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Aphrodite, goddess of love, in Ancient Greek Art


Aphrodite in Ancient Greek Art


Aphrodite Defined

(Image) Aphrodite, Goddess of Love (a statue after the
Venus de Milo in the Louvre)

Aphrodite is the goddess of love, beauty, sex appeal, and fertility. She
can charm everyone, even the gods. She was called the laughter loving goddess
because she would laugh sweety or mockingly at those her charms had conquered.
Her charms are so powerful that she can turn even wise men to talking

Homer states in Book V: “Indeed the prince (Aeneas) would have perished there
and then, but for the quickness of his Mother, Zeus’ Daughter Aphrodite,
who had conceived him for Anichises when he was looking after the cattle.
Seeing what had happened, she threw her white arms round her beloved son,
and drew a fold of her shimmering robe across him to protect him…. Diomedes
himself had gone off in relentless pursuit of Cyprian Aphrodite, realising that
this was some timid goddess…. He made a lunge at her and with his sharp
spear cut her gentle hand at the base of her palm. The point, tearing the
imperishable robe which the Graces had made for her, pierced the flesh where
the palm joins the wrist. …while the lovely Aphrodite went to her Mother
Dione and sank down at her knees. But he (Zeus) called Golden Aphrodite
to his side and said: ‘Fighting, my child, is not for you. You
are in charge of wedlock and the tender passions.”

I provide the following quote from Empedocles
(Porphyrius de abstinentia II, 21):

They had no god Ares nor Kudoimos,
nor king Zeus nor Kronos nor Poseidon,
but Kupris as queen.
Her did they propitiate with holy images,
with images of living creatures,
with perfumes of varied fragrence 
and with sacrifice of pure myrr and sweet-scented frankincense,
casting to the ground libations of golden honey.
Their altar was not steeped in the pure blood of bulls,
but rather was this the greatest abomination among men,
to tear out the life from the goodly limbs and eat them.

Kupris is Aphrodite (Cypris is named after her). Empedocles is referring to
a rule of love followed by a rule of strife with Ares being equated with strife.
Ancient astrology seems to provide appropriate symbology and a timetable for
this quote.

  • taurus(bull) 4500 bce – 2326 bce – age of Aphrodite
  • aries(ram) 2326 bce – 175 bce – age of Ares or Kudoimos
  • pisces(fish 175 bce – 1976 ad – age of Zeus or Kronos
  • aquarius(water) 1976 ad – 4146 ad – age of Poseidon

This information is presented not as truth, but as a suggestion to lead
to more important truths. In the Odyssey of Homer it is Athena who
predominates, not Aphrodite, not Ares, and not Zeus. At the time of Homer
Aphrodite is more a goddess of rape, and a true consort of Ares, the god of
war. Only later is Aphrodite associated with romantic love.

In the Iliad Homer says “When she(Helen) observed the beauty of her
(Aphrodite’s) neck and her lovely breasts and sparkling eyes, she was struck
with awe.” This comment suggests that Aphrodite was dressed in the garb of
the Minoan snake goddess, with breasts exposed. An image of the snake goddess
is at: Click Here

“At Thebes are three wooden images of Aphrodite, so very ancient that they
are actually said to be votive offerings of Harmonia, and the story is that
they were made out of the wooden figure-heads on the ships of Cadmus. They
call the first Heavenly, the second Common, and the third Rejecter. Harmoina
gave to Aphrodite the surname of Heavenly to signify a love pure and free
from bodily lust; that of Common, to denote sexual intercourse; the third,
that of Rejecter, that mankind might reject unlawful passion and sinful acts.
For Harmonia knew of many crimes already perpetrated not only among foreigners
but even by Greeks, similar to those attributed later by legend to the mother
of Adonis, to Phaedra, the daughter of Minos, and to the Thracian Tereus.”
Pausanius, Description of Greece, 9.16.3-4


Birth of Aphrodite

The birthday of Aphrodite was celebrated on the fourth day of
every month. Goddesses were born before humans kept track of time
so the year of her birth is not known.

Homer mentions Dione as the mother of Aphrodite in the Iliad. Dione is a
titaness not
often mentioned in other literature. A more popular legend of the birth of
Aphrodite is that she was born of the foam of the sea, as expressed in the
following Homeric poem: Homeric Hymn (VI. 2)

Click to see Aphrodite rising from the foam.

The breath of the west wind bore her
Over the sounding sea,
Up from the delicate foam,
To wave ringed Cyprus, her isle.
And the Hours golden-wreathed
Welcomed her joyously.
They clad her in raiment immortal,
and brought her to the gods.
Wonder seized them all as the saw
Violet-crowned Cytherea."

An image that may represent the birth of Aphrodite is:
Ludovisi throne

(THE THEOGONY ll. 176-206) also describes her birth:
“And Heaven came, bringing on night and longing for
love, and he lay about Earth spreading himself full upon her (7).
Then the son from his ambush stretched forth his left hand and in
his right took the great long sickle with jagged teeth, and
swiftly lopped off his own father’s members and cast them away to
fall behind him. And not vainly did they fall from his hand; for
all the bloody drops that gushed forth Earth received, and as the
seasons moved round she bare the strong Erinyes and the great
Giants with gleaming armour, holding long spears in their hands
and the Nymphs whom they call Meliae (8) all over the boundless
earth. And so soon as he had cut off the members with flint and
cast them from the land into the surging sea, they were swept
away over the main a long time: and a white foam spread around
them from the immortal flesh, and in it there grew a maiden.
First she drew near holy Cythera, and from there, afterwards, she
came to sea-girt Cyprus, and came forth an awful and lovely
goddess, and grass grew up about her beneath her shapely feet.
Her gods and men call Aphrodite, and the foam-born goddess and
rich-crowned Cytherea, because she grew amid the foam, and
Cytherea because she reached Cythera, and Cyprogenes because she
was born in billowy Cyprus, and Philommedes (9) because sprang
from the members. And with her went Eros, and comely Desire
followed her at her birth at the first and as she went into the
assembly of the gods. This honour she has from the beginning,
and this is the portion allotted to her amongst men and undying
gods, — the whisperings of maidens and smiles and deceits with
sweet delight and love and graciousness.”

A summary of this passage follows:

  • The Heaven god (Ouranos) lay beside the earth goddess (Gaia) so they could
    have sex.
  • Cronus reached up and cut off his father’s penis and testicles and tossed
    them behind him. He used a flint knife or sickle.
  • The members fell into the sea foam and stayed there a long time.
  • The immortal flesh in the foam gradually grew into a maiden and the sea
    foam nurtured her.
  • The beautiful maiden, Aphrodite, came out of the sea foam near Cythera,
    and then she went to Cyprus.
  • Eros and Desire follwed her as she went into the assembly of the gods.
  • Her domain became the realm of love with all its whisperings, smiles,
    and deceits, but also beauty and graciousness.

The location of the birth of Aphrodite is most commonly given as the sea.
The question is whether it is the sea off Cytherea or the sea off Paphos,
Cyprus. Either is possible, and she seems to have connections with both

Scholars doubt that there is any real relation between Aphrodite and
‘aphros’ or foam. A similarity between the words is merely suggestive and no
real translation is possible.

Unfortunately images representing the birth of Aphrodite from the foam do not begin before the mid fith century BCE. They are quire a bit more popular during and after the Roman period:

Aphrodite born from the Foam

“Aphrodite from the Water Born” a woodcut by Frederick John Kluth, 10 cm by 10 cm.


Daily Life of Aphrodite

Question: What was Aphrodite’s daily life

Answer: Bathing in the Aegean sea probably came first. Aphrodite liked the
feel of the salt spray on her naked body. When she walkd out of the sea two
Nymphs waited with her gown.
Dressing came next. Imperishable gowns woven by Athena and washed by Nymphs
at play would be layed out. She had handmaids (nymphs) to arrange her hair.
She spent her morning studying the possibility of love between men and women.
She experimented with cosmetics, perfumes, and costumes to use for inflaming love.
Her big meal was a brunch which consisted of ambrosia and nectar and any other
delicacies that the nymphs could devise. Her afternoon was spent spreading
love around the world but first she would check to see what kind of trouble her son Eros had stirred up. Sometime the love she inspired was delicate and sweet
while other times a more passionate variety was needed. She would flit from
wedding to wedding with flowers and good cheer. Another meal of ambrosia,
nectar, fruits and nuts
would end her day. Often she would eat with some of the other deities. She
would then put on her nightgown. The nymphs would pull her gossamer curtains
around her and she would sink into dreamland on a bed laid with down pillows.
Goddesses never sleep, but they do have a period of reverie during which they
review activities and refocus their powers.


Family of Aphrodite

Question: is there a family tree of aphrodite? one that is just parents,
spouses, liaisons, children, and grandchildren?

Answer: Aphrodite’s parents were either Cronus and Gaea or Zeus and Dione.
She is often given as the husband of Hephaestus. She was the mother of Eros
an Harmonia by Ares. She was the mother of Priapus
by Dionysus. She loved Anchises and bore him Aeneas and Lyrus.
Harmonia married Cadmus. These two found the ruling family of Thebes.
Their children included Autonoe, Ino, Agave, Semele, and Polydorus.

Aphrodite’s lovers were Ares, Hermes, Dionysus, Poseidon,etc. And they
all had children with her. Not only did Apollo not have children with her,
he wasn’t portrayed as Aphrodite’s lover in ANY myth.
Apollo did not have much a problem with his sex-life and sired
many children. But Aphrodite and Apollo were incorporated into the Greek
Religion from different directions. It is possible that his trysts are a clue
to this past.

In most of the stories she is the wife of Hephaestus. Anichises
fathered Aeneas by her. Ares was her lover. In spite of all this all
she had to do to return to being a virgin was to bathe in the ocean off
Paphos, Cyprus.

All the gods and goddesses are fairly closely related but Aphrodite
has no true sisters or brothers. There are many half-sisters and brothers
depending on who you take her parents to be. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite
act like sisters.


Aphrodite and Hephaestus

Question: It is recorded that Aphrodite married a lame (not so good looking) smith God by the name of Hephaestus, some say it was because Zeus was so worried that the Gods might fight over the hand of Aphrodite so in a moments notice he automatically gave it to Hephaestus. I, however, disagree with this idea, I believe that if Aphrodite agreed to those terms of marriage as any Beauty Goddess, it would have been for a statement that perhaps love is entitled to all people ranging attractive and the unattractive, without this aspect it would probably be like saying that only beautiful people are worthy of Love and Beauty (by Aphrodite) But what was her attitude towards this approach?

Answer: I doubt that the marriage to Hephaestus was permanent. Aphrodite
was forced to marry Hephaetus against her will and rebelled against the
marriage. Eventually they were divorced I think. I also think your idea
is essentially correct. Love is beautiful but not only beautiful people
are worthy of love. A greater love is required to love the unloveable and this
love is in the realm of the heavenly Aphrodite. Mortal beauty is in the realm
of the earthly Aphrodite, the Aphrodite of lust.

Question: what is the love story of Aphrodite and Hephaestus

Answer: A version of this is found in the Iliad.

Question: The ancient Greeks abhorred deformity and valued beauty, so then
how can the marriage of Aphrodite and Hephaestus be reconciled?

Answer: Hephaestus is in the tradition of the lame king who was hobbled to
make him more erotic. The hobbling was with special high-healed boots called
buskins that gave the king a sexy swagger.

Question: I believe that Aphrodite is just as confused as we are on love.
I think she has two aspects of it… (1. She’s married to Hephaestus for the
moral reasons of love and the supreme rule that it’s whats on the inside
that counts. (2. She is attracted to Ares to prove that looks are also or
can be important because infatuation can be the first stepping stone to love
and that first stepping stone can also be lust. So Ares might stand for
earthly lust, while Hephaestus has the more complicated prefered term of
what true love should be defined as. I think Aphrodite is torn between the
two…which is why mankind today is so torn between the personality of a
person as absolute beauty,or a person’s looks, then sparks the “Love at
first sight” gig which I believe is overstated. The question is Aphrodite
has the crown or coronet of love but in her mind, shouldnt she know the
answers of true love in order to know what is ethical for her husband in the
first place?

Answer: Though you are on track with Ares, you are off with Hephaestus.
Hephaestus is related to the lame kings that are associated with fertility.
We talk of true love but the ancient Greeks did not. Nor did they determine
a lasting set of ethical rules which could apply. Sexual attraction is not
immoral, but acts that result can be moral or immoral. Lack of sexual
attraction is moral but the result is a situation that society does not
tolerate. Furthermore, the morality of a sexual act that occurs may include
an unborn child who is difficult to include in the ethical equation simply
because he is yet to be born.

Question: why did she marry the ugly god Vulcan?

Answer: Hephaestos was not ugly, he was lame. And he was lame because he
was sexy. Instead of being a tough warrior who went off to battles he stayed
home and had sex. He also made pretty things which made Aphrodite happy.

Question: why did Aphrodite marry Hephaestus

Answer: Aphrodite may have temporaily married Hephaestus just so
Hephaestus could be made to release his mother Hera from a chair he
had trapped her in. It is likely that she did not marry him for long.

Robert Graves suggests that The lameness of Hephaestus suggests something
else. He suggests that Hephaestus was a Pelasgian diety while Aphrodite
was a Cretan one. What we get is a marriage of a love god and a love goddess
from two cultures. Hephaestus is a love god like a lame partridge decoy that
attracts female prtridges to him. This lameness is like the swagger of
a gigolo.


Symbols of Aphrodite

There are a number of symbols of Aphrodite:

  • She wears a sash on her chest, sometimes double crossed, or a girdle. This seems to be referenced at Homer, Iliad 14.214: “She spake, and loosed from her bosom the broidered zone, [215] curiously-wrought, wherein are fashioned all manner of allurements; therein is love, therein desire, therein dalliance—beguilement that steals the wits even of the wise.” Europa wears a studded girdle
  • A beautiful, nude woman, usually young but mature
    Aphroditeof Arles But Aphrodite was not portrayed nude until Praxiteles dispayed his of Aphrodite of Knidos (350 BCE)
  • A dove
    Aphrodite holds a dove in her left hand
  • A woman’s laugh, Homer, Iliad 3.424 “laughter-loving Aphrodite”,
    Aphrodite and her retinue
  • Sea foam and the sea shore, Hesiod, Theogony, line 196, “Aphrodite, and the foam-born goddess and rich-crowned Cytherea, because she grew amid the foam”,
    Ludovisi Throne.
  • A quince (a love apple) Notice that both the flower and seeds have a pentagonal nature,
    Woman offering an apple
  • A mirror and a comb (or plectrum)
    Woman with mirror
  • tunny, sturgeon, scallop, and periwinkle
    Fish, scallop
  • fishtail
  • myrtle, mruex, and myrrh trees. myrtle wreath
  • the colors white, green, blue, and scarlet

Robert Graves has the following fascinating passage in his book The White

“A familiar disguise of this same Marian (Robin Hood’s maid Marian) is the
merrymaid, as’mermaid’ was once written. The conventional figure of the
mermaid–a beautiful woman with a round mirror, a golden comb and a fish-tail–
expresses “The love-goddess rises from the sea.’…The round mirror, to
match the comb, may be some bygone artist’s mistaken substitute for the quince,
which Marian always held in her hand as a love-gift; but the mirror did also
form part of the sacred furniture of the Mysteries, and probably stood for
‘know thyself’. The comb was originally a plectrum for plucking lyre-strings.
The Greeks called her Aphrodite (‘risen from sea-foam’) and used the tunny,
sturgeon, scallop and preiwinkle, all sacred to her, as aphrodisiacs. Her
most famous temples were built by the sea-side, so it is easy to understand
her symbolic fishtail. … Botticelli’s Birth of Venus is an exact
icon of he cult. Tall, golden-haired, blue-eyed, pale-faced, the Love-goddess
arrives in her scallop-shell at the myrtle-grove, and Earth, in a flowery
robe, hastens to wrap her in a scarlet gold-fringed mantle…” (p439)


Similar goddesses to Aphrodite

The following goddesses from other cultures are similar to the goddess Aphrodite:

  • Mesopotamia/Ishtar/Great goddess, the female as giver asnd taker of life,
    whose power is infinite.
  • Persia/Anahita/Goddess of the sacred waters.
  • Canaan/Anath/Fertility and warrior goddess
  • Anatolia/Arinitti/Queen of heaven and earth.
  • Canaan/Asherah/Lady of the Sea
  • Hebrew/Ashtoreth/Great Goddess
  • Phoenicia/Astarte/Giver and Taker of life
  • Wales/Blodeuwedd/Moon and Love Goddess
  • Wales/Cerridwen/Nourisher of Life
  • Phrygia/Cybele/Female principle of Nature.
  • Hittite Empire/Hannahanna/Fertility goddess.
  • Egypt/Hathor/Goddess of life cycle.
  • Sumeria/Inanna/Queen of Heaven.
  • Egypt/Isis/Ruler of the Universe.
  • Carthage/Tanith/Mother Goddess.
  • Brazil/Iemanja/Goddess of love, sex and the sea. She also comes to
    Brazil from Africa and the Yoruba culture. Yemaya, Yemonja, Yemanja,
    Yemalla are different spellings. Yemalla is the Cuban spelling.

In addition there are goddesses from Greek myth who are similar to Aphrodite:

  • Ariadne
  • Helen(as a goddess)
  • Britomartis — can be represented as a mermaid
  • Dictynna — can be represented as a mermaid


Powers of Aphrodite

Answer: Here are some quotes from Hesiod:

  • (THE THEOGONY ll. 60-68)…and golden Aphrodite to shed grace
    upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs.
  • (THE THEOGONY ll. 1-25)…quick-glancing (1) Aphrodite…
  • (THE THEOGONY ll. 176-206)And so soon as he had cut off the members with flint and
    cast them from the land into the surging sea, they were swept
    away over the main a long time: and a white foam spread around
    them from the immortal flesh, and in it there grew a maiden.
    First she drew near holy Cythera, and from there, afterwards, she
    came to sea-girt Cyprus, and came forth an awful and lovely
    goddess, and grass grew up about her beneath her shapely feet.
    Her gods and men call Aphrodite, and the foam-born goddess and
    rich-crowned Cytherea, because she grew amid the foam, and
    Cytherea because she reached Cythera, and Cyprogenes because she
    was born in billowy Cyprus, and Philommedes (9) because sprang
    from the members. And with her went Eros, and comely Desire
    followed her at her birth at the first and as she went into the
    assembly of the gods. This honour she has from the beginning,
    and this is the portion allotted to her amongst men and undying
    gods, — the whisperings of maidens and smiles and deceits with
    sweet delight and love and graciousness.
  • (THE THEOGONY ll. 956-962)…and she was subject to him in love through golden Aphrodite
    and bare him neat-ankled Medea.
  • (THE THEOGONY 984-991)…laughter-loving Aphrodite
  • (THE CATALOGUES OF WOMEN AND EOIAE, Fragment #67) Steischorus says that while sacrificing to the gods
    Tyndareus forgot Aphrodite and that the goddess was angry and made his
    daughters twice and thrice wed and deserters of their husbands….
  • (THE SHIELD OF HERACLES ll. 1-27) Her face and her dark eyes wafted such
    charm as comes from golden Aphrodite.
  • (THE SHIELD OF HERACLES ll. 90-112)…garland-loving Aphrodite…
  • (TO APHRODITE ll. 1-6) Muse, tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite the
    Cyprian, who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the
    tribes of mortal men and birds that fly in air and all the many
    creatures that the dry land rears, and all the sea: all these
    love the deeds of rich-crowned Cytherea.
  • (TO APHRODITE ll. 33-44) Of these three Aphrodite cannot bend or
    ensnare the hearts. But of all others there is nothing among the blessed
    gods or among mortal men that has escaped Aphrodite. Even the
    heart of Zeus, who delights in thunder, is led astray by her;
    though he is greatest of all and has the lot of highest majesty,
    she beguiles even his wise heart whensoever she pleases, and
    mates him with mortal women, unknown to Hera, his sister and his
  • (TO APHRODITE (21 lines) (ll. 1-18)) I will sing of stately Aphrodite,
    gold-crowned and beautiful, whose dominion is the walled cities of all sea-set

The powers that all goddesses have include:

  • Immortality, although a goddess must be careful not to be swallowed by
    another deity. If she is swallowed it is not her death, or a sex act. Rather
    if confines the powers of the goddess to the swallowing deity.
  • The ability to move through the air, although not that fast. Goddesses
    are often pictured with wings for this reason. I have found a number of
    figurines advertised as angels which are in fact images of Aphrodite. Iris
    the goddess of the rainbow is unique in that she moves at the speed of light.
  • The ability to change shape. Usually this involves changing to a human
    form or that of a bird, but other shapes are possible.
  • The ability to fortell the future. A goddess lives beyond time and sees
    all time at once. But a goddess is not allowed to reveal her knowledge except
    on special occaissions. Zeus enforces this rule so that gods maintain their
    divinity and men cannot get hold of it.
  • Of the goddesses only one can make errors and she is confined to live
    among men.
  • Only one goddess controlls charms, spells, and luck and this is Hecate.

The power to change or tranform mortals is not necessarily common to the
goddesses. Both Circe and Athena accomplish this with the aid of a wand.
The power of the wand probably comes from a caterpillar who the goddess has
recruited. It is not clear that a mortal can recruit a caterpillar in this
way. Aphrodite’s situation is different. She is able to shoot arrows and act at a distance. She may be able to transform mortals
because it is part of her realm. Every goddess has a realm and they are all
different. The realm of the goddess is not only the territory that she
rules but also her personality. This territory can be physical but it can
also be spiritual.

Aphrodite is the goddess of love and sex so clearly her territory is not
physical. Since the appearance of a person has to do with their sex appeal
clearly Aphrodite controls this. She controlls her realm by setting up the
rules by which it operates. Some of these rules are natural and others she
must enforce. In some cases she can change the rules or make exceptions.
She also listens to prayers and decides on their merit. She can take action
within her realm to respond to prayers.

Sometimes the work of Aphrodite presents a challenge to mortals as expressed by Aeschylus in , line 997:

"Therefore I would have you bring no shame upon me, now when your youthful loveliness attracts men's gaze. The tender ripeness of summer fruit is in no way easy to protect; beasts despoil it—and men, why not?— [1000] and brutes that fly and those that walk the earth. Love's goddess spreads news abroad of fruit bursting ripe. . . . So all men, as they pass, [1005] mastered by desire, shoot an alluring arrow of the eye at the delicate beauty of virgins. See to it, therefore, that we do not suffer that in fear for which we have endured great toil and ploughed the great waters with our ship; and that we bring no shame to ourselves and exultation to our enemies."


Interesting Stories about Aphrodite

Question: Is there any intersting facts about Aphrodite?

Answer: Beautiful women seem to have been used by the ancient Greeks as
bait for the gods. If one of your parents was a god or goddess, as was the
case with Achilles, Helen, Castor, Pollux, and others, you were a powerful
person with many talents. If you had a beautiful daughter she might attract
the attentions of a god and you would be blessed with the offspring of a god.
This may be one of the interpretations of the sacrifice of a virgin. Virgins
would be presented in a temple, perhaps of Aphrodite, a gift in hopes that a
god would become attracted to them. They would then sacrifice their virginity
to the god. Of course there would be no offspring if the virgins were actually
killed. Unfortunately some people had the idea that to transport the virgin
to the spiritual world to be the gift of the god the virgin had to be killed.
An extreme example of the use of a women as bait is the case of Andromeda.
In her case her parents had her chained naked to a rock by the sea
shore as bait for a monster. Naturally it was her beauty that got her into
this trouble so the picture of her so chained is quite a popular image.
Fortunately she attracted Perseus who saved her from the monster. One could
say that Aphrodite got her into the mess and Aphrodite got her out. Had
Perseus not saved her she would have ended up raped and killed by a sea
monster. This would have been the work of Aphrodite’s lover Ares.

The ancient Greeks did not picture Andromeda as naked when she was tied
to the rock: Click Here. Modern artists such as Ingres were more inclined
to paint her naked: Click here. Rubens also painted her naked: Click here

Aphrodite had a similar role with Ariadne, though Ariadne was never staked out. In the case of Ariadne she fell in love with Theseus through the intervention of Aphrodite. She became an ally of Theseus and allowed him to kill the Minotaur. But it was not hapily ever after as Theseus abandoned Ariadne on the island of Naxos.

Likewise Medea fell in love with Jason through the intervention of Aphrodite. Medea saved Jason but later fell out of favor with him. Medea got back at Jason by killing his children.


Aphrodite and the Trojan War

No one knows who started the Trojan war and why. All we know is
what the myths tell us. Herodotus puts Helen in a class with Ino, Europa, and
Medea. First Ino was a Greek
princess stolen by Asians. Then Europa was an Asian princess stolen by Greeks.
Then Medea was an Asian princess stollen by the Greeks.
Helen was a Greek princess stolen by Asians. When the Greeks
launched an army to regain Helen then the trading stopped. Herodotus relates
that the priests of Egypt gave this account ot the Trojan war:
“After the rape of Helen, a great force of Greeks came to the Trojan land on
Menelaus’ behalf. After disembarking and disposing their forces, they sent
messengers to Ilion, one of whom was Menelaus himself. [3] When these were let
inside the city walls, they demanded the restitution of Helen and of the
property which Alexandrus had stolen from Menelaus and carried off, and they
demanded reparation for the wrongs; but the Trojans gave the same testimony
then and later, sworn and unsworn: that they did not have Helen or the property
claimed, but all of that was in Egypt, and they could not justly make
reparation for what Proteus the Egyptian had. [4] But the Greeks, thinking that
the Trojans were mocking them, laid siege to the city, until they took it; but
there was no Helen there when they breached the wall, but they heard the same
account as before; so, crediting the original testimony, they sent Menelaus
himself to Proteus.” (Herodotus, The Histories, 2.118.1)

The myths say that Aphrodite started the Trojan war by giving Helen, a married woman
to Paris, prince of Troy. Then she supported Paris and her son Aeneas as best
she could. She saved the life of her son and prolonged the war as long as
she could, about ten years. In the end Troy was destroyed but she was able to
save the life of her son Aeneas. A number of the other deities sided with
her including Ares, Artemis, and Apollo

A short summary of what happened in the Trojan War according to various myths including characters that were involved.

  • Zeus in the form of a swan raped Leda and the result was the birth of Helen.
  • It was foretold that the son of Thetis would be more powerful than his
    father. Zeus avoided Thetis and arranged for her to marry Peleus, a mortal.
  • Helen was so desirable that Tyndareus, her guardian, required all her
    suitors to pledge alleageance to the suitor he selected, which was Meneleus.
  • At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis Eris threw the apple of discord which
    led to the judgement of Paris.
  • Achilles was born to Peleus and Thetis.
  • Aphrodite bribed Paris with the love of the most beautiful woman in the
    world, Helen, who happened to be married to Menelaus. Hera and Athena were
    angry with his choice.
  • Helen left with Paris for Troy, only she may only have gotten as far as
  • It took a while for the troops to be mustered and they could not leave
    because Artemis had been angered. Finally Iphigenia was sacrificed and the
    winds blew. A thousand ships left Greece to bring Helen back to Sparta.
  • Initially the ships were able to establish a beachhead and land near Troy.
    But the city of Troy was so well fortified that all the troups could do was
    to set up a seige which lasted 10 years.
  • The Trojan hero Hector lead the defense of Troy until he was killed by
    Achilles late in the 9th year of the seige.
  • Paris was able to kill Achilles.
  • Ajax killed himself because Odysseus received the armour of Achilles.
  • Philoktetes was able to kill Paris.
  • Odysseus proposed the Trojan horse which was pulled inside Troy.
  • Troy was sacked and its people enslaved.
  • Aphrodite rescued her son, the hero Aeneas.
  • Helen insisted that the war was not her falult and that she was merely the tool of Aphrodite. her beauty then saved her.
  • Polyxena was sacrificed on the grave of Achilles.
  • Cassandra was raped by Ajax the Locrian in the Temple of Athena.
  • Athena was enraged by the sacriledge committed in her Temple and convinced
    Zeus to send a storm on the returning fleet that killed half the army and
    dispersed the ships.
  • When Agamemnon returned home he was murdered by his wife Cassandra.
  • Menelaus went to Egypt and then came home with Helen and riches.
  • Odysseus wandered for 10 years before he got home.

On the ground the Trojans fought the warriors from the Greek
mainland. In the air Aphrodite fought Hera and Athena. The Trojans had the
favor of Aphrodite, and the disfavor of Hera and Athena. You might say that the Trojan war was fought between the reason of Athena, the honor of Hera, and the passion of Aphrodite. Fortunately reason and honor won over passion.


History of Aphrodite

In Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1.14.1, he states: “Hard by is a sanctuary of the Heavenly Aphrodite; the first men to establish her cult were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians the Paphians of Cyprus and the Phoenicians who live at Ascalon in Palestine; the Phoenicians taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Among the Athenians the cult was established by Aegeus, who thought that he was childless (he had, in fact, no children at the time) and that his sisters had suffered their misfortune because of the wrath of Heavenly Aphrodite. The statue still extant is of Parian marble and is the work of Pheidias.”

All goddesses such as Aphrodite were born before historic time and, being
immortal, as still as much alive as they always were. Thus their age,
birthdate, and death date are all indeterminate. The early venuses that have
been found, the so-called fat Venuses are from perhaps 25,000 BCE and so the
idea of a goddess is perhapes 25 to 50 thousand years old. A goddess named
Aphrodite was worshipped from about 1500 BCE to about 125 AD, though people
who call themselves Pagans still purport to worship her. Some say strip
joints are modern temples of Aphrodite while beauty pageants are festivals
to her. Of the ancient goddesses she is the most relevant to modern life.


Temples of Aphrodite

Her most famous temples were built by the sea-side, so it is easy to
understand her symbolic fishtail.

  1. Rhodes, The temple of Aphrodite
  2. Paphos –The Temple to Aphrodite at Paphos was one of the most famous.
  3. Temple of Aphrodite’s Fourteen Columns Dating from 1st Century BC, Nazilli, Aydin, Turkey In ancient Greek sources, the name of the city is given as “Anthea” and “Euanthia”. During the Seleucid period, it received the name “Antiochia” It has also borne the names “Seleucia ad Maeandrum” and “Erynina”. It was known in the Roman and Empires as “Tralles” or “Tralleis”, and for a time as “Caesarea” (also “Kaisareia”).
  4. San Cipirello The Temple of Aphrodite. Supposed to have been founded by the Elymians or, possibly, by the Sicans, as early as the 1st millenium BC, the city of Iaitas (then Ietas in Roman times and Giato in the Middle Ages
  5. Syracuse, Sicily — Temple of Aphrodite/Templi Ferali -Palazzo Acreide)
  6. Aphrodite Temple at Aphrodisias
  7. Temple of Aphrodite, Knidos — Temple of Aphrodite, a circular Doric temple, excavated by Iris C. Love in 1970
  8. temple of Aphrodite [at Athens]
  9. Aphrodite, sanctuary, shrine, Corinth, Temple. In Corinth there were more than a thousand temple slaves dedicated to her most degraded form as the goddess of love.
    Wealthy men made it a point of honor to dedicate the most beautiful slaves.
  10. Cytheria, where Aphrodite’s temple was.
  11. Sanctuary of Aphrodite on Sacred Way to Eleusis
  12. Epidauros Peloponnesos, Greece contains a Temple of Aphrodite:

Question: What is the name of the temple of Aphrodite that was on the eastern tip of
Cyprus, and which gives an eastward view to Astarte’s Syria? It was built on a rocky
(dangerous) headland. Thanks heaps.

Answer: Temple of Aphrodite at Paphos, Cyprus Illustrated:

Click here

Question: Where is Aphrodite’s temple located?

Answer: There is a temple of Aphrodite at Epidauros.

Question: Do you have a description of the temple of Aphrodite Porne at Corinth?

Answer: “The important cult of Aphrodite had its center in a shrine on
Akrokorinthos; the architectural remains are meager, but the sanctuary appears
to have originated at least in the period of the tyrants.” Click here

“The Acrocorinthus is a mountain peak above the city, assigned to Helius by
Briareos when he acted as adjudicator, and handed over, the Corinthians say, by
Helius to Aphrodite. As you go up this Acrocorinthus you see two precincts of
Isis, one if Isis surnamed Pelagian (Marine) and the other of Egyptian Isis,
and two of Serapis, one of them+ being of Serapis called in Canopus.” Click here




Titles of Aphrodite (Epithets)


  • Acraea – ‘ἀκραῑος’ – ‘dwelling on heights’
  • Amathusia – ‘Utterly destroy?’ Amathus (Modern Greek Αμαθούς) was one of the most ancient royal cities of Cyprus.
  • Ambologera – ‘Ἀμβολογήρα’ – ‘She that puts off old age, Spartan title of Aphrodite’
  • Anadyomene – Rising from the Foam. ‘Ἀφροδίτη ἀναδυομένη’ was the name of a famous painting by the ancient Greek painter Apelles.
  • Antheia – ‘blooming’ from Indo-European ‘andh-‘, ‘blooming’
  • Apaturia – ‘Ἀπᾰτουρία’ Title of Aphrodite at Troezen according to Pausanius 2.33.1
  • Aphacitis – At Aphek (Greek Aphaca, modern Afka), a town not far from Byblos, Ba’alat was worshipped in the form of a meteorite that had fallen from the sky in a blaze of fire; the Greeks equated Her therefore with their Aphrodite Urania, “Heavenly” Aphrodite
  • Apotrophia – ‘Nourishing from afar’ from Indo-European ‘apo-‘, ‘Off, away’ and ‘treph-‘, ‘To cause to grow, develop’ “The expeller,” a surname of Aphrodite, under which she was worshipped at Thebes, and which described her as the goddess who expelled from the hearts of men the desire after sinful pleasure and lust.
  • Aracynthias – ,Curse of Cynthia, (Artemis) who was dedicated to virginity. A surname of Aphrodite, derived from mount Aracynthus, the position of which is a matter of uncertainty, and on which she had a temple.
  • Areia – ‘of Ares’
  • Argennis – ‘shine in striving’ ‘arg-en-kneigwh’ from Indo-European ‘arg-‘, ‘To shine’, ‘en-‘, ‘In’, ‘kneigwh-‘, ‘To lean on’.
  • Callipygos – ‘καλλῐπῡγος’ — ‘beautiful buttocks’
  • Cnidia – of Cnidius, The community who exhibited the naked Aphrodite of
  • Colias – There was a statue of aphrodite on the Attic promontory of Colias
  • Ctesylla – Aphrodite Ctesylla was worshipped on Ceos. There is a separate myth about a woman of this name. This may represent the identification of Aphrodite with an older (non-Indo-European) goddess as the name has no meaning in the Indo-European language.
  • Cypria – of Cyprus (Copper Island) where Aphrodite was supposed to have been born
  • Cythera – of Cythera (one of her special Islands)
  • Delia – of ‘Delos’
  • Despoena – This word means ‘mistress’. It is related to the word ‘despot’ which originally meant master of the household and derives from ‘*dems-pot’, ‘master of the household’, from Indo-European ‘demə-‘, ‘house, household’ and ‘poti-‘, ‘powerful, lord’
  • Dionaea – This word seems to be a reference to Aphrodite as the daughter of Dione as indicated by Homer in the Iliad. But it should be noted that Dione could be interpreted as a feminine form of ‘dios’. This word comes from Indo-European ‘deiw-‘, ‘ To shine’ and is totally involved with the Indo-European idea of god.
  • Epidaetia – ‘make dignified’ – from Indo-European ‘epi’, ‘Near,at’ and ‘dek-‘, ‘To take, accept’
  • Epitragia -‘make tragedy’ – from Indo European ‘epi’, ‘Near, at’, ‘Tragos’, ‘Goat’ and ‘wed-2’, ‘To speak’
  • Epipontia -(Aphrodite on the sea)
  • Erycina – ‘ἐρῦκᾰνάω’ means ‘to restrain, withold’
  • Genetyllis – Ίενετυλλίς -‘goddess of ones birth-hour’ from Indo-European ‘gene’, ‘Birth’, ‘da’, ‘to divide’, ‘leis’, ‘Track, furrow’
  • Hecaerge – ‘Ἑκαέργ’ – traditionally this meant ‘hitting at a distance ‘ and related to ‘akas’, ‘far off’. Liddel and Scott suggest a connection to ‘ekoon’, ‘At will’. But Indo-European ‘eik-‘, ‘to be master of a process’ and ‘areq- ‘to guard, protect, lock’ also makes sense.’ This term was applied to both Artemis and Aphrodite because of their involvement with arrows which act at a distance. The name was also associated with a goddes who, at any rate, must have come from an Indo-European tradition.
  • Hippodameia – ‘horse mistress’ – from Indo-European ‘ek̑u̯o-s’,’horse’ and ‘demə-
    ‘,’house’. This, no doubt, comes from the nobility of riding horses and chariots and is applied to many of the deities and is sacred to them.
  • Idalia – This is the name of a town in Cyprus. It does not seem to have an Indo-European root.
  • Limenia – ‘protectress of the harbor’ – from Indo-European ‘lē̆i-‘, ‘to pour’ and ‘mēn-‘, ‘Moon’
  • Mechanitis – ‘skilled in inventing’ – from Indo-European ‘magh’, ‘Power’ and ‘entos’, ‘within’
  • Melaenis – ‘the dark’ – from Indo-European ‘mel-2’, ‘of darkish color’ and ‘ane’, ‘breath’
  • Melinaea – related to the Argive town Meline – Relates to quinces which were the love apples of Aphrodite. The Greek word ‘μῆλον’ applies to any tree fruit. This may also relate to an Indo-European word ‘melon’ meaning the same.
  • Migonitis – from the place Migonium, in or near the island of Cranne in Laconia. Might mean ‘great dream’ from ‘meg-‘ and ‘oner’, ‘dream’. The story is that Paris founded a temple to Aphrodite here when he eloped with Helen
  • Morpho – one who shapes or fair shaped; used at Sparta
  • Nicephoros
  • Pandemos – of the people; used at Megalopolis and Thebes, a festival held in her honour in the latter
  • Paphia – of Paphos (one of her brthplaces on Cyprus)
  • Peitho –
  • Philia – of friendship
  • Urania(Ouranous) – heavenly
  • Zephyritis
  • Zerenthia


Children of Aphrodite

Aphrodite’s children were:

  • Aeneas, son by Anchises, and mortal.
  • Anteros – the god of requited love – son of Ares.
  • Beroe, daughter by Adonis, but as she has no realm she was probably a mortal.
  • Deimos – god of fear – by Ares.
  • Eros – god of love – son by Ares. But Hesiod has him as one of the primary gods alog with chaos and earth.
  • Golgos, son? by Adonis, but no realm so mortal.
  • Lyrus, son by Anchises, and mortal.
  • Eryx, king of Sicily and son of the hero Boutes, and mortal
  • Harmonia, daughter by Ares, and mortal.
  • Hermaphroditus, son by Hermes, found only in Ovid he is a later being whose mortality is not clear.
  • Herophilus, daughter by Poseidon
  • Himeros – god of sexual desire – son by Ares and the twin of Eros.
  • Phobos – god of panic – son of Ares
  • Priapus – fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens and male genitalia –
    perhaps son of Aphrodite by Dionysus but Ariadne seems more likely.
  • Rhodos, daughter of Poseidon and mortal.


Aphrodite of Knidos

This is one of the most famous statues of the ancient world. Unfortunately
the original statue is lost and we can only estimate what it looked like from copies
made of it. Fortunately it was so famous that many copies were made.

Question: Why was the statue Aphrodite of Cnidos so important for the
residents of Cneidos? What reason did Praxiteles have for making the statue?
Was Cnidus an important town ?

Answer: The statue of Apohrodite was an important tourist attraction. Many
peaple traveled to Cnidus to see the statue. Praxites was a sculptor. It
was common for sculptors of the day to make statues that would be used in a
temple dedicated to a goddess. The community was successful enough to be able
to pay for the statue. After they got the statue the community was much more
famous because of it. More information about this subject is available at:
Click here

Question: what is praxitiles

Answer: Praxiteles was a sculptor who flourished between 370 and 330 BCE.
He was one of the most influential artists who ever lived. He was the first
to carve a totally nude statue of a goddess. His Aphrodite of Cnidus is
still copied today.

Question: what are the differences between the Aphrodite of Knidos and the
Venus de Milo? And if asked to trace the developement of the female nude in
classical sculpture, where would you start and would Praxiteles’ Aphrodite of
Knidos be the end?

Answer: We have the original of the Venus de Milo but we have only copies of
the Aphrodite of Cnidos. We know Praxitiles sculpted the Aphrodite but we do not
know the sculptor of Venus.

Praxiteles began the sculpture of the classical female nude, but many came

Pictures of copies of Aphrodite of Knidos

Stages in the development of the nude in sculpture.

  • Images of nude goddeses are found among neolithic remains but they we done at a time when clothes were not that common. These statues are stiff with accentuation of female attributes.
  • When clothes were customary then goddesses were depicted with clothes. But the figures were vertical and stiff.
  • Daedalus is supposed to have produced the first statue with split legs. This allowed figures to be depicted in a more natural pose.
  • Phidias, Myron, and Polyclitus gave the figure a more dynamic quality.
  • Praxiteles did more that depict a nude. First, he depicted the underlying form of a figure. Secondly he idealized the figure so no individual was depicted. Thirdly, he depicted a figure dynamic in space. It is as though the figure is caught at a moment in a dance. Lastly, he balanced the figure so it appeared visually at rest.
  • Some hellenistic sculptors were able to add to this development with new senses of balance of form and dynamism but the improvements are subtle. The Nike of Samothrace and the Venus de Milo can be seen in this context.
  • Later sculptors such as Michaelangelo and Rodin have been able to integrate the figure into current culture but the basic sculptural ideals are essentially those of Praxiteles.


Aphrodite of Melos

(Image) Aphrodite, Goddess of Love (a statue after the Venus de Milo in the Louvre)

Question: when was the Venus de Milo made?

Answer: The Venus de Milo was made sometime during the second century BCE.

Question: Why isThe Venus de Milo considered a model for feminine beauty.

Answer: Once it was discovered it became the most popular statue in the
world. Everyone loves it and thinks it is beautiful.

Question: Who was Venus de Milo and what is the story behind
the armless sculpture?

Answer: The Venus de Milo is a sculpture of the goddess
Aphrodite. It was sculpted in the second century BCE by an
unknown sculptor. It probably was a sculpture used in a religious
temple in Melos. The statue was discovered in a stone yard in the
19th century by Frenchmen who purchased it and took it to the
Lourve. Originally the statue had arms, but they were broken off
long ago. It probably even was painted in lifelike colors when it
was placed in a temple.

Question: venus de milo, is statue of greek or roman origin?

Answer: It is Hellenic Greek made after the conquest of Greece
Alexander but before the conquest by Rome. Melos is an island in
the Aegean sea south of Athens. If it is called the Aphrodite of
Melos, it sounds more Greek.

Question: Are there any ancient references to the Venus di Milo, was it as famous as the ‘Aphrodite of Cnidos’?

Answer: There are no ancient references to the Venus de Milo.

Question: Why was Venus de milo named Venus de milo?

Answer: She was found by French scholars on Melos in 1820 among other
marbles intended for a limekiln.

Question: Is Venus de Milo Aphrodite?

Answer: yes

Question: Are Aphrodite and venus de milo the same person?

Answer: Not exactly. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love who was
worshipped for thousands of years until about 125 AD. Venus was a Roman
equivalent goddess. The Venus de Milo was a sculpture of Aphrodite that
was produced on the Island of Melos in the second century BCE. Though it was
originally a Hellenistic statue, it was easily adapted to the Roman religion.

Question: how did venus di milo’s arms fall off.

Answer: When Christianity took over the decorations for the old religion were
consigned to the dump. When statues are pitched in the dump their arms fall off.

Question: I am having so much trouble trying to come up with the answer to my
question. So could you please help me? I have been trying to find information
on the sesuality of the venus de milo, and have found nothing but sculpture
references. I need to find out this information. I have a report do Friday,
and I am stuck. so if you could please answer this for me, It would be greatly

Answer: The sensuality of this statue results from the fact that it is of a
beautifully proportioned and partly naked female twisting in space.

Question: Where Aphrodite and Venus de Milo the same person, or just different in terms of one was Greek and the other Roman?

Answer: The Venus de Milo is more properly termed Aphrodite of Melos as the statue was Hellenistic Greek.

Question: What are the measurements (bust, waiste, hips, height) of Aphrodite based on the statue Aphrodite of Melos (Venus de Milo)?

Answer: The Louvre Museum in Paris may be able to give you the measurements of the statue
but they have little applicability to the goddess herself. Aphrodite
can assume any measurements she wants. When she appears before you she will
have whatever you think is ideal.


Roman Venus

The Romans adopted the Greek stories and merged them with their own. The
Roman deities sometimes had their own stories, but the Greek ones are more
common and lengthy. Since Venus had little myth and literature of her own
the merged goddess is quite similar to the Greek Aphrodite. But there was a
difference in emphasis. The Romans were more interested in Venus Genetrix
because in this mode Venus was the mother of Aeneus, their founder.
The constellations as we know them were named by the Romans. They were quite
fond of Venus and named the brightest star in the sky after her.

Julius Caesar is as close to devine as any man, I suppose. He
recently received a lot of press because it was he who installed the calendar
that we use. It takes a powerful man to put a new calendar in place, as is
attested by the fact that we still live with his, and most of his arrangements.
But is his mother Love herself as he claimed? This seems to be the kind of
notion of religion and they had to deal with a lot of religions. The Romans
were able to compare one to the other and pick and chose to their own
advantage. The emperors were not above manipulating worship to their own
benefit, and I suspect this is what Julius was doing.

It is certainly possible for a modern person to be related to Aphrodite.
Zeus had Aphrodite fall in love with Aniches to temper her wanton ways. From
this union Aeneas was born. The Romans believed that when Troy fell Aeneas
went on to found Rome. Many Romans were able to trace their ancestry to
Aeneas. Many modern Europeans can trace their ancestry to Rome and so the
possibility exists. But pedigrees are in fact hard to establish and involve
long lists of documented proof. The best pedigrees usually relate to the
royalty of England and they only go back a thousand years. To get to
Aphrodite you may have to go back 3500 years. If you find some DNA of
Aeneas or Aphrodite you could shortcut the proceedure. But I know of no one
who has gotten DNA from a goddess.


Presenting Aphrodite

Question: Do you have any suggestions or ideas on how I could present
information on Aphrodite in front of my class in a interesting way?

Answer: There are a number of ways to present Aphrodite. At the lowest
level you could compare Britney Spears to Aphrodite. Britney has an enormous
attractive value and her fans have made her the number one sought after subject
on the internet. This is likely because she has been able to incorporate the
most powerful aspects of Aphrodite into her personality: From Hesiod:
“This honour she has from the beginning,
and this is the portion allotted to her amongst men and undying
gods, — the whisperings of maidens and smiles and deceits with
sweet delight and love and graciousness.” THE THEOGONY(ll. 176-206)
He also refers to her as “laughter-loving”, “rich”, “golden”, “charming”
i”garland-loving” nand beautiful. And he also says “Meanwhile the rich-tressed Graces and cheerful
Seasons dance with Harmonia and Hebe and Aphrodite, daughter of
Zeus, holding each other by the wrist.” while men toil and suffer. The other
gods and goddesses have lost their appeal, while Aphrodite still works her
magic, especially through agents such as Britney Spears.

Another approach deals with the so-called fat venuses such as the Venus
of Willendorf. These figures represent a different attitude toward women
which was prevalent in the neolithic times. Life was hand-to-mouth yet
women had to deal with birth as a miracle of life that would make extra demands
upon them. The benefits were enormous including all the security that you
would ever get, especially in old age. Pictures and an article are found at:
The Venus of Willendorf

Finally there is the philosophic approach. Empedocles wrote that “Motive
power belongs to the great polar principles of attraction and
repulsion, variously called Love and Strife, Aphrodite and Neikos.” More about
Empedocles can be found at: Click Here.



  • An article about Aphrodite is located at:
    Click here
  • Aphrodite of Cyprus
  • No way to treat a Lady: Attempts to suppress the Dynamic Feminine.
  • Hesiod in his Theogony and Homer in the Iliad both write about
    Aphrodite. Edith Hamilton summarizes the various stories about Aphrodite
    in her Mythology.
  • Judy Chicago talks about Aphrodite in her book on page 104.
  • Love and the Goddess – Power of Myth Program 5, VHS, Director Bill Moyers, USA, 1988, Joseph Campbell, The mythology of love, from ancient India’s erotic mysticism to the 12th century troubadours, William Blake and Thomas Mann. Also explores the image of woman as goddess, virgin and Mother Earth.
  • The Cult of Aphrodite at Aphrodisias in Caria


Myths about Aphrodite

Myths of Aphrodite:

  • daughter of Zeus and Dione: Apollod. 1.2.6, Apollod. 1.3.1
  • born of the sea: Paus. 2.1.8, Paus. 5.11.8
  • received by Love: Paus. 5.11.8
  • mother of Love: Paus. 9.27.2 and of Priapus: Paus. 9.31.2
  • presides over marriages: Paus. 4.30.5
  • brings up daughters of Pandareos: Paus. 10.30.1
  • led by Ares: Paus. 5.18.5
  • present at marriage of Jason and Medea: Paus. 5.18.3
  • receives Acro-Corinth from the Sun: Paus. 2.4.6
  • rescues Creusa from slavery: Paus. 10.26.1
  • angry with Pierus: Apollod. 1.3.2
  • causes Dawn to be perpetually in love: Apollod. 1.4.3
  • afflicts the Lemnian women: Apollod. 1.9.17
  • carries away Butes: Apollod. 1.9.24
  • mother of Harmonia: Apollod. 3.4.2
  • gives the golden apples to Melanion: Apollod. 3.9.2
  • loves Anchises and bears him Aeneas and Lyrus: Apollod. 3.12.2
  • in anger causes the daughters of Cinyras to cohabit with foreigners: Apollod. 3.14.3
  • loves Adonis: Apollod. 1.3.2
  • disputes with Persephone for the possession of Adonis: Apollod. 3.14.4, Apollod. 3.14.5
  • forsakes Hephaestus: Apollod. 3.14.5
  • judged by Alexander: Apollod. E.3.2, Paus. 5.19.5
  • rescues Alexander (Paris) from Menelaus: Apollod. E.4.1
  • wounded by Diomedes: Apollod. E.4.1


Pictures of Aphrodite

For Aphrodite any image of a beautifully attractive woman will do. A picture
from ancient Greece would be a very attractive Greek woman dressed in clothes
of the time, if she had any clothes on at all. Praxiteles carved a statue
of Aphrodite that was totally nude. He used a very famous courtesan Phryne
as the model. But you can tell that his model was ancient Greek because of
her hair style. He even included a ribbon in her hair. Marilyn Monroe could
have modeled for a statue of Aphrodite. Would you want to put a Greek
hair style on Marilyn Monroe? Aphrodite does have attributes by which she
is recognized. Feminine beauty is the most important. Because she won the
judgement of Paris and was given the golden apple, she is sometimes seen with
a love apple. She is also associated with a dove, no doubt because this
is a passionate bird. So with an apple in her hand and a dove in her hair
she needs no clothes to hide her beauty.

Most people already have an image of Aphrodite in their head. Women have
this image of the ideal woman so they can compare it to their own bodies.
They use this comparison to improve their attractiveness through the use of
cosmetics and jewelry. Men have an image of the ideal woman that they use
to determine what women they should be attracted to. They have the desire
to see the woman totally nude so they can consumate the sex act with with the
beautiful woman. Women take advantage of this image in men. By careful
arrangement of their cosmetics and dress they can suggest beauty in the minds
of the men. The men use their image to fill in the details and then think of
the woman as desirable. This mechanism has been fully active since the time
of the ancient Greeks. The Greek men and women worshipped Aphrodite because
they felt she was in control of it.

There are many sources for images of Aphrodite. Women’s magazines are
full of models who are beautiful. Each could be Aphrodite. The playmates
in the men’s magazine’s will also sometimes serve. Advertisements often contain
beautiful women, some nude or almost nude. There are many works of art
that picture beautiful, nude women. In Ancient times there were Praxiteles’
Venus of Cnidos, an Aphrodite of Cyrene, and an Aphrodite of Syracuse, all
nude. The Cleveland Museum of Art has a lovely nude Aphrodite if you visit

There are other art subjects which present the image of Aphrodite.
Depictions of Adam and Eve, for example, usually show Eve as a beautiful
and naked young woman with an apple in her hand. A dove is often present
because it is a symbol of peace. The snake in the garden of Eden does
not represent Aphrodite, but it represents a common male response to Aphrodite.
Andromeda can be taken as Aphrodite as well. In modern times such pictures as
Olympia by Eduard Manet and Goya’s La Maja Desnuda can also be taken
as representations of Aphrodite.

Not all images of naked women are images of Aphrodite. One expects
that from the image of a goddess some good would come. Likewise, the image
should inspire good in you. There are many images of naked women on the net
that speak to more purient interests. These are not images of Aphrodite.
Sometimes there is quite a challenge deciding which is which however.

A listing of images of Aphrodite is at: Click here

Ancient images of Aphrodite:

Recent images of Aphrodite: