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Tales beyond belief

Aphrodite for kids
Discover the legends and myths surrounding Aphrodite. Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty and passion. Aphrodite was the most beautiful of all the goddesses and was said to have sprung from the foam of the sea. Several of the Olympian gods wished to marry her but
Zeus decided the matter strangely by giving her to Hephaestus, the ugliest of all the gods.

Aphrodite had a son named Eros, or Cupid, the god of love. He carried a bow and arrows, and if one of his arrows pierced the heart of a mortal, the person fell in love.

Aphrodite (Roman Counterpart was Venus)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Aphrodite, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Aphrodite was Venus.

Facts about Aphrodite
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Aphrodite:

  • Personality: Passionate, weak, all smiles but little substance, unfaithful

  • Appearance: Beautiful, young, elegant and desirable

  • Role & Function: The function of Aphrodite is described as being the goddess of love, sexuality, beauty and desire

  • Status: A Major goddess and one of the Twelve Olympians

  • Symbols: The Dolphin, Rose, Scallop Shell, Mirror and Girdle. The Dove, Sparrow, and Swan

  • Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this goddess was Venus

  • Name of Husband: Hephaestus (she had lots of liaisons including an affair with Ares)

  • Name of Father: Zeus

  • Name of Mother: Dione

  • Names of Children: Hephaestus and Aphrodite had no children together, but both had children with other lovers

The Lovers of Aphrodite
Aphrodite was the most perfect of all females. the epitome of beauty. She had many lovers who included Ares, Dionysus, Hermes, Poseidon, Anchises, Adonis, Butes, Phaon, Phaethon.

The Children of Aphrodite
Although Aphrodite had no children in her arranged marriage to Hephaestus she had many children by her lovers. The names of the children of Aphrodite included Anteros, Aeneas, Astynoos, Beroe, Deimos, god of terror, Eros, god of love, Eryx, the Erotes, Eunomia, Harmonia, Hermaphroditos, Himeros, Iakkhos, Peitho, Phobos, Pothos, Priapos, Rhodoe, Tyche, Herophilos and Lyros.

The Family of Aphrodite
According to Greek legends and myths the family of Aphrodite were somewhat contradictory. Her parents are described as any of the following:

  • Father and Mother: Zeus and Dione (most commonly named as her parents)
  • Alternate names of Father and Mother: Uranus and Hemera
  • Alternate names of Father and Mother: Cronus and Euonyme
  • Parent: Uranus alone

Aphrodite and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods, that included Aphrodite, were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Hestia or Dionysus, Apollo, Ares, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.

Info about Aphrodite
According to Greek mythology Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, sprang from the foam of the sea. Zephyr, the Greek god of the west wind, wafted her along the waves to the Isle of Cyprus, where she was received and attired by the Seasons. The Seasons were three minor deities called the 'Horae' and were the goddesses of time. The Seasons led the beautiful Aphrodite to the assembly of the gods. All of the gods were charmed by her beauty, and each one demanded her for his wife. Zeus gave her to Hephaestus, in gratitude for the service he had given in forging thunderbolts. It is ironic that the most beautiful of all the goddesses became the wife of the most ill-favored of gods. Aphrodite possessed an embroidered girdle called Cestus, which had the power of inspiring love. Her favorite birds were swans and doves, and the plants sacred to her were the rose and the myrtle.

The Symbols of Aphrodite
In the sculptures, vases, mosaics and paintings of Greek Art the goddess Aphrodite was often illustrated with images representing her symbols - the dolphin, rose, pomegranate, scallop shell, pearl, mirror and girdle. The symbols of Aphrodite were:

  • The Scallop Shell
    • A giant scallop shell then carried the goddess to the island of Cyprus where her reign began
  • The Pearl
    • The symbol of the pearl is sacred to Aphrodite as it is also the offspring of the water (the foam born)
  • The Mirror and Girdle
    • The symbol of the mirror refers to the vanity of the goddess
    •  The girdle, called a Cestus, had the power of inspiring love
  • The Rose
    • The symbol of the rose represents beauty. In the legend of Adonis every drop of blood that fell from his wounds became a red rose
  • The Pomegranate
    • The pomegranate represents the consummation of marriage and the loss of female virginity
  • The Dove, Sparrow, and Swan
    • The dove, sparrow, and swan were the sacred bird symbols of Aphrodite. The dove is called the 'bridesmaid bird of love' and the herald of lifelong wedding and happy hearts. Swans were said to tow her sailing boat

Facts about Aphrodite in Greek Mythology
Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology.

  • The myth about the Apple of Discord tells of a golden apple that was thrown into a banquet of the gods by Eris, the goddess of Discord, who had not been invited to the feast. The the apple had "for the fairest" written on it and the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all claimed it. Paris, the Prince of Troy, awarded it to Aphrodite beginning a chain of events that led to the Trojan War.

  • Hephaestus made Aphrodite a beautiful golden carriage that was drawn by dove.

  • Aphrodite possessed a magical girdle, called a Cestus, which had the power of inspiring passionate love. It was referred to as the 'heart-bewitching cestus-belt'.

  • Her skin was said to be 'whiter than ivory'.

  • The Graces bathed her with heavenly oil that immersed her with an enchanting fragrance.

  • The rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite and connected with the Story of Adonis. The myrtle is said to be the herb of passion and the rose is the flower of beauty.

  • The pomegranate was sacred to Aphrodite symbolizing the consummation of marriage and the loss of female virginity

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses

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