Web Theoi
GORGO AIX
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Γοργω Αιξ Gorgô Aix Gorgon Aex Terrible Goat, Fierce
Storm (gorgos, aix)

THE GORGO AIX (or Aex) was an ancient Gorgon slain by Zeus at the start of the Titan war. He made his famous Aigis (or Aegis) cape from her skin--a goatish-hide rimmed with serpents--and placed her terrifying visage upon it. Aix was afterwards placed amongst the stars as the goat Capra (Greek Aix), seated on the left shoulder of the constellation Auriga. Her rising in late autumn heralded the onset of seasonal storms.

Aix was a daughter of Helios the sun-god. Like the aigis-shield itself, she represented the storm cloud. In Greek the word aigis has a dual meaning, being both "stormy" and "goatish," hence the close connection between the goat and storms in myth.

An elder Gorgon was sometimes described as the father of Medousa and her sister Gorgones. This figure may be the same as Aix, for the primeval Gorgon was of indeterminable gender or at best a bearded woman.

PARENTS

[1.1] HELIOS (Hyginus Astronomica 2.13)
[2.1] TYPHOEUS & EKHIDNA (Hyginus Fabulae 151)

OFFSPRING

[1.1] THE GORGONES (by Keto) (Hyginus Pref)
[1.2] MEDOUSA (Hyginus Fabulae 151)


Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Phorcus and Ceto [were born] : Phorcides, Pemphredo, Enyo, Persis (for the last others say Dino). From Gorgon and Ceto, Sthenno, Euryale, Medusa."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 151 :
"From Typhon the giant and Echidna were born Gorgon . . . Medusa, [was] daughter of Gorgon."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 13 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"On his [the constellation Auriga's] left shoulder (the goat) Capra stands . . . Some have called Aex the daughter of Sol [Helios the sun], who surpassed many in beauty of body, but in contrast to this beauty, had a most horrible face. Terrified by it, the Titans begged Terra [Gaia the earth]to hide her body, and Terra is said to have hidden her in a cave in the island of Crete. Later she became nurse of Jove, as we have said before. But when Jupiter [Zeus], confident in his youth, was preparing for war against the Titans, oracular reply was given to him that if he wished to win, he should carry on the war protected with the skin of a goat, aigos, and the head of the Gorgon. The Greeks call this the aegis. When this was done, as we have shown above, Jupiter [Zeus], overcoming the Titans, gained possession of the kingdom. Covering the remaining bones of the goat with a skin, he gave life to them and memorialised them, picturing them with stars. Afterwards he gave to Minerva [Athena] the aegis with which he had been protected when he won."


Sources:

  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Hyginus, Astronomica - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.