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Last Update: 20 Mar 2021


Helios, the God of the Sun

Helios was the personification of the sunlight in Greek Mythology.

Birth and Family of Helios

Helios was born from the union of the celestial Titan Hyperion and Theia, the Titaness of sight (or Euryphaessa). Helios' sisters were Selene, the goddess of the moon, and Eos, the radiant, rose-fingered goddess of the dawn. Helios was first married to his sister Selene, but altogether he had many wives, including Oceanid Perse; from their union Helios became the father of King Aetes, Circe, and Pasiphae, the wife of Minos.

Appearance of Helios

Helios was a luminous god with fair locks of hair. He had piercing eyes peering out of his golden helmet and wore a fine robe.
The ancient Greeks interpreted Helios as a gigantic eye with a halo, watching everything his light could touch.

The Daily Journey of Helios

Morning after morning Eos journeyed up to Mount Olympus, to announce the glorious arrival of her brother. Soon Helios approached the mountain in his winged golden chariot drawn by four fiery horses, and the two siblings set out on their daily journey through the heavens. During their journey from the land of twilight to the land of heaven, Eos gradually transformed into Hemera (day) and later into Hespera (evening). Upon his arrival, Helios hid in his golden chalice and night fell upon the earth... this was the moment when his wife Selene, the goddess of the moon, set out on her own nocturnal journey.

Helios and the Island of Rhodes

Another consort of Helios was Nymph Rhode (which means "rose" in Greek). Rhodes gave her name to the famous Greek island of Rhodes and Helios was the patron deity of the island.
The Rhodians greatly revered Helios and held annual festivals in his honor. One of the island's main attractions, the Colossus of Rhodes, was built in Helios' honor and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Colossus of Rhodes was a bronze, triumphal statue, about 32 meters high, built by the famous Chares of Lindos.

Roman name: Sol

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