) or AEO´LII, one of the four races into which the Hellenes are usually divided, axe represented as descendants of the mythical Aeolus, the son of Hellen. (Dict. of Biogr. s. v. Aeolus.
) Hellen is said to have left his kingdom in Thessaly to Aeolus, his eldest son. (Apollod. 1.7.3
A portion of Thessaly was in ancient times called Aeolis, in which Arne was the chief town.
It was from this district that the Aeolian Boeotians were driven out by the Thessalians, and came to Boeotia. (Hdt. 7.176
; Diod. 4.67
; Thuc. 1.12
It is supposed by some that this Aeolis was the district on the Pagasetic gulf; but there are good reasons for believing that it was in the centre of Thessaly, and nearly the same as the district Thessaliotis in later times. (Müller, Dorians,
vol. ii. p. 475, seq.) We find the Aeolians in many other parts of Greece, besides Thessaly and Boeotia; and in the earliest times they appear as the most powerful and the most numerous of the Hellenic races.
The wealthy Minyae appear to have been Aeolians; and we have mention [p. 1.51]
of Aeolians in Aetolia and Locris, at Corinth, in Elis, in Pylus and in Messenia. Thus a great part of northern Greece, and the western side of Peloponnesus were inhabited at an early period by the Aeolian race.
In most of these Aeolian settlements we find a predilection for maritime situations; and Poseidon appears to have been the deity chiefly worshipped by them. The Aeolians also migrated to Asia Minor where they settled in the district called after them Aeolis [AEOLIS
], and also in the island of Lesbos. The Aeolian migration is generally represented as the first of the series of movements produced by the irruption of the Aeolians into Boeotia, and of the Dorians into Peloponnesus. The Achaeans, who had been driven from their homes in the Peloponnesus by the Dorians, were believed to have been joined in Boeotia by a part of the ancient inhabitants of Boeotia and of their Aeolian conquerors.
The latter seem to have been predominant in influence, for from them the migration was called the Aeolian, and sometimes the Boeotian.
An account of the early settlements and migrations of the Aeolians is given at length by Thirlwall, to which we must refer our readers for details and authorities. (Hist. of Greece,
vol. i. p. 88, seq. vol. ii. p. 82, seq.; comp. Grote, Hist. of Greece,
vol. i. p. 145, seq., vol. ii. p. 26, seq.) The Aeolian dialect of the Greek language comprised several subordinate modifications; but the variety established by the colonists in Lesbos and on the opposite coasts of Asia, became eventually its popular standard, having been carried to perfection by the Lesbian school of lyric poetry. (Mure, History of the Language, &c. of Greece,
vol. i. p. 108, seq.) Thus we find the Roman poets calling Sappho Aeolia puella
(Hor. Carm. 4.9.12
), and the lyric poetry of Alcaeus and Sappho Aeolium carmen, Aeolia fides
and Aeolia lyra.
(Hor. Carm. 3.30
. 13, 2.13. 24; Ov. Ep. 15.200