Aphrodite direct

Aphrodite riding goose, Athenian red-figure kylix C5th B.C., British Museum

APHRODITE was the Olympian goddess of love sầu, beauty, pleasure và procreation.She was depicted as a beautiful woman often accompanied by the winged godling Eros (Love). Her attributes included a dove, apple, scallop shell & mirror. In classical sculpture và fresteo she was usually depicted nude.

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Some of the more famous myths featuring the goddess include:--

Her birth from the sea foam. More>>

Her adulterous affair with the god Ares. More>>

Her love sầu for Adonis, a handsome Cypriot youth who was tragically killed by a boar. More>>

Her love sầu for Ankhises (Anchises), a shepherd-prince. More>>

The judgement of Paris in which the goddess was awarded the prize of the golden táo bị cắn dở in return for promising Paris Helene in marriage. More>>

The Trojan War in which she supported her favourites Paris & Aeneas và was wounded in the fighting. More>>

The race of Hippomenes for Atalanta, which was won with the help of the goddess and her golden apples. More>>

The death of Hippolytos, who was destroyed by the goddess for scorning her worship. More>>

The statue of Pygmalion which was brought khổng lồ life by Aphrodite in answer lớn his prayers. More>>

The persecution of Psykhe (Psyche), the maiden loved by the goddess" son Eros. More>>

Many other myths are detailed over the following pages.


This site contains a total of 18 pages describing the goddess Aphrodite, including general descriptions, mythology, và cult. The nội dung is outlined in the Index of Aphrodite Pages (left column or below).



<1> Born from the castrated genitals of OURANOS in the sea"s foam (Hesiod Theogony 188, Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.21, Apuleius 6.6, Nonnus Dionysiaca 1.86, et al)<2> ZEUS và DIONE (Homer Iliad 5.370; Euripides Helen 1098; Apollodorus 1.13, Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.21, et al)<3> OURANOS & HEMERA (Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.21)


See Family of Aphrodite


Aphrodite "Venus de Milo", Greek marble statue C2nd B.C., Musée du Louvre

APHRODI′TE (Aphroditê), one of the great Olympian divinities, was, according to lớn the popular & poetical notions of the Greeks, the goddess of love sầu và beauty. Some traditions stated that she had sprung from the foam (aphros) of the sea, which had gathered around the mutilated parts of Uranus, that had been thrown into lớn the sea by Kronos after he had unmanned his father. (Hesiod. Theog. 190; compare Anadyomene.) With the exception of the Homeric hymn on Aphrodite there is no trace of this legkết thúc in Homer, và according to lớn hlặng Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus và Dione. (Il. v. 370, &c., xx. 105.) Later traditions Gọi her a daughter of Kronos and Euonyme, or of Uranus và Hemera. (Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 23; Natal. Com. iv. 13.)

According lớn Hesiod and the Homeric hymn on Aphrodite, the goddess after rising from the foam first approached the isl& of Cythera, and thence went lớn Cyprus, and as she was walking on the sea-coast flowers sprang up under her feet, and Eros and Himeros accompanied her to lớn the assembly of the other great gods, all of whom were struchồng with admiration and love sầu when she appeared, and her surpassing beauty made every one desire to have sầu her for his wife.

According to lớn the cosmogonic views of the nature of Aphrodite, she was the personification of the generative powers of nature, & the mother of all living beings. A trace of this notion seems lớn be contained in the tradition that in the conchạy thử of Typhon with the gods, Aphrodite metamorphosed herself into lớn a fish, which animal was considered khổng lồ possess the greathử nghiệm generative sầu powers. (Ov. Met. v. 318, &c.; comp. Hygin. Poet. Astr. 30.) But according to the popular belief of the Greeks & their poetical descriptions, she was the goddess of love sầu, who excited this passion in the hearts of gods and men, & by this power ruled over all the living creation. (Hom. Hymn. in Ven. ; Lucret. 15, &c.)

Ancient mythology furnishes numerous instances in which Aphrodite punished those who neglected her worship or despised her power, as well as others in which she favoured & protected those who did homage to her và recognized her sway. Love sầu và beauty are ideas essentially connected, and Aphrodite was therefore also the goddess of beauty & gracefulness. In these points she surpassed all other goddesses, and she received the prize of beauty from Paris; she had further the power of granting beauty và invincible charms to others. Youth is the herald, và Peitho, the Horae, & Charites, the attendants and companions of Aphrodite. (Pind. New. viii. 1, &c.) Marriages are called by Zeus her work và the things about which she ought to lớn busy herself. (Hom. Il. v. 429; comp. Od. xx. 74; Pind. Pyth. ix. 16, &c.) As she herself had sprung from the sea, she is represented by later writers as having some influence upon the sea (Virg. Aen. viii. 800; Ov. Heroid. xv. 213; comp. Paus. ii. 34. § 11.)

During the Trojan war, Aphrodite, the mother of Aeneas, who had been declared the most beautiful of all the goddesses by a Trojan prince, naturally sided with the Trojans. She saved Paris from his conchạy thử with Menelaus (Il. iii. 380), but when she endeavoured to lớn rescue her darling Aeneas from the fight, she was pursued by Diomedes, who wounded her in her hvà. In her fright she abandoned her son, and was carried by Iris in the chariot of Ares to lớn Olympus, where she complained of her misfortune to lớn her mother Dione, but was laughed at by Hera & Athena. (Il. v. 311, &c.) She also protected the body toàn thân of Hector, & anointed it with ambrosia. (Il. xxiii. 185.)

According khổng lồ the most comtháng accounts of the ancients, Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus (Odyss. viii. 270), who, however, is said in the Iliad (viii. 383) lớn have sầu married Charis. Her faithlessness khổng lồ Hephaestus in her amour with Ares, & the manner in which she was caught by the ingenuity of her husb&, are beautifully described in the Odyssey. (viii. 266, &c.) By Ares she became the mother of Phobos, Deimos, Harmonia, &, according lớn later traditions, of Eros and Anteros also. (Hesiod. Theog. 934, &c., Scut. Herc. 195; Hom. Il. xiii. 299, iv. 440; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iii. 26; Cic. De Nat. Deor. iii. 23.)

But Ares was not the only god whom Aphrodite favoured; Dionysus, Hermes, & Poseidon likewise enjoyed her charms. By the first she was, according to some traditions, the mother of Priapus (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 933) and Bacchus (Hesych. s. v. Bakchou Diônês), by the second of Hermaphroditus (Ov. Met. iv. 289, &c.; Diod. iv. 6; Lucian, Dial. Deor. xv. 2), và by Poseidon she had two children, Rhodos & Herophilus. (Schol. ad Pind. Pyth. viii. 24.)

As Aphrodite so often kindled in the hearts of the gods a love sầu for mortals, Zeus at last resolved to make her pay for her wanton sport by inspiring her too with love for a mortal man. This was accomplished, and Aphrodite conceived an invincible passion for Anchises, by whom she became the mother of Aeneas & Lyrus.

Respecting her connexions with other mortals see Adonis và Butes. The ancient story ran thus : Smyrna had neglected the worship of Aphrodite, & was punished by the goddess with an unnatural love sầu for her father. With the assistance of her nurse she contrived to lớn nội dung her father"s bed without being known to lớn him. When he discovered the crime he wished to lớn kill her; but she fled, and on being nearly overtaken, prayed to lớn the gods to make her invisible. They were moved khổng lồ pity và changed her inkhổng lồ a tree called smurmãng cầu. After the lapse of nine months the tree burst, and Adonis was born. Aphrodite was so much charmed with the beauty of the infant, that she concealed it in a chest which she entrusted khổng lồ Persephone; but when the latter discovered the treasure she had in her keeping, she refused lớn give it up. The case was brought before Zeus, who decided the dispute by declaring that during four months of every year Adonis should be left to lớn himself, during four months he should belong lớn Persephone, và during the remaining four to Aphrodite. Adonis however preferring khổng lồ live sầu with Aphrodite, also spent with her the four months over which he had controul. Afterwards Adonis died of a wound which he received from a boar during the chase. Thus far the story of Adonis was related by Panyasis.

Later writers furnish various alterations and additions to lớn it. According to Hyginus (Fab.

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58, 164, 251, 271), Smyrna was punished with the love for her father, because her mother Cenchreis had provoked the anger of Aphrodite by extolling the beauty of her daughter above that of the goddess. Smyrna after the discovery of her crime fled into lớn a forest, where she was changed into a tree from which Adonis came forth, when her father split it with his sword. The dispute between Aphrodite and Persephone was according lớn some accounts settled by Calliope, whom Zeus appointed as mediator between them. (Hygin. Poet. Astron. ii. 7.) Ovid (Met. x. 300, &c.) adds the following features: Myrrha"s love of her father was excited by the furies; Lucimãng cầu assisted her when she gave birth lớn Adonis, & the Naiads anointed him with the tears of his mother, i. e. with the fluid which trickled from the tree. Adonis grew up a most beautiful youth, & Venus loved hyên và shared with hyên ổn the pleasures of the chase, though she always cautioned hlặng against the wild beasts. At last he wounded a boar which killed hlặng in its fury.

According khổng lồ some traditions Ares (Mars), or, according khổng lồ others, Apollo assumed the form of a boar & thus killed Adonis. (Serv. ad Virg. Ecl. x. 18; Ptolem. Hephaest. i. p. 306, ed. Gale.) A third story related that Dionysus carried off Adonis. (Phanocles ap. Plut. Sumpos. iv. 5.) When Aphrodite was informed of her beloved being wounded, she hastened lớn the spot và sprinkled nectar inkhổng lồ his blood, from which immediately flowers sprang up. Various other modifications of the story may be read in Hyginus (Poet. Astron. ii. 7), Theocritus (Idyll. xv.), Bion (Idyll. i.), và in the scholiast on Lycophron. (839, &c.) From the double marriage of Aphrodite with Ares và Adonis sprang Priapus. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 9, 32.) Besides hyên ổn Golgos and Beroe are likewise called children. of Adonis và Aphrodite. (Schol. ad Theocrit. xv. 100; Nonn. Dionys. xli 155.) On his death Adonis was obliged to lớn desckết thúc into the lower world, but he was allowed khổng lồ spkết thúc six months out of every year with his beloved Aphrodite in the upper world. (Orph. hymn. 55. 10.)

Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle which had the power of inspiring love sầu và desire for those who wore it; hence it was borrowed by Hera when she wished to stimulate the love sầu of Zeus. (Hom. Il. xiv. 214, &c.) The arrow is also sometimes mentioned as one of her attributes. (Plnd. Pyth. iv. 380; Theocrit. xi. 16.) In the vegetable kingdom the myrtle, rose, táo bị cắn, poppy, & others, were sacred to her. (Ov. Fast. iv. 15. 143; Bion, Idyll. i. 64; Schol. ad Aristoph. Nub. 993; Paus. ii. 10. § 4; Phornut. 23.)

The animals sacred to her, which are often mentioned as drawing her chariot or serving as her messengers, are the sparrow, the dove, the swan, the swallow, và a bird called iynx. (Sappho, in Ven. 10; Athen. ix. p. 395; Horat. Carm. iv. 1. 10; Aelian, Hist. An. x. 34; Pind. Pyth. l. c.) As Aphrodite Urania the tortoise, the symbol of domestic modesty and chastity, và as Aphrodite Pandemos the ram was sacred to her. When she was represented as the victorious goddess, she had the attributes of Ares, a helmet, a shield, a sword : or a lance, & an image of Victory in one hvà. The planet Venus & the spring-month of April were likewise sacred to her. (Cie. de Nat. Deor. iii. 20; Ov. Fast. iv. 90.)

All the surnames và epithets given khổng lồ Aphrodite are derived from places of her worship, from events connected with the legends about her, or have reference lớn her character and her influence upon man, or are descriptive of her extraordinary beauty và charms. All her surnames are explained in separate articles.

The principal places of her worship in Greece were the islands of Cyprus and Cythera. At Cnidus in Caria she had three temples, one of which contained her renowned statue by Praxiteles. Mount Ida in Troas was an ancient place of her worship, và aước ao the other places we may mention particularly the islvà of Cos, the towns of Abydos, Athens, Thespiae, Megara, Sparta, Sicyon, Corinth, & Eryx in Sicily. The sacrifices offered to lớn her consisted mostly of incense & garlands of flowers (Virg. Aen. i. 416; Tacit. Hist. ii. 3), but in some places animals, such as pigs, goats, young cows, hares, & others, were sacrificed khổng lồ her. In some places, as at Corinth, great numbers of females belonged khổng lồ her, who prostituted themselves in her service, and bore the name of hierodouloi. (Dict.of Ant. s. v. Hetairai.) Respecting the festivals of Aphrodite see Dict. of Ant. s.v. Adônia, Anagôgia, Aphrodisia, Katagôgia.

The worship of Aphrodite was undoubtedly of eastern origin, and probably introduced from Syria to lớn the islands of Cyprus, Cythera, & others, from whence it spread all over Greece. It is said to lớn have been brought into lớn Syria from Assyria. (Paus. i. 14. § 6.) Aphrodite appears lớn have been originally identical with Astarte, called by the Hebrews Ashtoreth, & her connexion with Adonis clearly points to lớn Syria. But with the exception of Corinth, where the worship of Aphrodite had eminently an Asiatic character, the whole worship of this goddess & all the ideas concerning her nature và character are so entirely Greek, that its introduction into lớn Greece must be assigned khổng lồ the very earliest periods. The elements were derived from the East, but the peculiar development of it belongs to Greece. The Roman goddess Venus was identified with the Greek Aphrodite.

Aphrodite, the ideal of female graec và beauty, frequently engaged the talents and genius of the ancient artists. The most celebrated representations of her were those of Cos và Cnidus. Those which are still extant are divided by archaeologists inkhổng lồ several classes, accordingly as the goddess is represented in a standing position và naked, as the Medicean Venus, or bathing, or half naked, or dressed in a tunic, or as the victorious goddess in arms, as she was represented in the temples of Cythera, Sparta, & Corinth. (Paus. iii. 23. § 1, ii. 5. § 1, iii. 15. § 10.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek và Roman Biography và Mythology.

Birth of Aphrodite, Greco-Roman fresco from Pompeii C1st A.D., Naples National Archaeological Museum




Homeric Hymn 5 khổng lồ Aphrodite (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th lớn 4th B.C.) :"Moisa (Muse), tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite Kypria (Cyprian), who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the tribes of mortal men và birds that fly in air and all the many creatures that the dry lvà rears, & all the sea: all these love sầu the deeds of rich-crowned Kythereia. . . .Hail, goddess, queen of well-builded Kypros (Cyprus)! With you have sầu I begun; now I will turn me to another hymn."

Homeric Hymn 6 khổng lồ Aphrodite :"I will sing of stately Aphrodite, gold-crowned and beautiful, whose dominion is the walled cities of all sea-phối Kypros (Cyprus). There the moist breath of Zephyros the western wind wafted her over the waves of the loud-moaning sea in soft foam, ad there the gold-filleted Horai (Horae, Seasons) welcomed her joyously. . . .Hail, sweetly-winning, coy-eyed goddess! Grant that I may gain the victory in this contest, and order you my tuy vậy. And now I will rethành viên you & another tuy nhiên also."

Homeric Hymn 10 lớn Aphrodite :"Of Kythereia (Cytherea) , born in Kypros (Cyprus), I will sing. She gives kindly gifts khổng lồ men: smiles are ever on her lovely face, & lovely is the brightness that plays over it. Hail, goddess, queen of well-built Salamis và sea-girt Kypros; grant me a cheerful tuy vậy. And now I will remember you and another tuy nhiên also."


Orphic Hymn 55 to Aphrodite (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to lớn 2nd A.D.) :"To Aphrodite. Ourania (Urania) (Heavenly), illustrious, laughter-loving (philommeideia) queen, sea-born (pontogenes), night-loving (philopannyx), of awful mien; crafty, from whom Ananke (Necessity) first came, producing, nightly, all-connecting dame. "Tis thine the world with harmony to lớn join, for all things spring from thee, O power divine. The triple Moirai (Fates) are ruled by thy decree, and all productions yield alượt thích to lớn thee: whatever the heavens, encircling all, contain, earth fruit-producing, và the stormy main, thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod, awful attendant of Bakkhos God. Goddess of marriage, charming khổng lồ the sight, mother of the Erotes (Loves), whom banquetings delight; source of Peitho (Persuasion), secret, favouring queen, illustrious born, apparent and unseen; spousal Lukaimãng cầu, and to men inclined, prolific, most-desired, life-giving, kind. Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, "tis thine mortals in necessary bands khổng lồ join; and every tribe of savage monsters dire in magic chains to bind through mad desire. Come, Kyprogenes (Cyprus-Born), và to my prayer incline, whether exalted in the heavens you shine, or pleased in odorous Syria to lớn preside, or over the Aigyptian (Egyptian) plains they care to guide, fashioned of gold; & near its sacred flood, fertile and famed, to lớn fix they blest abode; or if rejoicing in the azure shores, near where the sea with foaming billows roars, the circling choirs of mortals thy delight, or beauteous Nympnhị (Nymphs) with eyes cerulean bright, pleased by the sandy banks renowned of old, to drive thy rapid two-yoked car of gold; or if in Kypros (Cyprus) thy famed mother fair, where Nymphai unmarried praise thee every year, the loveliest Nympnhì, who in the chorus join, Adonis pure to lớn sing, and thee divine. Come, all-attractive sầu, khổng lồ my prayer inclined, for thee I gọi, with holy, reverent mind."


Aphrodite, Apulian red-figure volute krater C4th B.C., Museum of Fine Arts Boston

Classical literature offers only a few, brief descriptions of the physical characteristics of the gods.

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Homer, Iliad 3. 396 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :"She recognized the round, sweet throat of the goddess và her desirable breasts và her eyes that were full of shining."

Stasinus of Cyprus or Hegesias of Aegimãng cầu, Cypria Fragment 6 (from Athenaeus 15. 682) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th or 6th B.C.) :"She clothed herself with garments which the Kharites (Charites, Graces) and Horai (Hours) had made for her và dyed in flowers of spring--such flowers as the Horai (Horae, Seasons) wear--in crocus and hyacinth và flourishing violet và the rose"s lovely bloom, so sweet & delicious, & heavenly buds, the flowers of the narcissus & lily. In such perfumed garments is Aphrodite clothed at all seasons."

Homeric Hymn 5 to lớn Aphrodite 78 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th to lớn 4th B.C.) :"Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus stood before hyên ổn , being lượt thích a pure maiden in height và mien, that he should not be frightened when he took heed of her with his eyes. Now when Ankhises saw her, he marked her well and wondered at her mien và height và shining garments. For she was clad in a robe out-shining the brightness of fire, a splendid robe of gold, enriched with all manner of needlework, which shimmered lượt thích the moon over her tender breasts, a marvel to lớn see. Also she wore twisted brooches and shining earrings in the size of flowers; và round her soft throat were lovely necklaces . . . and her head reached khổng lồ the well-hewn roof-tree; from her cheeks shone unearthly beauty such as belongs khổng lồ rich-crowned Kythereia (Cytherea). . . when he saw the neông xã và lovely eyes of Aphrodite, he was afraid và turned his eyes aside another way, hiding his comely face with his cloak."

Homeric Hymn 6 lớn Aphrodite 6 ff :"The Horai (Horae, Seasons) clothed her with heavenly garments: on her head they put a fine, well-wrought crown of gold, và in her pierced ears they hung ornaments of orichalc và precious gold, & adorned her with golden necklaces over her soft neông xã and snow-trắng breasts, jewels which the gold-filleted Horai wear themselves."

Philostratus the Younger, Imagines 8 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :" Three goddesses standing near them--they need no interpreter khổng lồ tell who they are . . . the second one even in the painting shows the "laughter-loving" (philomeides) disposition caused by the magic of her girdle."

Orphic Hymn 57 khổng lồ Chthonian Hermes (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. lớn 2nd A.D.) :"Celestial Aphrodite, Paphian queen, dark-eyelashed Goddess, of a lovely mien."

Apuleius, The Golden Ass 10. 30 ff (trans. Walsh) (Roman novel C2nd A.D.) :" After them a third girl entered, her beauty visibly unsurpassed. Her charming, ambrosia-lượt thích complexion intimated that she represented the earlier Venus when that goddess was still a maiden. She vaunted her unblemished beauty by appearing naked and unclothed except for a thin silken garment veiling her entrancing lower parts. An inquisitive gust of air would at one moment with quite lubricous affection blow this garment aside, so that when wafted away it revealed her virgin bloom; at another moment it would wantonly breathe directly upon it, clinging tightly and vividly outlining the pleasurable prospect of her lower limbs. The goddess"s appearance offered contrasting colours lớn the eye, for her body toàn thân was dazzling White, intimating her descent from heaven and her robe was dark xanh, denoting her emergence from the sea . . .Each maiden representing a goddess was accompanied by her own escort . . . Venus was surrounded by a throng of the happiest children; you would have sworn that those little boys whose skins were smooth và milk-White were genuine Cupides who had just flown in from sky or sea. They looked just he part with their tiny wings, miniature arrows, and the rest of their get-up, as with gleaming torches they lit the way for their micăng thẳng as though she were en route lớn a wedding-banquet. Next floated in charming children, unmarried girls, representing on one side the Gratiae at their most graceful, & on the other the Horae in all their beauty. They were appeasing the goddess by strewing wreaths & single blossoms before her, and they formed a most elegant chorus-line as they sought khổng lồ please the Mistress of pleasures with the foliage of spring. The flutes with their many stops were now rendering in sweet harmony melodies in the Lydian mode. As they affectingly softened the hearts of onlookers, Venus still more affectingly began to lớn gently stir herself; with gradual, lingering steps, restrained swaying of the hips, & slow inclination of the head she began to advance, her refined movements matching the soft wounds of the flutes. Occasionally her eyes alone would dance, as at one moment she gently lowered her lids, và at another imperiously signalled with threatening glances."

Apuleius, The Golden Ass 2. 8 ff : "Venus . . . wearing that belt of hers around her waist, diffusing the scent of cinnamon and bedewing the air with balsam."

Colluthus, Rape of Helen 82 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poetry C5th to lớn 6th A.D.) :"Kypris (Cypris) of crafty counsels unfolded her snood and undid the fragrant clasp of her hair & wreathed with gold her locks, with gold her flowing tresses."

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