Eos was a Goddess of Dawn in Greek mythology. She was one of the second generation of Titans. These Titans were associated with natural phenomena. In Greek, the word eos refers to Eos when it begins with a capital letter, but to the sunrise when it begins with a lowercase letter. Eos brought light to earth each day.
She was married to Astraeus, God of the Dusk, a god associated with planets and stars.
Together, they had numerous children, the five Astra Planeta: Pyroeis (Mars), Hesperos (Venus), Phainon (Saturn), Phaethon (Jupiter), and Stilbon (Mercury); and the four Anemoi (Wind gods), Boreas (north), Zephyros (west), Eros (east), and Notos (south). Occasionally Eos was named as mother of Virgin Goddess of Justice (Astraea).
Eos preceded Helios, (sun god) every morning, from the river Okeanos (Oceanus) into the sky, and with her dainty rose fingers, open the heavens with rays of sunshine, to do away with the mists of night. She was mostly seen as wearing a light pink saffron robe woven with flowers, adorned with a tiara, usually either riding in a golden chariot pulled by two winged horses, Lampus and Phaethon, or on her own large white-feathered wings. Every night, Eos would return to Oceanus to ready herself in the east for the dawn of a new day.
Eos was most known for her unquenchable lust for young men. This yearning was a result of a magic spell, placed on her by Aphrodite (Goddess of Love, Beauty and Eternal Youth). When Aphrodite discovered Eos’ affair with Ares (the Greek god of War), she became extremely jealous. To prevent Eos from gaining Ares affections, she cursed Eos to only fall in love with mere mortals. Subsequently Eos was known to abduct handsome young mortals, including Orion, Ganymede, Clitus, Cephalus and Tithonus. Tithonus was Eos’ most famous mortal lover.
Eos and Tithonus were content together. Tithonus was a Trojan prince, son of King Laomedon. Eos was tired of having old mortal lovers dying on her, so she pleaded with Zeus to allow Tithonus immortality, but she neglected to also ask for eternal youth. Eventually he became a decrepit old man and Zeus took mercy on him and turned him into a cicada. In certain areas of the world, cicadas are heard at the breaking of dawn.
Eos had two sons Memnon and Emathion by Tithonus. They became rulers of Aethiopia. While sailing up the River Nile, Emathion was killed by Heracles, a demi-god. Memnon was more well-known than his brother. He led a large army and strengthened Troy’s defenses. He fought on the side of Trojans in the Trojan War. Memnon would eventually be killed by Achilles. It is said that Eos was so saddened by the death of this son, that her radiant dawn light was not as dazzling as it was before, and the dew was said to be her tears. Eos asked Zeus for distinct acknowledgment for Memnon. Zeus made smoke from the funeral cremation of Memnon into a new bird species called Memnonides. To pay homage at Memnon’s grave site each year, these Menmnonides would fly from Aethiopia to Troy every year.