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Aphrodite
Aphrodite History

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Here you will find the history on Aphrodite.

Aphrodite Overview

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Greek Goddess of passion and sexual love, and womanly beauty. She is considered the epitome of beauty and femininity. Said to have been born of sea-foam. She is kind to those she liked, but can be cruel and merciless to those who displease her. She married Hephaestos, had an affair with Ares, and was caught. Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, and mother of Eros. Her animal totems are the dove, sparrow, swan, and swallow. Plants sacred to her are myrtle, poppy, rose, and apple. She symbolizes feminine prowess, sexuality, relationships, flower magic.

Lovers and Children

Though Aphrodite was married to the ugly Smith God, Hephaestus, it was not by her choice but by arrangement of Hera. Her true love was Ares, the God of War. The two conceived three children: Phobus, Deimus, and Harmonia. They were also said to have been the parents of Eros and Anteros. Another of Aphrodite's greatest loves was a man named Adonis. From his birth, she placed him in the care of Persephone, who also fell in love with him and refused to give him back when the time came. Ares' jealousy eventually caused the death of poor Adonis. Aphrodite is also the mother of Aeneas, a Trojan who supposedly founded Rome. Zeus made her fall in love with Anchises as a punishment, and she warned him never to reveal that Aeneas was her son. Being a mere mortal, he couldn't keep his mouth shut and was stricken with blindness and paralysis.

Embarrassing Moment

Hephaestus was fully aware of Aphrodite and Ares' ongoing affair but could do nothing about. He did, however, conceive a plan to capture them together in a net made of gold and showed them to the other Olympians. Most of them were embarrassed for the two or refused to get involved. Aphrodite ended up sleeping with Hermes as a kind of "thank you" for freeing her. This union resulted in a child named Hermaphroditus.

More Stories

Aphrodite, in Greek mythology, the goddess of love and beauty and the counterpart of the Roman Venus. In Homer's Iliad she is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, one of his consorts, but in later legends she is described as having sprung from the foam of the sea and her name may be translated foam-risen. In Homeric legend Aphrodite is the wife of the lame and ugly god of fire, Hephaestus. Among her lovers was Ares, god of war, who in later mythology became her husband. She was the rival of Persephone, queen of the underworld, for the love of the beautiful Greek youth Adonis.
Perhaps the most famous legend about Aphrodite concerns the cause of the Trojan War. Eris, the goddess of discord, the only goddess not invited to the wedding of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis, resentfully tossed into the banquet hall a golden apple, marked for the fairest. When Zeus refused to judge between the three goddesses who claimed the apple, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite, they asked Paris, prince of Troy, to make the award. Each offered him a bribe: Hera, that he would be a powerful ruler; Athena, that he would achieve great military fame; and Aphrodite, that he should have the fairest woman in the world. Paris selected Aphrodite as the fairest and chose as his prize Helen of Troy, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris's abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.
Probably Oriental in origin, Aphrodite was identified in early Greek religious beliefs with the Phoenician Astarte and was known as Aphrodite Urania, queen of the heavens, and as Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess of the people.
Of all the goddesses of ancient mythology, none was more widely venerated than the goddess of love. The Greeks called her Aphrodite. The Romans worshiped her as Venus.
In Homer's 'Iliad' Aphrodite is said to be the daughter of Zeus and Dione, a Titan goddess. Other stories tell how she sprang, full-grown, from the foam of the sea near the island Cythera. (Aphros is Greek for "foam.") From there Zephyrus, the west wind, carried her gently on a shell to Cyprus, which was always regarded as her real home. There the Hours met her, clothed her, and brought her to the gods.
Every god even Zeus himself wanted this beautiful, golden goddess as his wife. Aphrodite was too proud and rejected them all. To punish her, Zeus gave her to Hephaestus (Vulcan in Roman mythology), the lame and ugly god of the forge. This good-natured craftsman built her a splendid palace on Cyprus. Aphrodite soon left him for Ares (Mars), the handsome god of war. One of theirchildren was Eros (Cupid), the winged god of love.

Aphrodite's Birth

Pronounced af-roh-dye-tee, Aphrodite was conceived when Cronus threw Uranus' genitalia into the sea, and she rose out of the foam. Her name literally means "foam born." She was carried towards Cyprus by the West Wind and was clothed by the Seasons when she then reached the shore. Cyprus was sacred to her after that. There are also other myths in which she is the offspring of Zeus and Dione.

Always eager to help lovers in distress, Aphrodite was equally quick to punish those who resisted the call of love. Cupid shot golden arrows into the hearts of those his mother wanted to unite in marriage. Aphrodite also had a magic girdle that made its wearer irresistible, and she sometimes loaned it to others. Under her influence Zeus more than once fell in love with mortal maidens. Afraid of being mocked someday by Aphrodite, Zeus decreed she should lose her heart to Anchises, a shepherd of Troy. From this union was born Aeneas, the mythical ancestor of the Roman people (see Aeneas).
Aphrodite helped Paris of Troy win the beautiful Helen of Greece (see Trojan War). In the war that followed she proved to be a so-called "coward goddess." When Aeneas was wounded by Diomedes, she lifted him up in her soft arms and bore him from the field. Diomedes, advised by Athena that he could attack Aphrodite with safety, thrust at her with his spear and cut her hand. Aphrodite fled weeping to Mount Olympus to be healed and comforted.
Aphrodite was worshiped chiefly as the goddess of human love. She was also widely venerated as a nature goddess. Because she came from the sea, sailors prayed to her to calm the wind and the waves.
The poets of Greece and Rome never tired of singing the praises of the love goddess. Their sculptors carved countless figures of her. The most celebrated statue of Aphrodite in ancient times was that carved by Praxiteles at Cnidus, on the coast of Asia Minor. This has never been found by archaeologists. The most famous one that remains today is the beautiful 'Venus de Milo', now in the Louvre in Paris.
In the 'Iliad' Aphrodite is called the Cyprian or Cytherea. She is also referred to as Dionaea, after her mother, or even Dione. Other names for her are Aphrogenia, Anadyomene, and Astarte. It is often written Ashtoreth, particularly in Bible references to Philistine idols. The name may have been derived from that of the Assyrian goddess Ishtar.

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