Aphrodite was the beautiful goddess of love, desire and beauty. Believe it or not, in some religions she was the goddess of fertility good fortune and victory. She was said to be the only Olympian with no parents. Aphrodite grew up on Mount Olympus with her family. Zeus gave her hand in marriage to Hephaestus, the god of forge, because he feared she would be the cause of conflict between the gods. Aphrodite agreed to marry him but everyday she would find out something new about him and she began to hate him. He was very lame, conceited and even ugly so Aphrodite decided that she could only satisfy herself by having secret love affairs, such as the one with Ares, the god of war.
Aphrodite had a son who took after her and became the god of love. His name was Eros, and what a mischievous little boy he was! He had a nice set of arrows and a magical bow, and whoever was hit by an arrow fell madly in love with the first person in sight. He took advantage of his power and caused much trouble between the people.
A picture of Aphrodite and Eros by Picasso, the famous artist.
Many women worshipped Aphrodite because they believed that one day she might bring them a wonderful partner to share love with and maybe even beauty. Since many people worshipped her, many temples were built to honor Aphrodite. The most famous one is the temple of Venus in Rome.
There are many stories about all the gods in general; however most people know how each god was born. In Aphrodite’s case, it is more of an unsolved mystery. There are two sides of this story; some people say she was born and others say she was created.
According to Homer, a great poet from Greece, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. However, many other people believe that Aphrodite sprang out from the foam left in the sea after Zeus killed Cronos and threw his genitals in the sea. She was full-grown, and was standing in a shell. She eventually washed up on the coast of Cyprus where the three graces were waiting for her. They dressed her up in a beautiful dress with precious sparkling jewelry and took her up to Mount Olympus where all the gods greeted her. The word “aphro” means foam in the Greek language, which is probably the reason that so many people believe she was created in a scallop in the sea and rose from the foam of the sea.
Once a year, Aphrodite would go and visit the same sea she was born in and she would dive into it. When she came out she was as beautiful as the first day she was born.
-Aphrodite’s Love Affairs:
As you already know, Aphrodite was beautiful and irresistible in every way. Since she was extremely unsatisfied with her husband, she had many secret love affairs and her looks helped her get any man at any time. Her most famous affair has the one with Ares, the god of war. Everybody hated him because he was murderous, aggressive and a coward. However, Aphrodite admired him for his great looks. This was the affair of Aphrodite and Ares.
Aphrodite had another love affair with a man named Adonis. Aphrodite was using one of her son’s arrows, and as we know with one prick these arrows make you fall in love with the first person you see. So, Aphrodite accidentally pricked herself with the arrow and before the effect wore off she spotted Adonis and fell madly in love with him. Adonis was a hunter who liked hunting strong animals. Aphrodite always accompanied him when he hunted. One day, something came up and she could not go. She warned him about the particularly strong boars, but he believed that no animal was too strong for him. He deliberately chased a tough boar and when it charged him, he panicked and… When Aphrodite heard the news she was heartbroken.
-The Symbol of Aphrodite:
Like all other gods, Aphrodite had her special symbol. As a result of Aphrodite’s stunning looks, her symbols were the swan and the dove. Some people say her third bird was the sparrow. Also, Aphrodite’s tree was a myrtle.
-The Roman Name:
The Roman goddess of love was Venus.
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