Their sons, Phobus Panic and Deimus Fear , became Ares' constant companions, driving his chariot on the battlefield. Their daughter Harmonia Harmony fell in love with the mortal Cadmus, who served her father for eight years to atone for killing a dragon sacred to Ares. After a wedding attended by all the Olympians, Cadmus became the founding king of Thebes, in central Greece.
When Helius told Hephaestus what he had seen, the smith god forged an unbreakable bronze net and secretly attached it to the posts and sides of his bed. Then he bid Aphrodite adieu, saying he was going to relax on Lemnos for a while. As soon as he had gone, Aphrodite sent for Ares. Hi, honey, I'm home! The cuckolded god quickly gathered all the other gods at his bedside to witness the shame of the naked, helpless couple and to heap ridicule upon them.
Hephaestus then demanded the return of the marriage gifts he had given to Zeus.
APHRODITE LOVES 1
But the ruler of the gods refused, calling the adultery a marital dispute and ridiculing Hephaestus as a fool for making it a public spectacle. Hermes and Apollo snickered that they would gladly make such a public spectacle if it meant lying with Aphrodite. With his first glance at the naked goddess, Poseidon fell in love. So the sea god suggested that Ares should pay for the marriage gifts. Poseidon gladly offered to serve as guarantor: If Ares defaulted on the payment, Poseidon would pay the price and take Aphrodite as his wife. Ares did ultimately default on the debt, but Hephaestus—still smitten with his wife—did not really want a divorce at all, so he never brought it up again.
Our word hermaphrodite —meaning a person born with both male and female reproductive organs—is derived from the offspring of Hermes and Aphrodite. Poseidon, however, was not the only god to envy Ares' position. Hermes too fell in love with naked Aphrodite. When Aphrodite spurned his advances, Hermes sought the help of Zeus. The king of gods dispatched an eagle to steal one of Aphrodite's sandals. To retrieve it, the goddess was forced to submit to Hermes. This union produced a double-sexed child: Hermaphroditus. Aphrodite also slept with the youngest of gods, Dionysus. But Hera, who disapproved of Aphrodite's free ways, deformed their child Priapus.
She made the boy incredibly ugly and endowed him with gargantuan genitals—an ironic comment on his mother's behavior. Like Hera, Aphrodite was vain regarding her own beauty. So when Cinyras, the king of Cyprus, boasted that his daughter Smyrna was more beautiful than Aphrodite, this braggadocio could not go unpunished. The goddess made Smyrna fall in love with her own father. One night, she climbed into his bed, where Cinyras—oblivious with drink—impregnated her. When Cinyras discovered what he had done, he chased his daughter out of the palace at swordpoint.
Aphrodite transformed Smyrna into a myrrh tree just as Cinyras overtook her and split her in half. The infant Adonis emerged from the cleft. Repentant Aphrodite loved the infant, whom she hid in a chest and gave to Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, for safekeeping. Not unlike Pandora, Persephone grew curious about the contents of the chest. When she peeked inside and saw the stunningly beautiful baby, Persephone, too, became enamored. She reared Adonis in the palace of Hades. When Aphrodite finally showed up to claim the child, Persephone, infatuated with the boy, refused to give him up.
Aphrodite has been featured in western art as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of western literature. She is a major deity in modern Neopagan religions , including the Church of Aphrodite , Wicca , and Hellenismos. A number of improbable non-Greek etymologies have also been suggested. The alteration from b to ph is explained as a "familiar" characteristic of Greek "obvious from the Macedonians ". The cult of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia ,     which, in turn, was influenced by the cult of the Mesopotamian goddess known as "Ishtar" to the East Semitic peoples and as " Inanna " to the Sumerians.
The Phoenicians, in turn, taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Aphrodite took on Inanna-Ishtar's associations with sexuality and procreation.
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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 , who argued that Near Eastern influence on Greek culture was largely confined to material culture,  admitted that Aphrodite was clearly of Phoenician origin. Aphrodite's most common cultic epithet was Ourania , meaning "heavenly",   but this epithet almost never occurs in literary texts, indicating a purely cultic significance.
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 male homosexual desire , specifically the ephebic 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 heterosexual desire and sexual promiscuity, the "lesser" of the two loves.
Among the 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 , known only from a parenthetical comment by the geographer Pausanias.
On Cyprus, Aphrodite was sometimes called Eleemon "the merciful". A male version of Aphrodite known as Aphroditus was worshipped in the city of Amathus on Cyprus. Aphrodite's main festival, the Aphrodisia , was celebrated across Greece, but particularly in Athens and Corinth. In Athens, the Aphrodisia was celebrated on the fourth day of the month of Hekatombaion in honor of Aphrodite's role in the unification of Attica.
Pausanias records that, in Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as Aphrodite Areia , which means "warlike". Aphrodite was the patron goddess of prostitutes of all varieties,   ranging from pornai cheap street prostitutes typically owned as slaves by wealthy pimps to hetairai expensive, well-educated hired companions, who were usually self-employed and sometimes provided sex to their customers.
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. The ancient Romans identified Aphrodite with their goddess Venus ,  who was originally a goddess of agricultural fertility, vegetation, and springtime.
This syncretism greatly impacted Greek worship of Aphrodite. Aphrodite is usually said to have been born near her chief center of worship, Paphos , on the island of Cyprus , 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.
According to the version of her birth recounted by Hesiod in his Theogony ,   Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them behind him into the sea. In the Iliad ,  Aphrodite is described as the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Aphrodite is consistently portrayed as a nubile, infinitely desirable adult, having had no childhood. In Book Eight of the Odyssey ,  however, the blind singer Demodocus describes Aphrodite as the wife of Hephaestus and tells how she committed adultery with Ares during the Trojan War.
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. Aphrodite is almost always accompanied by Eros , the god of lust and sexual desire. 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.
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 , a handsome mortal shepherd who lived in the foothills beneath Mount Ida near the city of Troy.
Aphrodite lies and tells him that she is not a goddess, but the daughter of one of the noble families of Phrygia. After the lovemaking is complete, Aphrodite reveals her true divine form. The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis is probably derived from the ancient Sumerian legend of Inanna and Dumuzid. Aphrodite found the baby, and took him to the underworld to be fostered by Persephone. 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.
The myth of Adonis is associated with the festival of the Adonia , which was celebrated by Greek women every year in midsummer. 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".
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 footrace. The myth of Pygmalion is first mentioned by the third-century BC Greek writer Philostephanus of Cyrene ,   but is first recounted in detail in Ovid's Metamorphoses.
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Aphrodite generously rewarded those who honored her, but also punished those who disrespected her, often quite brutally. In Euripides 's tragedy Hippolytus , which was first performed at the City Dionysia in BC, Theseus's son Hippolytus worships only Artemis , the goddess of virginity, and refuses to engage in any form of sexual contact.
Glaucus of Corinth angered Aphrodite by refusing to let his horses for chariot racing mate, since doing so would hinder their speed. 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. The myth of the Judgement of Paris is mentioned briefly in the 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. 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, a Trojan prince. All three goddesses were ideally beautiful and Paris could not decide between them, so they resorted to bribes.
Aphrodite plays an important and active role throughout the entirety of Homer's Iliad. Aphrodite's most prominent avian symbol was the dove,  which was originally an important symbol of her Near Eastern precursor Inanna-Ishtar. Because of her connections to the sea, Aphrodite was associated with a number of different types of water fowl ,  including swans, geese, and ducks. A scene of Aphrodite rising from the sea appears on the back of the Ludovisi Throne c.
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. The Ludovisi Throne possibly c. Attic white-ground red-figured kylix of Aphrodite riding a swan c. Aphrodite and Himeros , detail from a silver kantharos c.
Classical Mythology: First of the Red-Hot Lovers: Aphrodite
Red-figure vase painting of Aphrodite and Phaon c. Apuleian vase painting of Zeus plotting with Aphrodite to seduce Leda while Eros sits on her arm c. Aphrodite Kallipygos "Aphrodite of the Beautiful Buttocks". Aphrodite Heyl second century BC. Greek sculpture group of Aphrodite, Eros, and Pan c. Aphrodite of Milos c.
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Aphrodite of Menophantos first century BC. The Ludovisi Aphrodite of Knidos. The Lely Venus c. Early Christians frequently adapted pagan iconography to suit Christian purposes. Aphrodite is the central figure in Sandro Botticelli 's 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". Primavera late s or early s by Sandro Botticelli. Venus Anadyomene c. Venus of Urbino c. Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time c. Venus and Adonis by Titian.
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Venus with a Mirror c. Venus, Adonis and Cupid c. The Toilet of Venus c. The Death of Adonis c. Rokeby Venus c.
Jacques-Louis David 's final work was his magnum opus , Mars Being Disarmed by Venus ,  which combines elements of classical, Renaissance, traditional French art, and contemporary artistic styles. I will put the date of my seventy-five years on it and afterwards I will never again pick up my brush.
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Ingres's painting: the Venus Anadyomene of Apelles has been found. Paintings of Venus were favorites of the late nineteenth-century Academic artists in France. 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.
Mitchell of Bradford. Venus Disrobing for the Bath by Frederic Leighton. Venus Verticordia by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The Birth of Venus c.
William Shakespeare 's erotic narrative poem Venus and Adonis , 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. Lewis described an attempted reading of it as "suffocating". Aphrodite appears in Richard Garnett 's short story collection The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales ,  in which the gods' temples have been destroyed by Christians.
In the early twentieth century, stories of Aphrodite were used by feminist poets,  such as Amy Lowell and Alicia Ostriker. In , Gleb Botkin , a Russian immigrant to the United States, founded the Church of Aphrodite , a Neopagan religion centered around the worship of a Mother Goddess , whom its practitioners identified as Aphrodite. Aphrodite is a major deity in Wicca ,   a contemporary nature-based syncretic Neopagan religion. The statuette portrays Aphrodite on the point of untying the laces of the sandal on her left foot, under which a small Eros squats, touching the sole of her shoe with his right hand.
The Goddess is leaning with her left arm the hand is missing against a figure of Priapus standing, naked and bearded, positioned on a small cylindrical altar while, next to her left thigh, there is a tree trunk over which the garment of the Goddess is folded. Aphrodite, almost completely naked, wears only a sort of costume, consisting of a corset held up by two pairs of straps and two short sleeves on the upper part of her arm, from which a long chain leads to her hips and forms a star-shaped motif at the level of her navel.
The 'bikini', for which the statuette is famous, is obtained by the masterly use of the technique of gilding, also employed on her groin, in the pendant necklace and in the armilla on Aphrodite's right wrist, as well as on Priapus' phallus. Traces of the red paint are evident on the tree trunk, on the short curly hair gathered back in a bun and on the lips of the Goddess, as well as on the heads of Priapus and the Eros.