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Aphrodite, Goddess of Love Aphrodite was known as the daughter of Dione and Zeus in pre-hellenistic times. She is known, in this situations, as Aphrodite Pandemos. Later legends tell of her rising from the sea, fully grown, as the offspring of Uranus's severed genitals and the foam of the sea, as Aphrodite means, 'foam-born.' (She is here known as Aphrodite Urania) It was said that she rose naked from the sea and was bolwn to the shore of Cytherea or, in some cases, Cyprus, Zephyrus. There, she was clothed by the Hours. Aphrodite was, in general, the goddess of love, beauty, passion, and fertility. Aphrodite had the choice of any husband on Olympus. To all the gods' surprise and dismay, she chose the ugliest of them all, Hephaestus. Despite her marriage to Hephaestus, she had many love affairs. The most famous would be her affair with Ares. Hephaestus even caught the two in action and showed all of Olympus. The products of their affair were Phobos and Harmonia. Aphrodite noticed Hermes's interest in her and the two produced Peitho and Hermaphroditus. Aphrodite also mothered Eros, Aeneas, and Priapus, none, of which, were fathered by her husband. She fueded with Persephone for the love of Adonis, who was favored immesearably by Aphrodite. She was also a troublemaker, as in the case of the Trojan war, where she was chosen as the fairest by Paris over Athena and Hera. Once again, in the story of Cinyras and Myrrha; and Hippolytus and Phaedra. One of Aphrodite's most favored sons was Eros, who would help his mother by shooting people with his golden arrows, at her bidding. Aphrodite even forbade him to marry Psyche. Aphrodite had a magic girdle that made her irresistable to both men and gods. She was also identified with Astarte, Hathor, and Ishtar. The most famous goddess in both literature and the arts, the dove, myrtle, and rose were sacred to her.

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