Aura was a nymph (minor diety) that appears in both Greek and Roman mythology. She was the daughter of the Titan Lelantos and Periboa. Aura is associated with gentle breezes, especially the cool, fresh winds that occur early in the morning. She was worshiped as part of an ancient Greek religion called the Eleusinian Mysteries.
Aura lived in Phyrgia and was known for being a great hunter. She was often a companion of the goddess Artemis. It was written that she could run as fast as the wind and was a skilled archer. Her running and hunting abilities were so well known that the Theban hero Actaeon named one of his dogs Aura. Pheidolas of Corinth, who competed in the ancient Greek Olympics, had a horse named Aura.
Aura was proud of virginity as well as her athletic body. During a hunting trip, she mocked Artemis, claiming that she had the better figure. Enraged, Artemis asked Nemesis to punish Aura. Nemesis arranged for Dionysus to fall in love with Aura. Dionysus forced Aura to sleep with him and Aura later gave birth to twin sons. One was killed by Aura. The other, named Iaccus, was saved by Artemis. When Aura died Zeus turned her into a stream.
The Greek poet Nonnus of Panopolis and the Roman poet Ovid both wrote about Aura. There are very few images of Aura that exist in the modern day. One, a ceramic funerary vase, is in the British Museum. She is depicted with a cloak or other piece of clothing billowing out behind her as if blown by a breeze.
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