Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Rustic Gods >> Silens >> Astraeus (Astraios)


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Starry One (astraios)

ASTRAIOS (Astraeus) was one of the three Seilen-sons of the old god Seilenos (Silenus). Like his father and brothers he was an elderly rustic deity and sire of tribes of Satyroi (Satyrs). Astraios "the Starry One" was a demi-god of nocturnal bacchic revelries.

Astraios was probably identified with the rustic god Aristaios (Aristaeus) who was sometimes described as a foster-father of Dionysos on the island of Euboia. He was perhaps also connected with the like-named Titan Astraios.


SEILENOS (Nonnus Dionysiaca 14.96)


THE SATYROI (Nonnus Dionysiaca 14.96)


Nonnus, Dionysiaca 14. 96 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Rhea summons the rustic spirits to the army of Dionysos for his campaign against the Indians :] Old Seilenos (Silenus) also was ready for the fray, holding the fennel-stalk, that horned son of the soil with twiform shape. He brought three festive sons : Astraios (Astraeus) was armed for battle; Maron came too, and Leneus followed, each with a staff to support the hands of their old father in his travels over the hills. These ancients already weak and vinebranches to support their slow bodies: many were the years of their time, from these had sprung the twiform generation of the muchmarried Satyroi (Satyrs)."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 17. 192 ff :
"[During the Indian War of Dionysos :] Orontes [an Indian chief] dashed hot upon the front ranks [of Dionysos' troops], reaping a harvest in both kinds. Not one of all the wide front durst abide the adverse onset of so mighty a champion . . . Astraios (Astraeus) chief of the Satyroi (Satyrs) was in flight, none of the Seilenoi (Silens) themselves would stand."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 29. 243 ff :
"[During a battle of the Indian War :] Trygie [an old Bakkhante (Bacchante)] with limping knee was left behind the company last of all, her feet frozen with fear. Not one of the Seilenoi (Silens) kept beside her; but they left her there alone frightened, without a helper . . . because she only hindered the dances of winegreedy Korybantes (Corybantes) and Satyroi (Satyrs) . . . Morrheus [the Indian general] drove off a company of Seilenoi, beating them with his poleace : at one shout of the driver Astraios (Astraeus) was shaken, Maron fled, Leneus collapsed, the three sons of shaggyhaired Seilenos (Silenus), who himself sprang up out of mother earth unbegotten and self-delivered."




A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.