61 Facts About Aphrodite


The cult of Aphrodite was largely derived from that of the Phoenician goddess Astarte, a cognate of the East Semitic goddess Ishtar, whose cult was based on the Sumerian cult of Inanna.

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Aphrodite was the patron goddess of prostitutes, an association which led early scholars to propose the concept of "sacred prostitution" in Greco-Roman culture, an idea which is generally seen as erroneous.

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In Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite is born off the coast of Cythera from the foam produced by Uranus's genitals, which his son Cronus had severed and thrown into the sea.

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Aphrodite had many other epithets, each emphasizing a different aspect of the same goddess, or used by a different local cult.

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In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, the god of fire, blacksmiths and metalworking.

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Aphrodite was frequently unfaithful to him and had many lovers; in the Odyssey, she is caught in the act of adultery with Ares, the god of war.

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Aphrodite was the surrogate mother and lover of the mortal shepherd Adonis, who was killed by a wild boar.

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Aphrodite has been featured in Western art as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of Western literature.

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Aphrodite is a major deity in modern Neopagan religions, including the Church of Aphrodite, Wicca, and Hellenismos.

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Early modern scholars of classical mythology attempted to argue that Aphrodite's name was of Greek or Indo-European origin, but these efforts have now been mostly abandoned.

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Aphrodite's name is generally accepted to be of non-Greek, probably Semitic, origin, but its exact derivation cannot be determined.

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Pausanias states that the first to establish a cult of Aphrodite were the Assyrians, followed by the Paphians of Cyprus and then the Phoenicians at Ascalon.

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Some early comparative mythologists opposed to the idea of a Near Eastern origin argued that Aphrodite originated as an aspect of the Greek dawn goddess Eos and that she was therefore ultimately derived from the Proto-Indo-European dawn goddess *Haeusos.

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Aphrodite rising out of the waters after Cronus defeats Uranus as a mytheme would then be directly cognate to the Rigvedic myth of Indra defeating Vrtra, liberating Ushas.

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Male version of Aphrodite known as Aphroditus was worshipped in the city of Amathus on Cyprus.

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Aphrodite was honored in Athens as part of the Arrhephoria festival.

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Aphrodite was the patron goddess of prostitutes of all varieties, ranging from pornai to hetairai.

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Corinth had a major temple to Aphrodite located on the Acrocorinth and was one of the main centers of her cult.

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Records of numerous dedications to Aphrodite made by successful courtesans have survived in poems and in pottery inscriptions.

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Aphrodite was the patron goddess of the Lagid queens and Queen Arsinoe II was identified as her mortal incarnation.

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Aphrodite was worshipped in Alexandria and had numerous temples in and around the city.

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Aphrodite was claimed as a divine guardian by many political magistrates.

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Aphrodite is usually said to have been born near her chief center of worship, Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, which is why she is sometimes called "Cyprian", especially in the poetic works of Sappho.

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The Sanctuary of Aphrodite Paphia, marking her birthplace, was a place of pilgrimage in the ancient world for centuries.

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Aphrodite is consistently portrayed as a nubile, infinitely desirable adult, having had no childhood.

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Likewise, in Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite is unmarried and the wife of Hephaestus is Aglaea, the youngest of the three Charites.

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Humiliated, Aphrodite returned to Cyprus, where she was attended by the Charites.

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Aphrodite's other set of attendants was the three Horae, whom Hesiod identifies as the daughters of Zeus and Themis and names as Eunomia, Dike, and Eirene.

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Aphrodite was sometimes accompanied by Harmonia, her daughter by Ares, and Hebe, the daughter of Zeus and Hera.

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Aphrodite abandoned the infant to die in the wilderness, but a herdsman found him and raised him, later discovering that Priapus could use his massive penis to aid in the growth of plants.

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Aphrodite appears to Anchises in the form of a tall, beautiful, mortal virgin while he is alone in his home.

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Aphrodite asks her if she is Aphrodite and promises to build her an altar on top of the mountain if she will bless him and his family.

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Aphrodite tells Anchises that she is still a virgin and begs him to take her to his parents.

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Aphrodite found the baby, and took him to the underworld to be fostered by Persephone.

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Aphrodite returned for him once he was grown and discovered him to be strikingly handsome.

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In different versions of the story, the boar was either sent by Ares, who was jealous that Aphrodite was spending so much time with Adonis, or by Artemis, who wanted revenge against Aphrodite for having killed her devoted follower Hippolytus.

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In one version of the story, Aphrodite injured herself on a thorn from a rose bush and the rose, which had previously been white, was stained red by her blood.

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Aphrodite gave Hippomenes three golden apples from the Garden of the Hesperides and instructed him to toss them in front of Atalanta as he raced her.

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Aphrodite fell madly and passionately in love with the ivory cult statue he was carving of Aphrodite and longed to marry it.

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Aphrodite generously rewarded those who honored her, but punished those who disrespected her, often quite brutally.

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Aphrodite is infuriated by his prideful behavior and, in the prologue to the play, she declares that, by honoring only Artemis and refusing to venerate her, Hippolytus has directly challenged her authority.

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Glaucus of Corinth angered Aphrodite by refusing to let his horses for chariot racing mate, since doing so would hinder their speed.

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Aphrodite cursed him with falling in love with his own mother.

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Therefore, Venus [Aphrodite] inspired love for Orpheus in the women of Thrace, causing them to tear him apart as each of them sought Orpheus for herself.

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Aphrodite was annoyed at this, so she arrived with a golden apple inscribed with the word ?a???st?, which she threw among the goddesses.

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Hera tried to bribe Paris with power over all Asia and Europe, and Athena offered wisdom, fame and glory in battle, but Aphrodite promised Paris that, if he were to choose her as the fairest, she would let him marry the most beautiful woman on earth.

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Aphrodite plays an important and active role throughout the entirety of Homer's Iliad.

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Aphrodite borrows Ares's chariot to ride back to Mount Olympus.

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In Book XIV of the Iliad, during the Dios Apate episode, Aphrodite lends her kestos himas to Hera for the purpose of seducing Zeus and distracting him from the combat while Poseidon aids the Greek forces on the beach.

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Rich-throned immortal Aphrodite, scheming daughter of Zeus, I pray you, with pain and sickness, Queen, crush not my heart, but come, if ever in the past you heard my voice from afar and hearkened, and left your father's halls and came, with goldchariot yoked; and pretty sparrowsbrought you swiftly across the dark earthfluttering wings from heaven through the air.

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The throne shows Aphrodite rising from the sea, clad in a diaphanous garment, which is drenched with seawater and clinging to her body, revealing her upturned breasts and the outline of her navel.

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Scenes with Aphrodite appear in works of classical Greek pottery, including a famous white-ground kylix by the Pistoxenos Painter dating the between c 470 and 460 BC, showing her riding on a swan or goose.

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The Aphrodite Anadyomene went unnoticed for centuries, but Pliny the Elder records that, in his own time, it was regarded as Apelles's most famous work.

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Some statues show Aphrodite crouching naked; others show her wringing water out of her hair as she rises from the sea.

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Aphrodite is the central figure in Sandro Botticelli's painting Primavera, which has been described as "one of the most written about, and most controversial paintings in the world", and "one of the most popular paintings in Western art".

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The story of Aphrodite's birth from the foam was a popular subject matter for painters during the Italian Renaissance, who were attempting to consciously reconstruct Apelles of Kos's lost masterpiece Aphrodite Anadyomene based on the literary ekphrasis of it preserved by Cicero and Pliny the Elder.

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Aphrodite appears in Richard Garnett's short story collection The Twilight of the Gods and Other Tales, in which the gods' temples have been destroyed by Christians.

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Stories revolving around sculptures of Aphrodite were common in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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The Church of Aphrodite's theology was laid out in the book In Search of Reality, published in 1969, two years before Botkin's death.

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Aphrodite is a major deity in Wicca, a contemporary nature-based syncretic Neopagan religion.

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Aphrodite's eyes are made of glass paste, while the presence of holes at the level of the ear-lobes suggest the existence of precious metal ear-rings which have since been lost.

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