There is already much material on this site on the topic of mythology (especially, Gods and Goddesses and The Stories of the Ancient Greeks). In Myth Mondays I attempt to bring up an element of mythology that is either timely or less well known.
Detail from an Apulian red-figure oenochoe, c. 360 B.C., attributed to the Salting Painter
PD Courtesy Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Can you guess the identity of the winged figure abducting the young woman? I'll give you a hint: Recently, much of the Northern Hemisphere has ranted about the results of his sphere of power.
In an article about the same topic, but a different piece of pottery, H. B. Walters explains why it couldn't be Hades: Hades is not shown with wings. Walters adds that the abduction of Demeter is never shown on vases, although vases show Hades taking a complacent Persephone from her complacent mother for the winter. The painting here also shows a willing abductee*, but the wings rule out Hades.
The correct answer is the purple-winged, north wind god, Boreas, who is, according to Walters, the only Greek god shown both bearded and winged [edited to add: and abducting a maiden]. Boreas was a son of the Titans Astraeus and Eos. He lived north of Greece, in Thrace, and was a god of winter. The subject of the vase painting is Boreas' rape of Oreithyia. He is flying away with her above the vegetation and back to his homeland.
Family of Oreithyia and Boreas
Oreithyia is the daughter of the early Athenian king Erechtheus and Praxithea. She is also called a mountain nymph. When Boreas saw her playing, he decided she would make the perfect wife, so he snatched her and took her back home to Thrace. The children of Oreithyia and Boreas were, appropriately, Khione 'Snow', Kleopatra, and two sons, the Argonauts Zetes and Kalais, according to Theoi's article on Oreithyia.
Boreas and the Horse of ErechtheusThe winds are sometimes associated with horses and the gift of horses was more than once used to appease a father whose offspring proved irresistible to a Greek deity.
"First Erekhtheus [king of Athens] brought his horse Xanthos (Bayard) under the yoke, and fastened in his mare Podarkes (Swiftfoot); both sired by North-Wind Boreas in winged coupling when he dragged a Sithonian Harpyia Aellopos to himself, and Wind gave them as loveprice to his godfather Erekhtheus when he stole Attik Oreithyia for his bride."
Nonnus, Dionysiaca 37. 155 ff
Boreas Helps Athens in the Persian Wars
According to Herodotus (8.189), when Xerxes was approaching Athens (480 B.C.), the Delphic Oracle advised the Athenians to ask their son-in-law for help. They interpreted this to mean Boreas, because of his relationship with Erechtheus, and so they offered sacrifices to him. When the north winds destroyed several of the Persian ships, the Athenians felt that Boreas had saved them.
Boreas became a popular subject of vase painting in the second quarter of the 5th century B.C., according to Walter R. Agard.