Aphrodite
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Aphrodite; , , ) is an ancient Greek goddess associated with
love Love encompasses a range of strong and positive emotional and mental states, from the most sublime virtue or good habit, the deepest Interpersonal relationship, interpersonal affection, to the simplest pleasure. An example of this range of m ...

love
,
lust Lust is a psychological force producing intense desire for an object, or circumstance while already having a significant other or amount of the desired object. Lust can take any form such as the lust for sexuality (see libido Libido (; collo ...

lust
,
beauty Beauty is commonly described as a feature of objects that makes these objects pleasurable to perceive. Such objects include landscapes, sunsets, humans and works of art. Beauty, together with art and taste, is the main subject of aesthetics, o ...
,
pleasure Pleasure refers to experience that feels good, that involves the enjoyment of something. It contrasts with pain or suffering, which are forms of feeling bad. It is closely related to value, desire and action: humans and other conscious animals f ...
, passion and
procreation Reproduction (or procreation or breeding) is the biological process by which new individual organisms – "offspring" – are produced from their "parent" or parents. Reproduction is a fundamental feature of all known life; each individual orga ...
. She was syncretized with the Roman goddess . Aphrodite's major symbols include myrtles,
rose A rose is a woody perennial plant, perennial flowering plant of the genus ''Rosa'', in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred Rose species, species and Garden roses, tens of thousands of cultivars. They form a ...

rose
s,
dove Columbidae () is a bird Family (biology), family consisting of pigeons and doves. It is the only family in the Order (biology), order Columbiformes. These are stout-bodied birds with short necks, and short slender bills that in some species fe ...

dove
s, sparrows, and
swan Swans are birds of the family (biology), family Anatidae within the genus ''Cygnus''. The swans' closest relatives include the goose, geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the ...

swan
s. The cult of Aphrodite was largely derived from that of the Phoenician goddess
Astarte Astarte (; grc-gre, Ἀστάρτη, ''Astártē'') is the Hellenized form of the Ancient Near Eastern goddess Astoreth ( Northwest Semitic), a form of Ishtar (East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions of the Semi ...
, a
cognate In linguistics, cognates, also called lexical cognates, are words that have a common etymology, etymological origin. Cognates are often inherited from a proto-language, shared parent language, but they may also involve loanword, borrowings from ...
of the
East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions of the Semitic languages. The East Semitic group is attested by three distinct languages, Akkadian, Eblaite and Kishite all of which have been long extinct Extinction is the terminatio ...
goddess
Ishtar Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Aratta and Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ...

Ishtar
, whose cult was based on the Sumerian cult of
Inanna Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Aratta and Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ...
. Aphrodite's main cult centers were Cythera,
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...
,
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...
, and
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
. Her main festival was the
Aphrodisia The Aphrodisia festival (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
, which was celebrated annually in midsummer. In
Laconia Laconia or Lakonia ( el, Λακωνία, , ) is a historical and administrative region of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
, Aphrodite was worshipped as a warrior goddess. She was also the patron goddess of
prostitutes Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically ...
, an association which led early scholars to propose the concept of "
sacred prostitution Sacred prostitution, temple prostitution, cult prostitution, and religious prostitution are general terms for a rite A rite is an established, Ceremony, ceremonial, usually religious, act. Rites in this sense fall into three major categories: * r ...
" in Greco-Roman culture, an idea which is now generally seen as erroneous. In
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēro ...
's ''
Theogony The ''Theogony'' (, , , i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polyt ...
'', Aphrodite is born off the coast of Cythera from the foam (, ) produced by
Uranus Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. Its name is a reference to the Greek god of the sky, Uranus, who, according to Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and ...
's genitals, which his son
Cronus In Greek mythology, Cronus, Cronos, or Kronos ( or , , from el, Κρόνος, ''Krónos'') was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of the Greek primordial deities, primordial Gaia mythology, Gai ...
had
severed
severed
and thrown into the sea. In
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was the presumed author of the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature. The ''Iliad'' is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year s ...

Homer
's ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, ', ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Usually considered to have been written down cir ...

Iliad
'', however, she is the daughter of
Zeus Zeus or , , ; grc, Δῐός, ''Diós'', label=genitive In grammar In linguistics, the grammar (from Ancient Greek ''grammatikḗ'') of a natural language is its set of structure, structural constraints on speakers' or writers' compos ...

Zeus
and Dione.
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the ...

Plato
, in his ''
Symposium In ancient Greece Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( ...
'' 180e, asserts that these two origins actually belong to separate entities:
Aphrodite Ourania Aphrodite Urania ( grc, Ἀφροδίτη Οὐρανία, Aphrodítē Ouranía) was an epithet An epithet (from el, ἐπίθετον, , neuter of , , "attributed, added") is a word or phrase, accompanying or occurring in place of a name and h ...
(a transcendent, "Heavenly" Aphrodite) and
Aphrodite Pandemos Aphrodite Pandemos ( grc, Πάνδημος, Pándēmos; "common to all the people") occurs as an epithet An epithet (from el, ἐπίθετον, , neuter of , , "attributed, added") is a word or phrase, accompanying or occurring in place of a ...
(Aphrodite common to "all the people"). Aphrodite had many other
epithet An epithet (, ) is a byname, or a descriptive term (word or phrase), accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, o ...
s, each emphasizing a different aspect of the same goddess, or used by a different local cult. Thus she was also known as Cytherea (''Lady of Cythera'') and Cypris (''Lady of Cyprus''), because both locations claimed to be the place of her birth. In
Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of the world, the lives ...
, Aphrodite was married to
Hephaestus Hephaestus (; eight spellings; grc-gre, Ἥφαιστος, Hḗphaistos) is the Greek god of blacksmith A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects primarily from wrought iron or steel, but sometimes from #Other metals, other met ...
, the god of fire, blacksmiths and metalworking. Aphrodite was frequently unfaithful to him and had many lovers; in the ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major Ancient Greek literature, ancient Greek Epic poetry, epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still widely read by modern ...
'', she is caught in the act of adultery with
Ares Ares (; grc, Ἄρης, ''Árēs'' ) is the Greek god of courage and war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid backg ...
, the god of war. In the '' First Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite'', she seduces the mortal shepherd
Anchises Anchises (; grc-gre, Ἀγχίσης, Ankhísēs) was a member of the royal family of Troy Troy ( grc, Τροία, ''Troía'', , ''Ī́lion'' or , ''Ī́lios''; la, Troia, also ;''Troia'' is the typical Latin name for the city. ''Īlium'' is ...
. Aphrodite was also the surrogate mother and lover of the mortal shepherd
Adonis Adonis, ; derived from the Canaanite languages, Canaanite word ''ʼadōn'', meaning "lord".Robert S. P. Beekes, R. S. P. Beekes, ''Etymological Dictionary of Greek'', Brill, 2009, p. 23. was the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite in Greek myt ...
, who was killed by a
wild boar The wild boar (''Sus scrofa''), also known as the wild swine, common wild pig, Eurasian wild pig, or simply wild pig, is a suid native to much of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continental area on Earth, comprising all of Europe and ...

wild boar
. Along with
Athena Athena or Athene, often given the epithet An epithet (from el, ἐπίθετον, , neuter of , , "attributed, added") is a word or phrase, accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shad ...
and
Hera Hera (; grc-gre, Ἥρᾱ, ''Hērā''; , ''Hērē'' in Ionic and Homeric Greek) is the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth in ancient Greek religion and mythology, one of the Twelve Olympians and the sister and wife of Zeus ...

Hera
, Aphrodite was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
and she plays a major role throughout the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, ', ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Usually considered to have been written down cir ...

Iliad
''. Aphrodite has been featured in
Western art ''; by Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronunciation of name, see below; October 1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch Baroque Period Painting, painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle class life. During his lifetime, ...
as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of
Western literature Western literature, also known as European literature, is the literature Literature broadly is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose ...
. She is a major deity in modern Neopagan religions, including the Church of Aphrodite,
Wicca Wicca (), also termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religion categorise it as both a new religious movement and as part of the occultist stream of Western esotericism. It was developed in England England is ...
, and
Hellenismos Hellenism (Ἑλληνισμός) represents the totality of Hellenic culture, it is understood as a "body of humanistic and classical ideals associated with ancient Greece" as well as to identify "the language, culture, and values of the Hell ...
.


Etymology

Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēro ...
derives ''Aphrodite'' from () "sea-foam", interpreting the name as "risen from the foam", but most modern scholars regard this as a spurious
folk etymology Folk etymology (also known as popular etymology, analogical reformation, reanalysis, morphological reanalysis or etymological reinterpretation) is a change in a word or phrase resulting from the replacement of an unfamiliar form by a more familia ...
. Early modern scholars of classical mythology attempted to argue that Aphrodite's name was of Greek or
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
origin, but these efforts have now been mostly abandoned. Aphrodite's name is generally accepted to be of non-Greek, probably
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...

Semitic
, origin, but its exact derivation cannot be determined. Scholars in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, accepting Hesiod's "foam" etymology as genuine, analyzed the second part of Aphrodite's name as *''-odítē'' "wanderer" or *''-dítē'' "bright". More recently, Michael Janda, also accepting Hesiod's etymology, has argued in favor of the latter of these interpretations and claims the story of a birth from the foam as an
Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
mytheme In structuralism-influenced studies of mythology, a mytheme is a fundamental generic unit of narrative structure (typically involving a relationship between a character, an event, and a theme) from which myths are thought to be constructed—a min ...
. Similarly, Krzysztof Tomasz Witczak proposes an Indo-European compound ' "very" and ' "to shine", also referring to
Eos In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...

Eos
, and Daniel Kölligan has interpreted her name as "shining up from the mist/foam". Other scholars have argued that these hypotheses are unlikely since Aphrodite's attributes are entirely different from those of both Eos and the Vedic deity
Ushas Ushas (Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit, or Vedic, is the name given by modern scholarship to the oldest, attested form of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European language The Indo-European l ...
. A number of improbable non-Greek etymologies have also been suggested. One Semitic etymology compares Aphrodite to the Assyrian ''barīrītu'', the name of a female demon that appears in Middle Babylonian and Late Babylonian texts. Hammarström looks to
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
, comparing ''(e)prϑni'' "lord", an Etruscan honorific loaned into Greek as πρύτανις. This would make the theonym in origin an honorific, "the lady". Most scholars reject this etymology as implausible, especially since Aphrodite actually appears in Etruscan in the borrowed form ''Apru'' (from Greek , clipped form of ''Aphrodite''). The medieval ''
Etymologicum Magnum ''Etymologicum Magnum'' ( grc, Ἐτυμολογικὸν Μέγα, ) (standard abbreviation ''EM'', or ''Etym. M.'' in older literature) is the traditional title of a Greek lexical encyclopedia An encyclopedia (American English Am ...
'' (c. 1150) offers a highly contrived etymology, deriving ''Aphrodite'' from the compound ''habrodíaitos'' (), "she who lives delicately", from ''habrós'' and ''díaita''. The alteration from ''b'' to ''ph'' is explained as a "familiar" characteristic of Greek "obvious from the
Macedonians Macedonian most often refers to someone or something from or related to Macedonia (disambiguation), Macedonia. Macedonian may specifically refer to: People Modern * Macedonians (ethnic group), the South Slavic ethnic group primarily associated w ...
".


Origins


Near Eastern love goddess

The cult of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the cult of
Astarte Astarte (; grc-gre, Ἀστάρτη, ''Astártē'') is the Hellenized form of the Ancient Near Eastern goddess Astoreth ( Northwest Semitic), a form of Ishtar (East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions of the Semi ...
in
Phoenicia Phoenicia (; from grc, Φοινίκη, ') was an ancient Semitic-speaking thalassocratic civilization that originated in the Levant region of the eastern Mediterranean, primarily modern Syria and Lebanon Lebanon (), officially known ...
, which, in turn, was influenced by the cult of the
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the ...

Mesopotamia
n goddess known as "Ishtar" to the
East Semitic The East Semitic languages are one of three divisions of the Semitic languages. The East Semitic group is attested by three distinct languages, Akkadian, Eblaite and Kishite all of which have been long extinct Extinction is the terminatio ...
peoples and as "
Inanna Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Aratta and Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ...
" to the
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclo ...

Sumer
ians.
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
states that the first to establish a cult of Aphrodite were the
Assyrians Assyrian may refer to: * Assyria, a major Mesopotamian kingdom and empire * Assyrian people, an ethnic group indigenous to the Middle East * Assyrian Church (disambiguation) * Assyrian language (disambiguation) * SS Assyrian, SS ''Assyrian'', seve ...

Assyrians
, followed by the
Paphians
Paphians
of Cyprus and then the Phoenicians at Ascalon. The Phoenicians, in turn, taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Aphrodite took on Inanna-Ishtar's associations with sexuality and procreation. Furthermore, she was known as Ourania (Οὐρανία), which means "heavenly", a title corresponding to Inanna's role as the
Queen of Heaven Queen of Heaven ( la, Regina Caeli) is a title given to the Virgin Mary Mary; arc, ܡܪܝܡ, translit=Mariam; la, Maria; he, מִרְיָם, translit=Miriam; cop, Ⲙⲁⲣⲓⲁ, translit=Maria; ar, مريم, translit=Maryam; also ...
. Early artistic and literary portrayals of Aphrodite are extremely similar on Inanna-Ishtar. Like Inanna-Ishtar, Aphrodite was also a warrior goddess; the second-century AD Greek geographer
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
records that, in Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as '' Aphrodite Areia'', which means "warlike". He also mentions that Aphrodite's most ancient cult statues in
Sparta Sparta (Doric Greek Doric, or Dorian ( grc, Δωρισμός, Dōrismós) was an Ancient Greek dialect. Its variants were spoken in the southern and eastern Peloponnese as well as in Sicily, Epirus, Southern Italy, Crete, Rhodes, some ...

Sparta
and on Cythera showed her bearing arms. Modern scholars note that Aphrodite's warrior-goddess aspects appear in the oldest strata of her worship and see it as an indication of her Near Eastern origins. Nineteenth century classical scholars had a general aversion to the idea that ancient Greek religion was at all influenced by the cultures of the Near East, but, even
Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker Friedrich Gottlieb Welcker (4 November 1784 – 17 December 1868) was a Germany, German Classics, classical philologist and archaeologist. Biography Welcker was born at Grünberg, Hesse, Grünberg, Landgraviate of Hesse-Darmstadt, Hesse-Darmstadt ...
, who argued that Near Eastern influence on Greek culture was largely confined to material culture, admitted that Aphrodite was clearly of Phoenician origin. The significant influence of Near Eastern culture on early Greek religion in general, and on the cult of Aphrodite in particular, is now widely recognized as dating to a period of orientalization during the eighth century BC, when
archaic Greece Archaic Greece was the period in Greek history The history of Greece encompasses the history of the territory of the modern nation-state of Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in ...
was on the fringes of the
Neo-Assyrian Empire The Neo-Assyrian Empire (Assyrian cuneiform: ''mat Aš-šur KI'', "Country of the Assur, city of Ashur (god), god Aššur"; also phonetically ''mat Aš-šur'') was an Iron Age Mesopotamian empire, in existence between 911 and 609 BC, and became ...

Neo-Assyrian Empire
.


Indo-European dawn goddess

Some early
comparative mythologists In general linguistics, the comparative is a syntactic construction that serves to express a comparison between two (or more) entities or groups of entities in quality or degree - see also comparison (grammar) for an overview of comparison, as well ...
opposed to the idea of a Near Eastern origin argued that Aphrodite originated as an aspect of the Greek dawn goddess
Eos In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...

Eos
and that she was therefore ultimately derived from the
Proto-Indo-European Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is the theorized common ancestor of the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( s ...
dawn goddess *''Haéusōs'' (properly Greek
Eos In Greek mythology Greek mythology is the body of myths originally told by the Ancient Greece, ancient Greeks, and a genre of Ancient Greek folklore. These stories concern the Cosmogony, origin and Cosmology#Metaphysical cosmology, nature of ...

Eos
, Latin
Aurora An aurora (plural: auroras or aurorae), sometimes referred to as polar lights (aurora polaris), northern lights (aurora borealis), or southern lights (aurora australis), is a natural light display in the Earth's sky, predominantly seen in high-l ...
, Sanskrit
Ushas Ushas (Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit, or Vedic, is the name given by modern scholarship to the oldest, attested form of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European language The Indo-European l ...
). Most modern scholars have now rejected the notion of a purely Indo-European Aphrodite, but it is possible that Aphrodite, originally a
Semitic Semitic most commonly refers to the Semitic languages, a name used since the 1770s to refer to the language family currently present in West Asia, North and East Africa, and Malta. Semitic may also refer to: Religions * Abrahamic religions ** ...
deity, may have been influenced by the Indo-European dawn goddess. Both Aphrodite and Eos were known for their erotic beauty and aggressive sexuality and both had relationships with mortal lovers. Both goddesses were associated with the colors red, white, and gold. Michael Janda etymologizes Aphrodite's name as an epithet of Eos meaning "she who rises from the foam f the ocean and points to Hesiod's ''Theogony'' account of Aphrodite's birth as an archaic reflex of Indo-European myth. Aphrodite rising out of the waters after Cronus defeats Uranus as a mytheme would then be directly cognate to the
Rigvedic ) manuscript in Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (''Nāgarī'', ),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida . ''M ...
myth of
Indra Indra (; Sanskrit: इन्द्र) is an Historical Vedic religion, ancient Vedic deity in Hinduism. He is the king of Svarga (Heaven) and the Deva (Hinduism), Devas (gods). He is associated with lightning, thunder, storms, rains, river flo ...

Indra
defeating
Vrtra Vritra (Sanskrit Sanskrit (, attributively , ''saṃskṛta-'', nominalization, nominally , ''saṃskṛtam'') is a classical language of South Asia belonging to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It ...
, liberating
Ushas Ushas (Vedic Sanskrit Vedic Sanskrit, or Vedic, is the name given by modern scholarship to the oldest, attested form of the Proto-Indo-Aryan language belonging to the Indo-Aryan subgroup of the Indo-European language The Indo-European l ...
. Another key similarity between Aphrodite and the Indo-European dawn goddess is her close kinship to the Greek sky deity, since both of the main claimants to her paternity (Zeus and Uranus) are sky deities.


Forms and epithets

Aphrodite's most common cultic epithet was '' Ourania'', meaning "heavenly", but this epithet almost never occurs in literary texts, indicating a purely cultic significance. Another common name for Aphrodite was ''Aphrodite Pandemos, Pandemos'' ("For All the Folk"). In her role as Aphrodite Pandemos, Aphrodite was associated with ''Peitho, Peithō'' (), meaning "persuasion", and could be prayed to for aid in seduction. The character of Pausanias in
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the ...

Plato
's Symposium (Plato), ''Symposium'', takes differing cult-practices associated with different epithets of the goddess to claim that Ourania and Pandemos are, in fact, separate goddesses. He asserts that ''Aphrodite Ourania'' is the celestial Aphrodite, born from the sea foam after Cronus castrated Uranus, and the older of the two goddesses. According to the ''Symposium'', ''Aphrodite Ourania'' is the inspiration of Human male sexuality#Male homoeroticism, male homosexual desire, specifically the Ephebic Oath, ephebic Eros (concept), eros, and pederasty. ''Aphrodite Pandemos'', by contrast, is the younger of the two goddesses: the common Aphrodite, born from the union of Zeus and Dione, and the inspiration of Heterosexuality, heterosexual desire and sexual promiscuity, the "lesser" of the two loves. ''Paphian'' (Παφία), was one of her epithets, after the Paphos in Cyprus where she had emerged from the sea at her birth. Among the Neoplatonism, Neoplatonists and, later, their Christian interpreters, Ourania is associated with spiritual love, and Pandemos with physical love (desire). A representation of Ourania with her foot resting on a tortoise came to be seen as emblematic of discretion in conjugal love; it was the subject of a chryselephantine sculpture by Phidias for Elis (city), Elis, known only from a parenthetical comment by the geographer
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
. One of Aphrodite's most common literary epithets is ''Philommeidḗs'' (), which means "smile-loving", but is sometimes mistranslated as "laughter-loving". This epithet occurs throughout both of the Homeric epics and the ''First Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite''. Hesiod references it once in his ''
Theogony The ''Theogony'' (, , , i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polyt ...
'' in the context of Aphrodite's birth, but interprets it as "genital-loving" rather than "smile-loving". Monica Cyrino notes that the epithet may relate to the fact that, in many artistic depictions of Aphrodite, she is shown smiling. Other common literary epithets are ''Cypris'' and ''Cythereia'', which derive from her associations with the islands of Cyprus and Cythera respectively. On Cyprus, Aphrodite was sometimes called ''Eleemon'' ("the merciful"). In Athens, she was known as ''Aphrodite en kopois'' ("Aphrodite of the Gardens"). At Cape Colias, a town along the Attic coast, she was venerated as ''Genetyllis'' "Mother". The Spartans worshipped her as ''Potnia'' "Mistress", ''Enoplios'' "Armed", ''Morpho'' "Shapely", ''Ambologera'' "She who Postpones Old Age". Across the Greek world, she was known under epithets such as ''Melainis'' "Black One", ''Skotia'' "Dark One", ''Androphonos'' "Killer of Men", ''Anosia'' "Unholy", and ''Tymborychos'' "Gravedigger", all of which indicate her darker, more violent nature. A male version of Aphrodite known as Aphroditus was worshipped in the city of Amathus on Cyprus. Aphroditus was depicted with the Female body shape, figure and Cross-dressing, dress of a woman, but had a beard, and was shown lifting his dress to reveal an erect phallus. This gesture was believed to be an apotropaic magic, apotropaic symbol, and was thought to convey good fortune upon the viewer. Eventually, the popularity of Aphroditus waned as the mainstream, fully feminine version of Aphrodite became more popular, but traces of his cult are preserved in the later legends of Hermaphroditus.


Worship


Classical period

Aphrodite's main festival, the
Aphrodisia The Aphrodisia festival (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following pe ...
, was celebrated across Greece, but particularly in
Athens Athens ( ; el, Αθήνα, Athína ; grc, Ἀθῆναι, Athênai (pl.) ) is the capital city, capital and List of cities in Greece, largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica (region), Attica region and is one of the List of oldest ...
and Ancient Corinth, Corinth. In Athens, the Aphrodisia was celebrated on the fourth day of the month of Attic calendar, Hekatombaion in honor of Aphrodite's role in the unification of Attica. During this festival, the priests of Aphrodite would purify the temple of Aphrodite Pandemos on the southwestern slope of the Athenian Acropolis, Acropolis with the blood of a Animal sacrifice, sacrificed dove. Next, the altars would be Anointing, anointed and the cult statues of Aphrodite Pandemos and Peitho would be escorted in a majestic procession to a place where they would be ritually bathed. Aphrodite was also honored in Athens as part of the Arrhephoria festival. The fourth day of every month was sacred to Aphrodite.
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
records that, in Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as '' Aphrodite Areia'', which means "warlike". This epithet stresses Aphrodite's connections to Ares, with whom she had extramarital relations. Pausanias also records that, in Sparta and on Cythera, a number of extremely ancient cult statues of Aphrodite portrayed her bearing arms. Other cult statues showed her bound in chains. Aphrodite was the patron goddess of
prostitutes Prostitution is the business or practice of engaging in sexual activity in exchange for payment. Prostitution is sometimes described as sexual services, commercial sex or, colloquially, hooking. It is sometimes referred to euphemistically ...
of all varieties, ranging from ''Prostitution in ancient Greece#Pornai, pornai'' (cheap Street prostitution, street prostitutes typically owned as slaves by wealthy Procuring (prostitution), pimps) to ''hetairai'' (expensive, well-educated hired companions, who were usually self-employed and sometimes provided sex to their customers). The city of Ancient Corinth, Corinth was renowned throughout the ancient world for its many ''hetairai'', who had a widespread reputation for being among the most skilled, but also the most expensive, prostitutes in the Greek world. Corinth also had a major temple to Aphrodite located on the Acrocorinth and was one of the main centers of her cult. Records of numerous dedications to Aphrodite made by successful courtesans have survived in poems and in pottery inscriptions. References to Aphrodite in association with prostitution are found in Corinth as well as on the islands of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...
, Cythera, and Sicily. Aphrodite's Mesopotamian precursor Inanna-Ishtar was also closely associated with prostitution. Scholars in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries believed that the cult of Aphrodite may have involved ritual prostitution, an assumption based on ambiguous passages in certain ancient texts, particularly a fragment of a ''skolion'' by the Boeotian poet Pindar, which mentions prostitutes in Corinth in association with Aphrodite. Modern scholars now dismiss the notion of ritual prostitution in Greece as a "historiographic myth" with no factual basis.


Hellenistic and Roman periods

During the Hellenistic period, the Greeks identified Aphrodite with the Ancient Egyptian deities, ancient Egyptian goddesses Hathor and Isis.''Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia'', The Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215. Aphrodite was the patron goddess of the Ptolemaic Kingdom, Lagid queens and Queen Arsinoe II was identified as her mortal incarnation. Aphrodite was worshipped in Alexandria and had numerous temples in and around the city. Arsinoe II introduced the cult of Adonis to Alexandria and many of the women there partook in it. The Tessarakonteres, a gigantic catamaran galley designed by Archimedes for Ptolemy IV Philopator, had a circular temple to Aphrodite on it with a marble statue of the goddess herself. In the second century BC, Ptolemy VIII Physcon and his wives Cleopatra II of Egypt, Cleopatra II and Cleopatra III of Egypt, Cleopatra III dedicated a temple to Aphrodite Hathor at Philae. Statuettes of Aphrodite for personal devotion became common in Egypt starting in the early Ptolemaic times and extending until long after Egypt (Roman province), Egypt became a Roman province. The ancient Romans Interpretatio graeca, identified Aphrodite with their goddess Venus (mythology), Venus, who was originally a goddess of agricultural fertility, vegetation, and springtime. According to the Roman historian Livy, Aphrodite and Venus were officially identified in the third century BC when the cult of ''Venus Erycina'' was introduced to Rome from the Greek sanctuary of Aphrodite on Monte Erice, Mount Eryx in Sicily. After this point, Romans adopted Aphrodite's iconography and myths and applied them to Venus. Because Aphrodite was the mother of the Trojan hero Aeneas in Greek mythology and Roman tradition claimed Aeneas as the founder of Rome, Venus became venerated as ''Venus Genetrix'', the mother of the entire Roman nation. Julius Caesar claimed to be directly descended from Aeneas's son Ascanius, Iulus and became a strong proponent of the cult of Venus. This precedent was later followed by his nephew Augustus and the later emperors claiming succession from him. This syncretism greatly impacted Greek worship of Aphrodite. During the Roman era, the cults of Aphrodite in many Greek cities began to emphasize her relationship with Troy and Aeneas. They also began to adopt distinctively Roman elements, portraying Aphrodite as more maternal, more militaristic, and more concerned with administrative bureaucracy. She was claimed as a divine guardian by many political magistrates. Appearances of Aphrodite in Greek literature also vastly proliferated, usually showing Aphrodite in a characteristically Roman manner.


Mythology


Birth

Aphrodite is usually said to have been born near her chief center of worship, Paphos, on the island of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...
, which is why she is sometimes called "Cyprian", especially in the poetic works of Sappho. The Sanctuary of Aphrodite Paphia, marking her birthplace, was a place of pilgrimage in the ancient world for centuries. Other versions of her myth have her born near the island of Cythera, hence another of her names, "Cytherea". Cythera was a stopping place for trade and culture between Crete and the Peloponnese, Peloponesus, so these stories may preserve traces of the migration of Aphrodite's cult from the Levant, Middle East to mainland Greece. According to the version of her birth recounted by
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēro ...
in his ''
Theogony The ''Theogony'' (, , , i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polyt ...
'',
Cronus In Greek mythology, Cronus, Cronos, or Kronos ( or , , from el, Κρόνος, ''Krónos'') was the leader and youngest of the first generation of Titans, the divine descendants of the Greek primordial deities, primordial Gaia mythology, Gai ...
severed Uranus (mythology), Uranus' genitals and threw them behind him into the sea. The foam from his genitals gave rise to Aphrodite (hence her name, which Hesiod interprets as "foam-arisen"), while the Giants (Greek mythology), Giants, the Erinyes (furies), and the Meliae emerged from the drops of his blood. Hesiod states that the genitals "were carried over the sea a long time, and white foam arose from the immortal flesh; with it a girl grew." Hesiod's account of Aphrodite's birth following Uranus's castration is probably derived from ''The Song of Kumarbi'', an ancient Hittites, Hittite epic poem in which the god Kumarbi overthrows his father Anu, the god of the sky, and bites off his genitals, causing him to become pregnant and give birth to Anu's children, which include Ishtar and her brother Teshub, the Hittite storm god. In the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, ', ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Usually considered to have been written down cir ...

Iliad
'', Aphrodite is described as the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Dione's name appears to be a feminine cognate to ''Dios'' and ''Dion'', which are oblique forms of the name ''Zeus''. Zeus and Dione shared a cult at Dodona in northwestern Greece. In ''Theogony'', Hesiod describes Dione as an Oceanid.


Marriage

Aphrodite is consistently portrayed as a nubile, infinitely desirable adult, having had no childhood. She is often depicted nude. In the ''Iliad'', Aphrodite is the apparently unmarried consort of
Ares Ares (; grc, Ἄρης, ''Árēs'' ) is the Greek god of courage and war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid backg ...
, the god of war, and the wife of
Hephaestus Hephaestus (; eight spellings; grc-gre, Ἥφαιστος, Hḗphaistos) is the Greek god of blacksmith A blacksmith is a metalsmith who creates objects primarily from wrought iron or steel, but sometimes from #Other metals, other met ...
is a different goddess named Charis (name), Charis. Likewise, in Hesiod's ''Theogony'', Aphrodite is unmarried and the wife of Hephaestus is Aglaea, the youngest of the three Charites. In Book Eight of the ''
Odyssey The ''Odyssey'' (; grc, Ὀδύσσεια, Odýsseia, ) is one of two major Ancient Greek literature, ancient Greek Epic poetry, epic poems attributed to Homer. It is one of the oldest extant works of literature still widely read by modern ...
'', however, the blind singer Demodocus (Odyssey character), Demodocus describes Aphrodite as the wife of Hephaestus and tells how she committed adultery with Ares during the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
. The sun-god Helios saw Aphrodite and Ares having sex in Hephaestus's bed and warned Hephaestus, who fashioned a net of gold. The next time Ares and Aphrodite had sex together, the net trapped them both. Hephaestus brought all the gods into the bedchamber to laugh at the captured adulterers, but Apollo, Hermes, and Poseidon had sympathy for Ares and Poseidon agreed to pay Hephaestus for Ares's release. Humiliated, Aphrodite returned to Cyprus, where she was attended by the Charites. This narrative probably originated as a Greek fairy tale, folk tale, originally independent of the ''Odyssey''. Later stories were invented to explain Aphrodite's marriage to Hephaestus. In the most famous story, Zeus hastily married Aphrodite to Hephaestus in order to prevent the other gods from fighting over her. In another version of the myth, Hephaestus gave his mother
Hera Hera (; grc-gre, Ἥρᾱ, ''Hērā''; , ''Hērē'' in Ionic and Homeric Greek) is the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth in ancient Greek religion and mythology, one of the Twelve Olympians and the sister and wife of Zeus ...

Hera
a golden throne, but when she sat on it, she became trapped and he refused to let her go until she agreed to give him Aphrodite's hand in marriage. Hephaestus was overjoyed to be married to the goddess of beauty, and forged her beautiful jewelry, including a ''History of bras#Greece, strophion'' () known as the (), a saltire-shaped undergarment (usually translated as "girdle"), which accentuated her breasts and made her even more irresistible to men. Such ''strophia'' were commonly used in depictions of the Near Eastern goddesses Ishtar and Atargatis.


Attendants

Aphrodite is almost always accompanied by Eros, the god of lust and sexual desire. In his ''Theogony'', Hesiod describes Eros as one of the four original primeval forces born at the beginning of time, but, after the birth of Aphrodite from the sea foam, he is joined by Himeros and, together, they become Aphrodite's constant companions. In early Greek art, Eros and Himeros are both shown as idealized handsome youths with wings. The Greek Lyric poetry, lyric poets regarded the power of Eros and Himeros as dangerous, compulsive, and impossible for anyone to resist. In modern times, Eros is often seen as Aphrodite's son, but this is actually a comparatively late innovation. A ''Scholia, scholion'' on Theocritus's ''Idylls'' remarks that the sixth-century BC poet Sappho had described Eros as the son of Aphrodite and Uranus, but the first surviving reference to Eros as Aphrodite's son comes from Apollonius of Rhodes's ''Argonautica'', written in the third century BC, which makes him the son of Aphrodite and Ares. Later, the Romans, who saw Venus as a mother goddess, seized on this idea of Eros as Aphrodite's son and popularized it, making it the predominant portrayal in works on mythology until the present day. Aphrodite's main attendants were the three Charites, whom Hesiod identifies as the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome (Oceanid), Eurynome and names as Aglaea ("Splendor"), Euphrosyne ("Good Cheer"), and Thalia (Grace), Thalia ("Abundance"). The Charites had been worshipped as goddesses in Greece since the beginning of Greek history, long before Aphrodite was introduced to the pantheon. Aphrodite's other set of attendants was the three Horae (the "Hours"), whom Hesiod identifies as the daughters of Zeus and Themis and names as Eunomia (“Good Order”), Dike (mythology), Dike (“Justice”), and Eirene (goddess), Eirene (“Peace”). Aphrodite was also sometimes accompanied by Harmonia, her daughter by Ares, and Hebe (mythology), Hebe, the daughter of Zeus and Hera. The fertility god Priapus was usually considered to be Aphrodite's son by Dionysus, but he was sometimes also described as her son by Hermes, Adonis, or even Zeus. A ''scholia, scholion'' on Apollonius of Rhodes's ''Argonautica'' states that, while Aphrodite was pregnant with Priapus, Hera envied her and applied an evil potion to her belly while she was sleeping to ensure that the child would be hideous. In another version, Hera cursed Aphrodite's unborn son because he had been fathered by Zeus."Priapus." Suda On Line. Tr. Ross Scaife. 10 August 2014
Entry
When Aphrodite gave birth, she was horrified to see that the child had a Human penis size#Historical, massive, permanently erect penis, a abdominal obesity, potbelly, and a huge tongue. Aphrodite Child abandonment, abandoned the infant to die in the wilderness, but a herdsman found him and raised him, later discovering that Priapus could use his massive penis to aid in the growth of plants.


Anchises

The ''First Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite''
Hymn 5
, which was probably composed sometime in the mid-seventh century BC, describes how Zeus once became annoyed with Aphrodite for causing deities to fall in love with mortals, so he caused her to fall in love with
Anchises Anchises (; grc-gre, Ἀγχίσης, Ankhísēs) was a member of the royal family of Troy Troy ( grc, Τροία, ''Troía'', , ''Ī́lion'' or , ''Ī́lios''; la, Troia, also ;''Troia'' is the typical Latin name for the city. ''Īlium'' is ...
, a handsome mortal shepherd who lived in the foothills beneath Mount Ida (Turkey), Mount Ida near the city of Troy. Aphrodite appears to Anchises in the form of a tall, beautiful, mortal virgin while he is alone in his home. Anchises sees her dressed in bright clothing and gleaming jewelry, with her breasts shining with divine radiance. He asks her if she is Aphrodite and promises to build her an altar on top of the mountain if she will bless him and his family. Aphrodite lies and tells him that she is not a goddess, but the daughter of one of the noble families of Phrygia. She claims to be able to understand the Trojan language because she had a Trojan nurse as a child and says that she found herself on the mountainside after she was snatched up by Hermes while dancing in a celebration in honor of Artemis, the goddess of virginity. Aphrodite tells Anchises that she is still a virgin and begs him to take her to his parents. Anchises immediately becomes overcome with mad lust for Aphrodite and swears that he will have sex with her. Anchises takes Aphrodite, with her eyes cast downwards, to his bed, which is covered in the furs of lions and bears. He then strips her naked and makes love to her. After the lovemaking is complete, Aphrodite reveals her true divine form. Anchises is terrified, but Aphrodite consoles him and promises that she will bear him a son. She Prophecy, prophesies that their son will be the demigod Aeneas, who will be raised by the nymphs of the wilderness for five years before going to Troy to become a nobleman like his father. The story of Aeneas's conception is also mentioned in Hesiod's ''Theogony'' and in Book II of Homer's ''Iliad''.


Adonis

The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis is probably derived from the ancient
Sumer Sumer ()The name is from AkkadianAkkadian or Accadian may refer to: * The Akkadian language Akkadian ( ''akkadû'', ''ak-ka-du-u2''; logogram: ''URIKI'')John Huehnergard & Christopher Woods, "Akkadian and Eblaite", ''The Cambridge Encyclo ...

Sumer
ian legend of
Inanna Inanna is an ancient Mesopotamian goddess associated with love, beauty, sex, war, justice and political power. She was originally worshiped in Aratta and Sumer Sumer ()The name is from Akkadian '; Sumerian ''kig̃ir'', written and ...
and Dumuzid. The Ancient Greek, Greek name (''Adōnis'', ) is derived from the Canaanite languages, Canaanite word ''ʼadōn'', meaning "lord". The earliest known Greek reference to
Adonis Adonis, ; derived from the Canaanite languages, Canaanite word ''ʼadōn'', meaning "lord".Robert S. P. Beekes, R. S. P. Beekes, ''Etymological Dictionary of Greek'', Brill, 2009, p. 23. was the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite in Greek myt ...
comes from a fragment of a poem by the Lesbos, Lesbian poet Sappho (c. 630 – c. 570 BC), in which a chorus of young girls asks Aphrodite what they can do to mourn Adonis's death. Aphrodite replies that they must beat their breasts and tear their tunics. Later references flesh out the story with more details. According to the retelling of the story found in the poem ''Metamorphoses'' by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – 17/18 AD),
Adonis Adonis, ; derived from the Canaanite languages, Canaanite word ''ʼadōn'', meaning "lord".Robert S. P. Beekes, R. S. P. Beekes, ''Etymological Dictionary of Greek'', Brill, 2009, p. 23. was the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite in Greek myt ...
was the son of Myrrha, who was cursed by Aphrodite with insatiable lust for her own father, King Cinyras of
Cyprus Cyprus ; tr, Kıbrıs (), officially called the Republic of Cyprus,, , lit: Republic of Cyprus is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or politi ...
, after Myrrha's mother bragged that her daughter was more beautiful than the goddess. Driven out after becoming pregnant, Myrrha was changed into a myrrh tree, but still gave birth to Adonis. Aphrodite found the baby, and took him to the underworld to be fostered by Persephone. She returned for him once he was grown and discovered him to be strikingly handsome. Persephone wanted to keep Adonis, resulting in a custody battle between the two goddesses over whom should rightly possess Adonis. Zeus settled the dispute by decreeing that Adonis would spend one third of the year with Aphrodite, one third with Persephone, and one third with whomever he chose. Adonis chose to spend that time with Aphrodite. Then, one day, while Adonis was hunting, he was wounded by a wild boar and bled to death in Aphrodite's arms. In different versions of the story, the boar was either sent by Ares, who was jealous that Aphrodite was spending so much time with Adonis, or by Artemis, who wanted revenge against Aphrodite for having killed her devoted follower Hippolytus (son of Theseus), Hippolytus. The story also provides an etiology for Aphrodite's associations with certain flowers. Reportedly, as she mourned Adonis's death, she caused anemones to grow wherever his blood fell, and declared a festival on the anniversary of his death. In one version of the story, Aphrodite injured herself on a Thorns, spines, and prickles, thorn from a
rose A rose is a woody perennial plant, perennial flowering plant of the genus ''Rosa'', in the family Rosaceae, or the flower it bears. There are over three hundred Rose species, species and Garden roses, tens of thousands of cultivars. They form a ...

rose
bush and the rose, which had previously been white, was stained red by her blood. According to Lucian's ''On the Syrian Goddess'', each year during the festival of Adonis, the Adonis River in Lebanon (now known as the Abraham River) ran red with blood. The myth of Adonis is associated with the festival of the Adonia, which was celebrated by Greek women every year in midsummer. The festival, which was evidently already celebrated in Lesbos by Sappho's time, seems to have first become popular in Athens in the mid-fifth century BC. At the start of the festival, the women would plant a "garden of Adonis", a small garden planted inside a small basket or a shallow piece of broken pottery containing a variety of quick-growing plants, such as lettuce and fennel, or even quick-sprouting grains such as wheat and barley. The women would then climb ladders to the roofs of their houses, where they would place the gardens out under the heat of the summer sun. The plants would sprout in the sunlight, but wither quickly in the heat. Then the women would mourn and lament loudly over the death of Adonis, tearing their clothes and beating their breasts in a public display of grief.


Divine favoritism

In Hesiod's ''Works and Days'', Zeus orders Aphrodite to make Pandora, the first woman, physically beautiful and sexually attractive, so that she may become "an evil men will love to embrace". Aphrodite "spills grace" over Pandora's head and equips her with "painful desire and knee-weakening anguish", thus making her the perfect vessel for evil to enter the world. Aphrodite's attendants, Peitho, the Charites, and the Horae, adorn Pandora with gold and jewelry. According to one myth, Aphrodite aided Hippomenes, a noble youth who wished to marry Atalanta, a maiden who was renowned throughout the land for her beauty, but who refused to marry any man unless he could outrun her in a running, footrace. Atalanta was an exceedingly swift runner and she beheaded all of the men who lost to her. Aphrodite gave Hippomenes three golden apples from the Hesperides, Garden of the Hesperides and instructed him to toss them in front of Atalanta as he raced her. Hippomenes obeyed Aphrodite's order and Atalanta, seeing the beautiful, golden fruits, bent down to pick up each one, allowing Hippomenes to outrun her. In the version of the story from Ovid's ''Metamorphoses'', Hippomenes forgets to repay Aphrodite for her aid, so she causes the couple to become inflamed with lust while they are staying at the temple of Cybele. The couple Desecration, desecrate the temple by having sex in it, leading Cybele to turn them into lions as punishment. The myth of Pygmalion (mythology), Pygmalion is first mentioned by the third-century BC Greek writer Philostephanus, Philostephanus of Cyrene, but is first recounted in detail in Ovid's ''Metamorphoses''. According to Ovid, Pygmalion was an exceedingly handsome sculptor from the island of Cyprus, who was so sickened by the immorality of women that he refused to marry. He fell madly and passionately in love with the ivory cult statue he was carving of Aphrodite and longed to marry it. Because Pygmalion was extremely pious and devoted to Aphrodite, the goddess brought the statue to life. Pygmalion married the girl the statue became and they had a son named Paphos, after whom the Paphos, capital of Cyprus received its name. Pseudo-Apollodorus later mentions "Metharme, daughter of Pygmalion, king of Cyprus".


Anger myths

Aphrodite generously rewarded those who honored her, but also punished those who disrespected her, often quite brutally. A myth described in Apollonius of Rhodes's ''Argonautica'' and later summarized in the ''Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus), Bibliotheca'' of Pseudo-Apollodorus tells how, when the women of the island of Lemnos refused to sacrifice to Aphrodite, the goddess cursed them to stink horribly so that their husbands would never have sex with them. Instead, their husbands started having sex with their Thracians, Thracian Sexual slavery, slave-girls. In anger, the women of Lemnos murdered the entire male population of the island, as well as all the Thracian slaves. When Jason and his crew of Argonauts arrived on Lemnos, they mated with the sex-starved women under Aphrodite's approval and repopulated the island. From then on, the women of Lemnos never disrespected Aphrodite again. In Euripides's tragedy ''Hippolytus (play), Hippolytus'', which was first performed at the Dionysia, City Dionysia in 428 BC, Theseus's son Hippolytus (son of Theseus), Hippolytus worships only Artemis, the goddess of virginity, and refuses to engage in any form of sexual contact. Aphrodite is infuriated by his prideful behavior and, in the prologue to the play, she declares that, by honoring only Artemis and refusing to venerate her, Hippolytus has directly challenged her authority. Aphrodite therefore causes Hippolytus's stepmother, Phaedra (mythology), Phaedra, to fall in love with him, knowing Hippolytus will reject her. After being rejected, Phaedra commits suicide and leaves a suicide note to Theseus telling him that she killed herself because Hippolytus attempted to rape her. Theseus prays to Poseidon to kill Hippolytus for his transgression. Poseidon sends a wild bull to scare Hippolytus's horses as he is riding by the sea in his chariot, causing the horses to bolt and smash the chariot against the cliffs, dragging Hippolytus to a bloody death across the rocky shoreline. The play concludes with Artemis vowing to kill Aphrodite's own mortal beloved (presumably Adonis) in revenge. Glaucus (son of Sisyphus), Glaucus of Corinth angered Aphrodite by refusing to let his horses for chariot racing mate, since doing so would hinder their speed. During the chariot race at the funeral games of King Pelias, Aphrodite drove his horses mad and they tore him apart. Polyphonte was a young woman who chose a virginal life with Artemis instead of marriage and children, as favoured by Aphrodite. Aphrodite cursed her, causing her to have children by a bear. The resulting offspring, Agrius and Oreius, were wild cannibals who incurred the hatred of Zeus. Ultimately, he transformed all the members of the family into birds of ill omen. According to Pseudo-Apollodorus, a jealous Aphrodite cursed Eos, the goddess of dawn, to be perpetually in love and have insatiable sexual desire because Eos once had lain with Aphrodite's sweetheart Ares, the god of war. According to Ovid in his ''Metamorphoses'' (book 10.238 ff.), Propoetides who are the daughters of Propoetus from the city of Amathus on the island of Cyprus denied Aphrodite's divinity and failing to worship her properly. Therefore, Aphrodite turn them into the world's first prostitutes. According to Diodorous, Rhodian sea nymphe Halia's six sons by Poseidon arrogantly refused to let Aphrodite land upon their shore, the goddess cursed them with insanity. In their madness, they raped Halia. As punishment, Poseidon buried them in the island's sea-caverns.Diodorus Siculus, ''Bibliotheca historica'' 5.55.4–7 Bellerophon's descendant Xanthius had two children. Leucippus and an unnamed daughter. Through the wrath of Aphrodite (reasons unknown), Leucippus fell in love with his own sister. They started a secret relationship but the girl was already betrothed to another man and he went on to inform her father Xanthius, without telling him the name of the seducer. Xanthius went straight to his daughter's chamber, where she was together with Leucippus right at the moment. On hearing him enter, she tried to escape, but Xanthius hit her with a dagger, thinking that he was slaying the seducer, and killed her. Leucippus, failing to recognize his father at first, slew him. When the truth was revealed, he had to leave the country and took part in colonization of Crete and the lands in Asia Minor. Queen Cenchreis of Cyprus and wife of King Cinyras bragged her daughter Myrrha more beautiful than Aphrodite. Therefore, Myrrha was cursed by Aphrodite with insatiable lust for her own father, King Cinyras of Cyprus and he slept with her unknowingly in dark. she eventually transformed into the myrrh tree and gave birth to Adonis in this form.Ovid, ''Metamorphoses'
10.298–518
/ref> Cinyras has also three another daughters and their names Braesia, Laogora, Orsedice. These girls by reason of the wrath of Aphrodite (reasons unknown) cohabited with foreigners, and ended their life in Egypt. Mousa Clio derided the goddess' own love for Adonis. Therefore, Clio fell in love with Pierus, son of Magnes and bore Hyacinth. Aegialeia was a daughter of Adrastus and Amphithea and she was married to Diomedes. Because of anger of Aphrodite, whom Diomedes had wounded in the war against Troy, She had multiple lovers, including a certain Hippolytus. when Aegiale went so far as to threaten his life, he fled to Italy.Tzetzes on Lycophron 610. In one of the versions of the legend, Pasiphae did not make offerings to the goddess Venus [Aphrodite]. Because of this Venus [Aphrodite] inspired in her an unnatural love for a Cretan Bull, bull or she cursed her because she was Helios's daughter who revealed her adultery to Hephaestus. Lysippe, mother of Tanais by Berossos. Her son only venerated
Ares Ares (; grc, Ἄρης, ''Árēs'' ) is the Greek god of courage and war. He is one of the Twelve Olympians upright=1.8, Fragment of a relief Relief is a sculptural technique where the sculpted elements remain attached to a solid backg ...
and was fully devoted to war, neglecting love and marriage. Aphrodite cursed him with falling in love with his own mother. Preferring to die rather than give up his chastity, he threw himself into the river Amazonius, which was subsequently renamed Tanais River, Tanais. According to Pseudo-Hyginus At the behest of Zeus, Orpheus's mother the Muse Calliope judged the dispute between the goddesses Aphrodite and Persephone over Adonis and she decided that each should possess him half of the year. But Venus [Aphrodite], angry because she had not been granted what she thought was her right. Therefore, Venus [Aphrodite] inspired love the women in Thrace for Orpheus and they eventually tore him limb from limb because each to seek Orpheus for herself.


Judgment of Paris and Trojan War

The myth of the Judgement of Paris is mentioned briefly in the ''
Iliad The ''Iliad'' (; grc, Ἰλιάς, ', ; sometimes referred to as the ''Song of Ilion'' or ''Song of Ilium'') is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Usually considered to have been written down cir ...

Iliad
'', but is described in depth in an epitome of the ''Cypria'', a lost poem of the Epic Cycle, which records that all the gods and goddesses as well as various mortals were invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles). Only Eris (mythology), Eris, goddess of discord, was not invited. She was annoyed at this, so she arrived with a golden apple inscribed with the word καλλίστῃ (kallistēi, "for the fairest"), which she threw among the goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, and thus the rightful owner of the apple. The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeus, who, not wanting to favor one of the goddesses, put the choice into the hands of Paris (mythology), Paris, a Troy, Trojan prince. After bathing in the spring of Mount Ida where Troy was situated, the goddesses appeared before Paris for his decision. In the extant ancient depictions of the Judgement of Paris, Aphrodite is only occasionally represented nude, and Athena and Hera are always fully clothed. Since the Renaissance, however, Western paintings have typically portrayed all three goddesses as completely naked. All three goddesses were ideally beautiful and Paris could not decide between them, so they resorted to bribes. Hera tried to bribe Paris with power over all Asia and Europe, and Athena offered wisdom, fame and glory in battle, but Aphrodite promised Paris that, if he were to choose her as the fairest, she would let him marry the most beautiful woman on earth. This woman was Helen of Troy, Helen, who was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta#Prehistory, "dark age" and archaic period, Sparta. Paris selected Aphrodite and awarded her the apple. The other two goddesses were enraged and, as a direct result, sided with the Greeks in the
Trojan War In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Homer), Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris (mythology), Paris of Troy took Helen of Troy, Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the ...
. Aphrodite plays an important and active role throughout the entirety of Homer's ''Iliad''. In Book III, she rescues Paris from Menelaus after he foolishly challenges him to a one-on-one duel. She then appears to Helen in the form of an old woman and attempts to persuade her to have sex with Paris, reminding her of his physical beauty and athletic prowess. Helen immediately recognizes Aphrodite by her beautiful neck, perfect breasts, and flashing eyes and chides the goddess, addressing her as her equal. Aphrodite sharply rebukes Helen, reminding her that, if she vexes her, she will punish her just as much as she has favored her already. Helen demurely obeys Aphrodite's command. In Book V, Aphrodite charges into battle to rescue her son Aeneas from the Greek hero Diomedes. Diomedes recognizes Aphrodite as a "weakling" goddess and, thrusting his spear, nicks her wrist through her "ambrosial robe". Aphrodite borrows Ares's chariot to ride back to Mount Olympus. Zeus chides her for putting herself in danger, reminding her that "her specialty is love, not war." According to Walter Burkert, this scene directly parallels a scene from Tablet VI of the ''Epic of Gilgamesh'' in which Ishtar, Aphrodite's Akkadian precursor, cries to her mother Antu (goddess), Antu after the hero Gilgamesh rejects her sexual advances, but is mildly rebuked by her father Anu. In Book XIV of the ''Iliad'', during the ''Deception of Zeus, Dios Apate'' episode, Aphrodite lends her ''kestos himas'' to
Hera Hera (; grc-gre, Ἥρᾱ, ''Hērā''; , ''Hērē'' in Ionic and Homeric Greek) is the goddess of women, marriage, family and childbirth in ancient Greek religion and mythology, one of the Twelve Olympians and the sister and wife of Zeus ...

Hera
for the purpose of seducing Zeus and distracting him from the combat while Poseidon aids the Greek forces on the beach. In the ''Theomachy, Theomachia'' in Book XXI, Aphrodite again enters the battlefield to carry Ares away after he is wounded.


Offspring

Sometimes poets and dramatists recounted ancient traditions, which varied, and sometimes they invented new details; later scholiasts might draw on either or simply guess. Thus while Aeneas and Phobos (mythology), Phobos were regularly described as offspring of Aphrodite, others listed here such as Priapus and Eros were sometimes said to be children of Aphrodite but with varying fathers and sometimes given other mothers or none at all.


Iconography


Symbols

Aphrodite's most prominent avian symbol was the dove, which was originally an important symbol of her Near Eastern precursor Inanna-Ishtar. (In fact, the ancient Greek word for "dove", ''peristerá'', may be derived from a Semitic phrase ''peraḥ Ištar'', meaning "bird of Ishtar".) Aphrodite frequently appears with doves in Pottery of ancient Greece, ancient Greek pottery and the temple of Aphrodite Pandemos on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens, Athenian Acropolis was decorated with relief sculptures of doves with knotted Annulet (architecture), fillets in their beaks. Votive offerings of small, white, marble doves were also discovered in the temple of Aphrodite at Dafni, Attica, Daphni. In addition to her associations with doves, Aphrodite was also closely linked with sparrows and she is described riding in a chariot pulled by sparrows in Sappho's "Ode to Aphrodite". Because of her connections to the sea, Aphrodite was associated with a number of different types of Anatidae, water fowl, including swans, geese, and ducks. Aphrodite's other symbols included the sea, conch shells, and roses. The rose and Myrtus, myrtle flowers were both sacred to Aphrodite. Her most important fruit emblem was the apple, but she was also associated with pomegranates, possibly because the red seeds suggested sexuality or because Greek women sometimes used pomegranates as a method of birth control. In Greek art, Aphrodite is often also accompanied by dolphins and Nereids.


In classical art

A scene of Aphrodite rising from the sea appears on the back of the Ludovisi Throne ( 460 BC), which was probably originally part of a massive altar that was constructed as part of the Ionic temple to Aphrodite in the Greek polis of Locri, Locri Epizephyrii in Magna Graecia in southern Italy. The throne shows Aphrodite rising from the sea, clad in a diaphanous garment, which is drenched with seawater and clinging to her body, revealing her upturned breasts and the outline of her navel. Her hair hangs dripping as she reaches to two attendants standing barefoot on the rocky shore on either side of her, lifting her out of the water. Scenes with Aphrodite appear in works of classical Pottery of ancient Greece, Greek pottery, including a famous White ground technique, white-ground ''kylix'' by the Pistoxenos Painter dating the between 470 and 460 BC, showing her riding on a swan or goose. In BC, the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles carved the Marble sculpture, marble statue ''Aphrodite of Knidos'', which Pliny the Elder later praised as the greatest sculpture ever made. The statue showed a nude Aphrodite modestly covering her pubic region while resting against a water pot with her robe draped over it for support. The ''Aphrodite of Knidos'' was the first full-sized statue to depict Aphrodite completely naked and one of the first sculptures that was intended to be viewed from all sides. The statue was purchased by the people of Knidos in around 350 BC and proved to be tremendously influential on later depictions of Aphrodite. The original sculpture has been lost, but written descriptions of it as well several depictions of it on coins are still extant and over sixty copies, small-scale models, and fragments of it have been identified. The Greek painter Apelles of Kos, a contemporary of Praxiteles, produced the panel painting ''Venus Anadyomene, Aphrodite Anadyomene'' (''Aphrodite Rising from the Sea''). According to Athenaeus, Apelles was inspired to paint the painting after watching the courtesan Phryne take off her clothes, untie her hair, and bathe naked in the sea at Eleusis. The painting was displayed in the Asclepeion on the island of Kos. The ''Aphrodite Anadyomene'' went unnoticed for centuries, but Pliny the Elder records that, in his own time, it was regarded as Apelles's most famous work. During the Hellenistic and Roman periods, statues depicting Aphrodite proliferated; many of these statues were modeled at least to some extent on Praxiteles's ''Aphrodite of Knidos''. Some statues show Crouching Venus, Aphrodite crouching naked; others show her wringing water out of her hair as she rises from the sea. Another common type of statue is known as ''Venus Callipyge, Aphrodite Kallipygos'', the name of which is Greek for "Aphrodite of the Beautiful Buttocks"; this type of sculpture shows Aphrodite lifting her ''peplos'' to display her buttocks to the viewer while looking back at them from over her shoulder. The ancient Romans produced massive numbers of copies of Greek sculptures of Aphrodite and more sculptures of Aphrodite have survived from antiquity than of any other deity. File:Ludovisi throne Altemps Inv8570.jpg, The Ludovisi Throne (possibly BC) is believed to be a classical Greek bas-relief, although it has also been alleged to be a 19th-century forgery. File:Aphrodite swan BM D2.jpg, Attic white-ground red-figured ''Kylix (drinking cup), kylix'' of Aphrodite riding a swan ( 46-470) found at Kameiros (Rhodes) File:Kantharos64.10.jpg, Aphrodite and Himeros, detail from a silver ''kantharos'' ( 420-410 BC), part of the Vassil Bojkov Collection, Vassil Bojkov collection, Sofia, Bulgaria File:Phaon MAR Palermo NI2187.jpg, Red-figure vase painting of Aphrodite and Phaon ( 420-400 BC) File:Getty Villa - Collection (5304590607).jpg, Apuleian vase painting of Zeus plotting with Aphrodite to seduce Leda (mythology), Leda while Eros sits on her arm ( 330 BC) File:Unknown - Statuette of Aphrodite Leaning on a Pillar - 55.AD.7.jpg, ''Aphrodite Leaning Against a Pillar'' (third century BC) File:Venus kallipygos03.jpg, ''Venus Callipyge, Aphrodite Kallipygos'' ("Aphrodite of the Beautiful Buttocks") File:Greek Marble Statue of Aphrodite Anadyomene (Hair-Binding).jpg, ''Aphrodite Binding Her Hair'' (second century BC) File:Aphrodite Heyl (2).jpg, ''Aphrodite Heyl'' (second century BC) File:Group of Aphrodite, Pan and Eros. About 100 BC (3470784387).jpg, Greek sculpture group of Aphrodite, Eros, and Pan (god), Pan ( 100 BC) File:Venere di Milo 02.JPG, ''Aphrodite of Milos'' ( 100 BC), Louvre File:Venus pudica Massimo.jpg, ''Aphrodite of Menophantos'' (first century BC) File:Cnidus Aphrodite Altemps Inv8619.jpg, The Ludovisi ''Aphrodite of Knidos'' File:Lely Venus BM 1963.jpg, The ''Lely Venus'' ( second century AD)


Post-classical culture


Middle Ages

Early Christianity, Early Christians frequently adapted pagan iconography to suit Christian purposes. In the Early Middle Ages, Christians adapted elements of Aphrodite/Venus's iconography and applied them to Eve and prostitutes, but also female saints and even the Mary, mother of Jesus, Virgin Mary. Eastern Christianity, Christians in the east reinterpreted the story of Aphrodite's birth as a metaphor for baptism; in a Coptic stele from the sixth century AD, a female orans, orant is shown wearing Aphrodite's conch shell as a sign that she is newly baptized. Throughout the Middle Ages, villages and communities across Europe still maintained folk tales and traditions about Aphrodite/Venus and travelers reported a wide variety of stories. Numerous Roman mosaics of Venus survived in Britain, preserving memory of the pagan past. In North Africa in the late fifth century AD, Fulgentius of Ruspe encountered mosaics of Aphrodite and reinterpreted her as a symbol of the sin of Lust, arguing that she was shown naked because "the sin of lust is never cloaked" and that she was often shown "swimming" because "all lust suffers shipwreck of its affairs." He also argued that she was associated with doves and conchs because these are symbols of copulation, and that she was associated with roses because "as the rose gives pleasure, but is swept away by the swift movement of the seasons, so lust is pleasant for a moment, but is swept away forever." While Fulgentius had appropriated Aphrodite as a symbol of Lust, Isidore of Seville ( 560–636) interpreted her as a symbol of marital procreative sex and declared that the moral of the story of Aphrodite's birth is that sex can only be holy in the presence of semen, blood, and heat, which he regarded as all being necessary for procreation. Meanwhile, Isidore denigrated Aphrodite/Venus's son Eros/Cupid as a "demon of fornication" (''daemon fornicationis''). Aphrodite/Venus was best known to Western European scholars through her appearances in Virgil's ''Aeneid'' and Ovid's ''Metamorphoses''. Venus is mentioned in the Latin poem ''Pervigilium Veneris'' ("The Eve of Saint Venus"), written in the third or fourth century AD, and in Giovanni Boccaccio's ''Genealogia Deorum Gentilium''. Since the Late Middle Ages. the myth of the ''Venusberg (mythology), Venusberg'' (German; French ''Mont de Vénus'', "Mountain of Venus") – a subterranean realm ruled by Venus, hidden underneath Christian Europe – became a motif of European folklore rendered in various legends and epics. In German folklore of the 16th century, the narrative becomes associated with the minnesinger Tannhäuser, and in that form the myth was taken up in later literature and opera.


Art

Aphrodite is the central figure in Sandro Botticelli's painting ''Primavera (painting), Primavera'', which has been described as "one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world", and "one of the most popular paintings in Western art". The story of Aphrodite's birth from the foam was a popular subject matter for painters during the Italian Renaissance, who were attempting to consciously reconstruct Apelles of Kos's lost masterpiece ''Aphrodite Anadyomene'' based on the literary ''ekphrasis'' of it preserved by Cicero and Pliny the Elder. Artists also drew inspiration from Ovid's description of the birth of Venus in his ''Metamorphoses''. Sandro Botticelli's ''The Birth of Venus'' ( 1485) was also partially inspired by a description by Poliziano of a relief on the subject. Later Italian renditions of the same scene include Titian's ''Venus Anadyomene (Titian), Venus Anadyomene'' ( 1525) and Raphael's painting in the ''Stufetta del cardinal Bibbiena'' (1516). Titian's biographer Giorgio Vasari identified all of Titian's paintings of naked women as paintings of "Venus", including an erotic painting from 1534, which he called the ''Venus of Urbino'', even though the painting does not contain any of Aphrodite/Venus's traditional iconography and the woman in it is clearly shown in a contemporary setting, not a classical one. Botticelli-primavera.jpg, ''Primavera (painting), Primavera'' (late 1470s or early 1480s) by Sandro Botticelli TITIAN - Venus Anadyomene (National Galleries of Scotland, c. 1520. Oil on canvas, 75.8 x 57.6 cm).jpg, ''Venus Anadyomene (Titian), Venus Anadyomene'' ( 1525) by Titian File:Tiziano - Venere di Urbino - Google Art Project.jpg, ''Venus of Urbino'' ( 1534) by Titian File:Angelo Bronzino - Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time - National Gallery, London.jpg, ''Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time'' ( 1545) by Bronzino File:Venus and Adonis by Titian.jpg, ''Venus and Adonis (Titian), Venus and Adonis'' (1554) by Titian File:Titian - Venus with a Mirror - Google Art Project.jpg, ''Venus with a Mirror'' ( 1555) by Titian File:Venus, Adonis y Cupido (Carracci).jpg, ''Venus, Adonis and Cupid'' ( 1595) by Annibale Carracci File:Peter Paul Rubens - The toilet of Venus.jpg, ''The Toilet of Venus'' ( 1612–1615) by Peter Paul Rubens File:Peter_Paul_Rubens,_The_Death_of_Adonis,_ca._1614._The_Israel_Museum,_Jerusalem.jpg, ''The Death of Adonis (Rubens), The Death of Adonis'' ( 1614) by Peter Paul Rubens File:RokebyVenus.jpg, ''Rokeby Venus'' ( 1647–51) by Diego Velázquez File:Cornelis Holsteyn - Venus de dood van Adonis bewenend 1638-58.jpg, ''Venus and Cupid Lamenting the Dead Adonis'' (1656) by Cornelis Holsteyn Jacques-Louis David's final work was his 1824 ''magnum opus'', ''Mars Being Disarmed by Venus'', which combines elements of classical, Renaissance, traditional French art, and contemporary artistic styles. While he was working on the painting, David described it, saying, "This is the last picture I want to paint, but I want to surpass myself in it. I will put the date of my seventy-five years on it and afterwards I will never again pick up my brush." The painting was exhibited first in Brussels and then in Paris, where over 10,000 people came to see it. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres's painting ''Venus Anadyomene (Ingres), Venus Anadyomene'' was one of his major works. Louis Geofroy described it as a "dream of youth realized with the power of maturity, a happiness that few obtain, artists or others." Théophile Gautier declared: "Nothing remains of the marvelous painting of the Greeks, but surely if anything could give the idea of antique painting as it was conceived following the statues of Phidias and the poems of Homer, it is M. Ingres's painting: the ''Venus Anadyomene'' of Apelles has been found." Other critics dismissed it as a piece of unimaginative, sentimental kitsch, but Ingres himself considered it to be among his greatest works and used the same figure as the model for his later 1856 painting ''The Source (Ingres), La Source''. Paintings of Venus were favorites of the late nineteenth-century Academic artists in France. In 1863, Alexandre Cabanel won widespread critical acclaim at the Salon (Paris), Paris Salon for his painting ''The Birth of Venus (Cabanel), The Birth of Venus'', which the French emperor Napoleon III immediately purchased for his own personal art collection. Édouard Manet's 1865 painting ''Olympia (Manet), Olympia'' parody, parodied the nude Venuses of the Academic painters, particularly Cabanel's ''Birth of Venus''. In 1867, the English Academic painter Frederic Leighton displayed his ''Venus Disrobing for the Bath'' at the Academy. The art critic J. B. Atkinson praised it, declaring that "Mr Leighton, instead of adopting corrupt Roman notions regarding Venus such as Rubens embodied, has wisely reverted to the Greek idea of Aphrodite, a goddess worshipped, and by artists painted, as the perfection of female grace and beauty." A year later, the English painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a founding member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, painted ''Venus Verticordia'' (Latin for "Aphrodite, the Changer of Hearts"), showing Aphrodite as a nude Red hair, red-headed woman in a garden of roses. Though he was reproached for his ''outré'' subject matter, Rossetti refused to alter the painting and it was soon purchased by J. Mitchell of Bradford. In 1879, William Adolphe Bouguereau exhibited at the Paris Salon his own ''The Birth of Venus (Bouguereau), Birth of Venus'', which imitated the classical tradition of ''contrapposto'' and was met with widespread critical acclaim, rivalling the popularity of Cabanel's version from nearly two decades prior. File:Venus and Adonis. Francois Lemoyne.jpg, ''Venus and Adonis'' (1729) by François Lemoyne File:Jacques-Louis David - Mars desarme par Venus.JPG, ''Mars Being Disarmed by Venus'' (1824) by Jacques-Louis David File:Guillemot, Alexandre Charles - Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan - Google Art Project.jpg, ''Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan'' (1827) by Alexandre Charles Guillemot File:1848 Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres - Venus Anadyomène.jpg, ''Venus Anadyomene (Ingres), Venus Anadyomene'' (1848) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres File:Frederic Leighton - Venus Disrobing for the Bath.jpg, ''Venus Disrobing for the Bath'' (1867) by Frederic Leighton File:Dante Gabriel Rossetti - Venus Verticordia.jpg, ''Venus Verticordia'' (1868) by Dante Gabriel Rossetti File:The Birth of Venus by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1879).jpg, ''The Birth of Venus (Bouguereau), The Birth of Venus'' ( 1879) by William-Adolphe Bouguereau


Literature

William Shakespeare's erotic Narrative poetry, narrative poem ''Venus and Adonis (Shakespeare poem), Venus and Adonis'' (1593), a retelling of the courtship of Aphrodite and Adonis from Ovid's ''Metamorphoses'', was the most popular of all his works published within his own lifetime. Six editions of it were published before Shakespeare's death (more than any of his other works) and it enjoyed particularly strong popularity among young adults. In 1605, Richard Barnfield lauded it, declaring that the poem had placed Shakespeare's name "in fames immortall Booke". Despite this, the poem has received mixed reception from modern critics; Samuel Taylor Coleridge defended it, but Samuel Butler (poet), Samuel Butler complained that it bored him and C. S. Lewis described an attempted reading of it as "suffocating". Aphrodite appears in Richard Garnett (writer), Richard Garnett's short story collection ''The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales'' (1888), in which the gods' temples have been destroyed by Christians. Stories revolving around sculptures of Aphrodite were common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Examples of such works of literature include the novel ''The Tinted Venus: A Farcical Romance'' (1885) by Thomas Anstey Guthrie and the short story ''La Vénus d'Ille, The Venus of Ille'' (1887) by Prosper Mérimée, both of which are about statues of Aphrodite that come to life. Another noteworthy example is ''Aphrodite in Aulis'' by the Anglo-Irish writer George Moore (novelist), George Moore, which revolves around an ancient Greek family who moves to Aulis (ancient Greece), Aulis. The French writer Pierre Louÿs titled his erotic historical novel ''Aphrodite: mœurs antiques'' (1896) after the Greek goddess. The novel enjoyed widespread commercial success, but scandalized French audiences due to its sensuality and its decadent portrayal of Greek society. In the early twentieth century, stories of Aphrodite were used by Feminism, feminist poets, such as Amy Lowell and Alicia Ostriker. Many of these poems dealt with Aphrodite's legendary birth from the foam of the sea. Other feminist writers, including Claude Cahun, Thit Jensen, and Anaïs Nin also made use of the myth of Aphrodite in their writings. Ever since the publication of Isabel Allende's book ''Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses'' in 1998, the name "Aphrodite" has been used as a title for dozens of books dealing with all topics even superficially connected to her domain. Frequently these books do not even mention Aphrodite, or mention her only briefly, but make use of her name as a selling point.


Modern worship

In 1938, Gleb Botkin, a Russian immigrant to the United States, founded the Church of Aphrodite, a Modern Paganism, neopagan religion centered around the worship of a mother goddess, whom its practitioners identified as Aphrodite. The Church of Aphrodite's theology was laid out in the book ''In Search of Reality'', published in 1969, two years before Botkin's death. The book portrayed Aphrodite in a drastically different light than the one in which the Greeks envisioned her, instead casting her as "the sole Goddess of a somewhat Neoplatonic Pagan monotheism". It claimed that the worship of Aphrodite had been brought to Greece by the Mysticism, mystic teacher Orpheus, but that the Greeks had misunderstood Orpheus's teachings and had not realized the importance of worshipping Aphrodite alone. Aphrodite is a major deity in
Wicca Wicca (), also termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a modern Pagan religion. Scholars of religion categorise it as both a new religious movement and as part of the occultist stream of Western esotericism. It was developed in England England is ...
, a contemporary nature-based syncretism, syncretic Neopagan religion. Wiccans regard Aphrodite as one aspect of the Wiccan views of divinity, Goddess and she is frequently invoked by name during Spell (paranormal), enchantments dealing with love and romance. Wiccans regard Aphrodite as the ruler of human emotions, erotic spirituality, creativity, and art. As one of the twelve Olympians, Aphrodite is a major deity within
Hellenismos Hellenism (Ἑλληνισμός) represents the totality of Hellenic culture, it is understood as a "body of humanistic and classical ideals associated with ancient Greece" as well as to identify "the language, culture, and values of the Hell ...
(Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism), a Neopagan religion which seeks to authentically revive and recreate the religion of ancient Greece in the modern world. Unlike Wiccans, Hellenists are usually strictly polytheistic or pantheistic. Hellenists venerate Aphrodite primarily as the goddess of romantic love, but also as a goddess of sexuality, the sea, and war. Her many epithets include "Sea Born", "Killer of Men", "She upon the Graves", "Fair Sailing", and "Ally in War".


Genealogy


See also

*
Anchises Anchises (; grc-gre, Ἀγχίσης, Ankhísēs) was a member of the royal family of Troy Troy ( grc, Τροία, ''Troía'', , ''Ī́lion'' or , ''Ī́lios''; la, Troia, also ;''Troia'' is the typical Latin name for the city. ''Īlium'' is ...
* Cupid * Lakshmi, rose from the ocean like Aphrodite and has 8-pointed star like Ishtar


Notes


References


Bibliography

*
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was the presumed author of the ''Iliad'' and the ''Odyssey'', two epic poems that are the foundational works of ancient Greek literature. The ''Iliad'' is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year s ...

Homer
, ''The Iliad with an English Translation by A.T. Murray, PhD in two volumes''. Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann, Ltd. 1924
Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
*
Hesiod Hesiod (; grc-gre, Ἡσίοδος ''Hēsíodos'', 'he who emits the voice') was an ancient Greek poet generally thought to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēro ...
, ''
Theogony The ''Theogony'' (, , , i.e. "the genealogy or birth of the gods A deity or god is a supernatural being considered divinity, divine or sacred. The ''Oxford Dictionary of English'' defines deity as "a God (male deity), god or goddess (in a polyt ...
'', in ''The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White'', Cambridge, MA., Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914
Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
* Evelyn-White, Hugh, ''The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White''. Homeric Hymns. Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1914. * Pindar, ''Odes'', Diane Arnson Svarlien. 1990
Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
* Euripides, ''The Complete Greek Drama', edited by Whitney J. Oates and Eugene O'Neill, Jr. in two volumes. 2''. ''The Phoenissae'', translated by E. P. Coleridge. New York. Random House. 1938. * Apollonius of Rhodes, Apollonius Rhodius, ''Argonautica'' translated by Robert Cooper Seaton (1853–1915), R. C. Loeb Classical Library Volume 001. London, William Heinemann Ltd, 1912
Online version at the Topos Text Project.
* Bibliotheca (Pseudo-Apollodorus), Apollodorus, ''Apollodorus, The Library, with an English Translation by Sir James George Frazer, F.B.A., F.R.S. in 2 Volumes.'' Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1921
Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
*
PausaniasPausanias (; Greek language, Greek: Παυσανίας) is the name of several people: *Pausanias of Athens, lover of the poet Agathon and a character in Plato's ''Symposium'' *Pausanias (general), Spartan general and regent of the 5th century BC *Pa ...
, ''Pausanias Description of Greece with an English Translation by W.H.S. Jones, Litt.D., and H.A. Ormerod, M.A., in 4 Volumes.'' Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1918
Online version at the Perseus Digital Library
* Diodorus Siculus, ''Bibliotheca Historica. Vol 1-2''. Immanel Bekker. Ludwig Dindorf. Friedrich Vogel. in aedibus B. G. Teubneri. Leipzig. 1888-1890
Greek text available at the Perseus Digital Library
* Ovid, ''Metamorphoses. Translated by A. D. Melville; introduction and notes by E. J. Kenney.'' Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2008. . * Gaius Julius Hyginus, Hyginus, Gaius Julius
''The Myths of Hyginus''
Edited and translated by Mary A. Grant, Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 1960. * Gaius Julius Hyginus, ''Astronomica from The Myths of Hyginus'' translated and edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies
Online version at the Topos Text Project.
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External links


APHRODITE from The Theoi Project
information from classical literature, Greek and Roman art



{{Authority control Aphrodite, Beauty goddesses Consorts of Hephaestus Deities in the Iliad Fertility goddesses Greek love and lust deities Love and lust goddesses Divine women of Zeus Homosexuality and bisexuality deities New religious movement deities Children of Zeus Prostitution Sexuality in ancient Greece Women of Ares Women of Hermes Women in Greek mythology Characters in Greek mythology Venusian deities