HISTORY OF APHRODITE
Aphroditeâ€™s Legend Compiled by Connie Paris
Aphrodite is known as the Greek Goddess (Roman Venus) of love, desire, beauty, fertility, the sea, and vegetation. It is said that when Cronus was castrated by Uranus, and his part was thrown into the sea, Aphrodite was thus born and arose on a large shell, which was then carried to land, thus her name being translated "foam-risen". The sea nymphs dressed her and adorned her with flowers and gold. She now represents Erotic Love as a form of Divine influence, which has resulted in many men becoming capable of falling in love with her. There are many other tales of Aphrodite, as her Roman name is Venus, she is also known as the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
In Homeric legend Aphrodite was forced to marry the ugly god of fire, Hephaestus, with this marriage, she had hoped to reach the freedom she needed instead of being controlled. Aphrodite was very independent and constantly in search for a new lover. One of her more familiar lovers was Ares, the god of war, whom she later married. Aphrodite felt no pain in being deceitful, as she flourished in the fact that she could have anyone and everyone, love and admire her. Aphrodite has had many miscellaneous children as a result of her whimsical affairs, but a few of her more familiar ones are, Eros(god of Love), Rhodos, Herophilus, Hermaphroditus, Priapus, and Aneas. We can remember Aneas as the founder of Rome. Aneas had fled Troy when it was destroyed, accompanied by his son. He traveled far and wide, lived and heard many tales of the past and the future, until he found Rome and claimed it.
Aphrodite's more admired child is Eros.Eros or the Roman Cupid. Eros (Cupid) means desire, for Eros is the god of Love. Just as Aphrodite was married to an ugly god, Hephaestus, she had her son follow in similar footsteps. Eros was in love with Psyche, a beautiful princess. Except Psyche was a mortal, and Aphrodite hated her for her beauty. Aphrodite had Eros persuade Psyche to fall in love with a monster (Eros really), so he hid his identity from her, for she believed him to be hideous. She would only see him at night, as Eros kept her hidden away from all people. One night, Psyche's curiosity got the best of her, and she looked upon Eros by candlelight as he slept. Eros was so enraged by her spying that he left her to wander the world in misery, but he knew that his love for her was too strong. He begged Zeus to change her to an immortal, and they were finally married. We see Eros today as the symbol of love on Valentines day, and other sweetheart moments. Many of the portraiture of Aphrodite is recognizes by the image of Eros by her side, such as Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time by Bronzino.
The most famous legend of Aphrodite, is the beginning of the Trojan War. Aphrodite was among two other goddess, Hera and Athena, who were invited to the wedding of King Peleus and his sea nymph Thetis. Eris the goddess of discord was so outraged that she was not invited, so she threw a golden apple labeled "to the fairest" in the center of the floor. All three goddess knew that they were the fairest, and fought over it. Since Zeus would not choose the fairest, the goddess's looked upon Paris, the Prince of Troy, to make the award. Each goddess offered poor Paris a bribe for them to be the chosen one. Thus the bribe he could not turn down was that of Aphrodite, as she offered him the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Troy. Helen however was the wife of the Greek king Menelaus, so Paris's abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.
One of the most celebrated events in Greek mythology is the birth of Aphrodite.
I sing of beautiful Aphrodite of Cyprus and the sea, where the camp force of Zephyr breath carried her along on waves of the resounding sea and the soft foam. The hours happily received her and put divine garments around her. On her immortal head they placed a crown, carefully made of gold. In the pierced lobes of her ears they placed flowers of copper. On her delicate neck and silver-white breasts they put necklaces of gold. Then they led her to the immortals who welcomed her and reached out their hands to her. They gawked at the figure of the Cytheran crowned in violets. Farewell, quick-blinking, sweet-smiling goddess, grant me victory in this contest--favor my song and I'll remember you in another.
(A paraphrase of Second Homeric Hymn from the seventh century).