Aphrodite - The Goddess of Love
Gods & Goddesses

Aphrodite – The Goddess of Love

Now that I have told you about Hestia – Goddess of the Hearth it is time to take a look at Aphrodite – The Goddess of Love

Aphrodite, the goddess of love and lovemaking, is the daughter of the ancient god Kronos. You have probably already read the story of her creation when Zeus castrates Kronos and casts his manhood into the sea. In Greek, “aphros” means”foam.” The wind god Zefyr blows her on a seashell to Cyprus. Aphrodite is very seductive, and neither gods nor mortals can resist her.

Relationships

Her first marriage is to the blacksmith’s god, the crippled Hephaestus, but she has an affair with the God of War Ares. When Hephaestus is away from home, Ares comes to visit. However, Helios, the sun god who sees everything tells Hephaestus, who is furious and forges a net that cannot be broken. He hurries into his and aphrodite’s bedroom, stretching out the elaborate net around the bedsteads. The web of the net is as delicate as a spider web and almost invisible. Then he pretends to be away traveling, and Ares hurries to Aphrodite’s bed lit by desire. Soon after the unfaithful couple is lying in bed and they get caught in the act. Hephaestus calls the other gods who have long been amused by the unfortunate couple. After some time, Hephaestus goes to release them, and Ares hurries to Thrace while Aphrodite goes to Paphos in Cyprus. Here she restores her virginity by bathing in the holy sea. Hephaestus requires divorce, and Aphrodite later becomes informally married to Ares, with whom she has the sons Phobos and Deimos (Fear and Horror) and the daughter Harmonia. The first two often appear on the battlefield, where they spread disorder among the soldiers.

The Beauty Contest

When the hero Peleus was to marry the nymph Thetis, they forgot to invite Eris, the goddess of discord (divide). To ruin the party, Eris throws a golden apple in the crowd of the party; The apple carries the inscription “For the most beautiful.” As expected, all goddesses are immediately in a wild discussion of who this is. Zeus asks Hermes to lead the three finalists, Aphrodite, Hera and Athena to the mountain of Ida, where the young Trojan prince Paris is a shepherd. The goddesses visit him one at a time in the meadows, where he herds his sheep and tries to bribe him. Hera, the Queen of Mount Olympus, promises that he will rule the world if he chooses her. Athena, the goddess of war, promises to make him victorious in battle. However, Aphrodite promises him the most beautiful woman in the world. It is Helene of Troy, who – as it turns out – is unfortunately married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Prince Paris lets Aphrodite win the contest, and she in return helps him run away with the beautiful Helene, which triggers the 10-year war between Greece and Troy. During the war, Aphrodite helps the Trojans as much as she can, and on one occasion, she saves the life of Prince Paris. She is involved so much that at some point Diomedes hurts her. For example, when Hera wants to keep Zeus out of the fight, Aphrodite lends her magic belt to Hera, so that she can keep Zeus in the marriage bed for several days.

Worship

Her most essential places of worships were Paphos in Cyprus, Kythera, and Corinth, where the cult was associated with sacred prostitution (prostitution practiced in connection with and sanctioned by a shrine).

Depiction

In ancient times, Aphrodite is depicted in statues and reliefs, on mirrors and mirror handles and vases. She is often seen in scenes where, for example, she is grooming herself, or she rides on animals like swans or bulls. She is often depicted with the love god Eros, in erotic adventures with Ares or in scenes from the legend of Prince Paris.

Thank you for reading this blog post. This a blog post in a series regarding greek mythology. If I have piqued your interest, and you want to read the next blog posts I do on the topic or on other subjects I write about; please remember to subscribe in the box on the right sidebar.

Next time I will tell the tale of Hephaestus – god of blacksmiths and fire

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Sincerely, Elena

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