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.
More Aphrodite Pictures