Lightning), flashing light from her eyes, and raging fire from heaven that has laid hold of a king’s house, suggest the following tale, if it is one you know. A cloud of fire encompassing Thebes breaks into the dwelling of Kadmos as Zeus comes wooing Semele; and Semele apparently is destroyed, but Dionysos is born, by Zeus, so I believe, in the presence of the fire."

In the Apulian vase painting below, Astrape (labelled) stands beside the throne of Zeus bearing the armaments of the sky-god. She also wields a torch and is a crowned with a shining aureole.


Astrape | Greek vase painting
T32.1 ASTRAPE
     

Sources:

  • Philostratus the Elder, Imagines - Greek Rhetoric C3rd A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here : Pliny, Natural History 25.96 (Bronte, Astrape & Ceraunobolia)