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Cupid was the god of love in Roman mythology. He was also called Amor. Cupid was identified with the Greek god Eros. The Romans portrayed Cupid as a son of the goddess Venus. Cupid had both a cruel and a happy nature. His cruelty appears in his treatment of his wife, the beautiful princess Psyche. Cupid forbade Psyche ever to try to see what he looked like. He refused to be with her except at night in the dark. One night while Cupid was asleep, Psyche lit a lamp so she could look at him. Cupid awoke and fled in anger. But other myths describe Cupid as a happy lad who united lovers. The earliest images of Cupid show him as a handsome, athletic young man. By the mid-300's B.C., he was portrayed as a chubby, naked infant with wings, holding a bow and arrows. A person shot with one of Cupid's gold-tipped arrows supposedly fell in love. His lead-tipped arrows had the opposite effect.

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