Aphrodite - New World Encyclopedia
Aphrodite (Greek: Ἀφροδίτη) is the ancient Greek goddess of love, Her frequent relationships gave rise to various offspring including . from others, most frequently the god of war Ares, but also Adonis, Anchises, and more. Charmed by his beauty, Aphrodite put the newborn infant Adonis in a box and handed An appeal was made to Zeus, the king of the gods, who decided that Adonis The central idea of the myth is that of the death and resurrection of Adonis. Aphrodite was the Olympian goddess of love, beauty, pleasure and procreation. The "Loves" pages detail those liaisons which were elaborated upon in myth. of Beroe (in Lebanon, Asia Minor) was a daughter of Adonis and Aphrodite. ( Some say the father was Ares, others that she was born pregnant with the child).
Aphrodite - Wikipedia
Psyche arrived intact before Persephone, who said she would be glad to do Aphrodite a favor. After Psyche left the underworld, she decided to open the box and take a little bit of the beauty for herself, thinking that if she did so Eros would surely love her.
Inside she found no beauty, but was instead overtaken by a "Stygian sleep" which overtook her.
- Adonis and Aphrodite
Eros, who had forgiven her, flew to her body and wiped the sleep from her eyes, then begged Zeus and Aphrodite for their consent to his marriage with Psyche. They agreed and Zeus made her immortal. Aphrodite danced at the wedding of Eros and Psyche and their subsequent child was named Pleasure, or in the Roman mythology Volupta. Adonis Greek mythology explains that Aphrodite was not only Adonis ' lover but that she also had a part in his birth.
She urged Myrrha to commit incest with her father, Theias, the king of Assyria, which Myrrha did in the dark of night. When Theias realized it was his own daughter with which he had coupled, he flew into a rage, chasing her with a knife. The gods turned Myrrha into a myrrh tree and Adonis eventually sprang from this tree.
Alternative versions state that it was Aphrodite specifically who turned Myrrha into the tree. Adonis was then born either when Theias shot the tree with an arrow, or when a boar used its tusks to tear off the tree's bark.
Once Adonis was born, Aphrodite was entranced by his unearthly beauty and took him under her wing, seducing him with the help of her friend Helene. Aphrodite gave him to Persephone to watch over, but Persephone was also amazed at his beauty and refused to give him back, causing a rift between the two goddesses. The argument was settled either by Zeus or Calliopewho decreed that Adonis should spend four months of the year with Aphrodite, four months with Persephone and four months on his own.
Aphrodite's love for Adonis caused Ares to become very jealous. Aphrodite was warned of this jealousy and was told that Ares would be transformed into a boar, and would then kill Adonis. She tried to persuade Adonis to stay with her at all times, but his love of the hunt proved to be his downfall: While Adonis was hunting one day, Ares found him and gored him to death; Aphrodite arrived just in time to hear his last breath.
The judgment of Paris 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, the goddess of discord, was not invited, but she arrived nonetheless bearing a golden apple inscribed with the words "to the fairest," which she threw among the goddesses.
Aphrodite, Heraand Athena all thought themselves to be the fairest, and therefore claimed rightful ownership of the apple. The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeuswho later put the choice into the hands of Paris.
Hera tried to bribe Paris with Asia Minor, while Athena offered him wisdom, fame, and glory in battle. Aphrodite, meanwhile, whispered to Paris that if he were to choose her as the fairest, he would have the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, and he accordingly chose her. Not only were the other goddesses enraged by this, but the proceedings also set in motion the Trojan war.
The most beautiful mortal woman who Aphrodite promised Paris was Helen, and upon seeing her for the first time, Paris was inflamed with desire, which prompted him to take her with him to Troy.
This was problematic, since Helen was already married to Menelaus. Agamemnon, Helen's brother-in-law and king of Mycenae, took exception to Helen's abduction and led an expedition of Achaean troops to Troy, besieging the city for ten years.
The Myth of Aphrodite and Adonis
Thus, according to Greek legend, Aphrodite was directly responsible for the Trojan war. Worship Aphrodite was honored at numerous cult sites and shrines throughout Greece.
These sites were typically located in more accessible locales in the cities, suggesting her status as a god of the people. This notion is furthered by the evidence which suggests she was worshiped in a highly personal, intimate fashion, and that most temples dedicated to her were modest in architecture. The most common theme in her worship was that of sexual union, whether it was between common citizens, brides and bridegrooms, or prostitutes and customers, among others.
Aphrodite Pandemos Based on the remains of a cult site to Aphrodite which can be found on the southwest slope of the Athenian Acropolis, the aspect of Aphrodite labeled Aphrodite Pandemos seems to be indelibly linked with the commoners of Athens.
Blessings of this deity were sought to unite the people of Athens socially and politically. Aphrodite Pandemos was commonly depicted with Peitho, the personification of persuasion, which may suggest her political significance. Evidence from imagery found at a number of sites also indicates that Aphrodite Pandemos was closely tied to the wedding ritual.
Thus, her association with unions seems to extend past the political realm and into that between individuals, as well. This may also suggest the importance of marriage in stabilizing Athenian democracy. Aphrodite and Peitho had a festival of their own, the Aphrodisia, which was celebrated all over Greece but particularly in Athens and Corinth. It probably took place during the fourth day of Hekatombaion, just after the beginning of the Attic year. As with other celebrations dedicated to Aphrodite, the festival involved the gathering together of people from a variety of different classes and allowing them to coalesce as a unified whole, with many inequities of social status dissolved.
For example, sexual services became available to all classes. In Corinth, the aspect of sexuality was particularly salient in this festival, as intercourse with priestesses of Aphrodite was considered an acceptable means for providing worship to the goddess.
Many other worship centers of a smaller magnitude were dedicated to Aphrodite Ourania all throughout Greece. The cult in Athens is located at the northwest corner of the bustling Agora. Here, the altar to Aphrodite Ourania was placed in a very prominent location, in close proximity to the average Athenian. Considering the number of worship centers and the importance of the altars dedicated to her, it seems that Aphrodite Ourania was the more prevalent aspect of the goddess.
Iconography of Aphrodite Ourania suggests another connection to weddings. Votive reliefs related to Aphrodite Ourania found in the Agora distinctively highlight the use of the ladder, which appears in many vase paintings with nuptial themes. New brides of the Athenian cult often called upon Aphrodite for assistance during their wedding ceremonies and on their wedding nights, and the ladders seem to suggest that Aphrodite offers safe passage from virginity to life as a wife.
Wives and prostitutes alike seem to have worshiped Aphrodite Ourania at the Agora, suggesting that Aphrodite Ouranias was consulted by all women so that she would watch over their relationships with men. Rachel Rozenweig suggests that, more generally, these ladders may have represented a symbolic means by which to link Aphrodite to smooth transitions from one phase of life to another, including that between virgin and bride, and from the realm of everyday life to the realm of cult, among others.
Aphrodite of the Garden Aphrodite was often given the epithet en Kepois, or "in the gardens," which more likely links her to fertility than it does to a specific location of worship. This role of goddess of vegetation was most evident at the north slope of the Acropolis and at Daphni, two open-air cult sites in Athens linked by rock-cut inscriptions venerating Aphrodite.
These sites suggest that Aphrodite's divine intervention was particularly sought after in manners concerning fertility. The cult site on the north slope of the Acropolis contains many terra-cotta figurines representing maidens, small-boys and sleeping babies. A number of votives in the forms of male and female reproductive organs have also been found here, indicating that Aphrodite provided help with fertility.
Similar votives were found at the Daphni cult site. Considering Aphrodite's associations with nuptial imagery, these fertility shrines most likely played a role in the wedding ritual.
Significance As a goddess of love and lust, Aphrodite represents another important link in the historical chain of erotic female figures within ancient mythology. She carries on a tradition of eroticized female divine which featured such goddesses as the Sumerian Inannathe Mesopotamian Ishtarand the Syro-Palestinian Astarteamong others.
The female body and the goddess is an aspect of spirituality which has been largely absent from the western monotheistic religions.Ares and Aphrodite - Hephaestus' Net - Greek Mythology Ep.20 See U in History (Mars and Venus)
As such, Aphrodite has always been a particularly captivating character in western culture, inspiring several famous works of art such as the Venus de Milo and Botticelli 's The Birth of Venus, as well innumerable references in popular culture. Undoubtedly, Aphrodite is one of the most identifiable images of the goddess in the western world. Descriptions of Greece London, Want to discover more myths? Urged on by Aphrodite herself, the goddess of beauty, love and sexual desire, who had been offended when King Theias forgot to make a sacrifice for her, Myrrha had made amorous advances towards her father but he was successfully keeping her away.
One night, she managed to lure her father out into the open and there under cover of darkness she laid with him. As dawn broke, Theias discovered to his utter disgust the deception of his daughter and with sword in hand chased her into the wild, wanting to punish her for her audacity.
Sensing Myrrha's necessity, Aphrodite transformed her into a tree, the myrrh tree. Still in anger, Theias shot an arrow into the tree trunk, splitting it wide open and it was from there that Adonis was born, the child of an awful union between a father and his daughter. Raised up by two mothers Baby Adonis was adorable beyond words and since there was no one to look after him, Aphrodite took him under her wing.
So obsessed was she with him that she began neglecting her duties as a goddess. As a remedial measure, she sent the child to be looked after by Persephone, the Queen of the Dead in the Underworld. It was also a move to keep him away from interfering eyes. However, Persephone, too, fell dearly in love with Adonis and refused to give him up when Aphrodite came for him.
There was a bitter argument and Zeus had to intervene to prevent a disastrous argument between the two. He decided that every year Adonis would spend 4 months first with Persephone, the next 4 months with Aphrodite and the last 4 months he would be left alone, so that he may learn to look after himself. The death Adonis grew up to be a very handsome young man and one look at him could make every woman's heart excited with desire.
That excited was also the heart of goddess Aphodite, who was extremely charmed at this young man. Adonis loved the great outdoors and was a master of the hunt.
Once, when Aphrodite was to go away for a few days, she warned Adonis not to stray too far into the forest while hunting. At the same time, she told him to stay away from any beast that did not run away from him. However, the heart of young Adonis was audacious and neglecting Aphrodite's warning he plunged deep into the forest.