22 Facts About Adonis


Adonis was the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite in Greek mythology.

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One day, Adonis was gored by a wild boar during a hunting trip and died in Aphrodite's arms as she wept.

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Adonis's blood mingled with her tears and became the anemone flower.

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Adonis's name comes from a Canaanite word meaning "lord" and most modern scholars consider the story of Aphrodite and Adonis to be derived from the earlier Mesopotamian myth of Inanna and Dumuzid (Tammuz).

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In late 19th and early 20th century scholarship of religion, Adonis was widely seen as a prime example of the archetypal dying-and-rising god.

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Adonis's name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is the archetype.

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Worship of Aphrodite and Adonis is probably a Greek continuation of the ancient Sumerian worship of Inanna and Dumuzid.

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The cult of Adonis has been described as corresponding to the cult of the Phoenician god Baal.

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Exact date when the worship of Adonis became integrated into Greek culture is still disputed.

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Walter Burkert questions whether Adonis had not from the very beginning come to Greece along with Aphrodite.

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Worship of Adonis is associated with the festival of the Adonia, which was celebrated by Greek women every year in midsummer.

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Adonis's returned for him once he was grown and discovered him to be strikingly handsome.

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Thus was Adonis' life divided between Aphrodite and Persephone, one goddess who loved him beneath the earth, the other above it.

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Adonis was said to have been loved by other gods such as Apollo, Heracles and Dionysus.

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Adonis was described as androgynous for he acted like a man in his affections for Aphrodite but as a woman for Apollo.

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The text states that due to his love of Adonis, Aphrodite taught Nessos the centaur the trap to ensnare him.

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In Idyll 15 by the early third-century BC Greek bucolic poet Theocritus, Adonis is described as a still an adolescent with down on his cheeks at the time of his love affair with Aphrodite, in contrast to Ovid's Metamorphoses in which he is portrayed as a fully mature man.

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Ovid's portrayal of Venus's desperate love for Adonis became the inspiration for many literary portrayals in Elizabethan literature of both male and female courtship.

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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.

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Story of Adonis was the inspiration for the Italian poet Giambattista Marino to write his mythological epic L'Adone, which outsold Shakespeare's First Folio.

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Frazer claimed that Adonis was just one example of the archetype of a "dying-and-rising god" found throughout all cultures.

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Biblical scholars Eddy and Boyd applied this rationale to Adonis based on the fact that his portion of the year spent in the Underworld with Persephone is not really a death and resurrection, but merely an instance of a living person staying in the Underworld.

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