November 27 2011
Professor J. Whitmarsh
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure she was also known as Venus in the Roman era. There are two stories on how Aphrodite’s was born. Some say she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. The most known story is she was born when the father of the gods, Uranus was castrated by his son Cronus and he threw Uranus genitals into the ocean and from the sea it created bubbling sea foam and arose Aphrodite. It is said that the sea carried her to either Cythera or Cyprus. This is the reason why she is often referred to as Cytherea and Kypris. If Aphrodite is the cast-offspring of Uranus, This makes her the same generation as Zeus’s parents making her an older generation then Zeus. Aphrodite was very beautiful and because of this beauty Zeus feared that the other Gods would fight for her hand in marriage. This would result in interrupting the peace among the other Gods and lead to war. So Zeus decided to marry Aphrodite off to the ugliest of the gods, Hephaestus. The homely craftsman-god couldn’t believe his luck so Hephaestus used his talented skills to make the most Sumptuous jewels for her. He made her a girdle of finely wrought gold and wove magic into the filigree work. When she wore her magic girdle no one could resist her, as you can see this wasn’t very wise as she was already too irresistible. Although Hephaestus was very hard working and practically worshiped the ground Aphrodite walked on, this was not good enough for her. She was not pleased about being his wife because she loved liveliness and glamour. She was unfaithful to him with Ares. Aphrodite loved was loved by many gods and mortals therefore, she had many lovers both gods and mortals. The most famous mortal was Adonis. She was both his lover and his surrogate mother. The story goes, the king of Cyprus, Cinyras had a beautiful daughter named Myrrha. Myrrha’s mother ended up committing Hubris (Which...