16 Lovely Facts about Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love, Beauty and Sex
Below are 16 lovey facts about the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty:
- In ancient Cyprus, there was a large cult following of Aphrodite. The place of worship was just around the purported Cyprian Island that the mythological stories said she emerged from.
- The story of Aphrodite and her marriage to Hephaestus (the deformed Greek god of fire and forges) was probably the biggest inspiration to stories such as Beauty and the Beast.
- In some rare mythological stories, she has been considered the daughter of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. This will make her the cousin of Zeus.
- The word “Erotic” comes from the name of Aphrodite’s offspring, Eros, the goddess of love.
- After Christianity started to gain a foothold in the Greco-Roman world, Aphrodite was relegated to unsavory practices and prostitution.
- The etymology of Aphrodite’s name stems from the word “Foam”. In some cases, it is interpreted to mean “risen from the foam”.
- After her wedding to Hephaestus (the Greek god of fire and forges), Aphrodite received several stunning pieces of jewelry (forged by Hephaestus himself) from her new husband. Most famous of the jewel pieces was the magical girdle.
- She once saved Aeneas’ life from Diomedes during the Trojan War.
- In some tellings and accounts, Aphrodite’s lover, Adonis, was killed by Ares (Greek god of war) out of jealousy. Ares turned into a boar and attacked Adonis while the latter was on a hunting expedition.
- The Aphrodisia Festival was a very famous Athenian celebration that was done to honor Aphrodite and Peitho (the deity of persuasion). During the festival, people from all social, political and economic classes came together and intermingled with one another. It was a period where the social classes or status were set aside, allowing people to freely interact and share ideas.
- In some accounts in Roman mythology, her mortal son, Aeneas, was regarded as the founder of ancient Rome.
- The shrine at Pandemos is considered one of the oldest shrines dedicated to Aphrodite. There was a famous inscription dedicated to Aphrodite Pandemos (a goddess that managed the love between men and women). The inscription, which dates as far back as 230 BCE, reads as “Aphrodite who is Common to all the People”. A number of historians strongly believe that the roots of Athenian democracy can be traced to the very early Aphrodite Pandemos cults in places like Paphos and Amthus in Cyprus.
- Close to the island of Cyprus, there is a rock called the Aphrodite Rock. The rock is believed by many as the exact birthplace of Aphrodite.
- In Sparta, she is perceived slightly as the goddess of war. Pictures of her sometimes depict her in military gear and stance. In Corinth, the story is almost the same. The city’s inhabitants considered her the defender of the city. She was also the patroness of the city. The reason she has been seen in that light is because of her association with Ares, the god of war.
- Her association to sea travel and maritime stems from her second origin story. Furthermore, the ancient Romans believed that the planet Venus best symbolized the goddess Aphrodite. This was because Venus proved very useful in guiding sailors on the sea.
- Aphrodite was such an influential goddess that her charms proved irresistible to virtually all the gods and goddesses on Mt. Olympus. The few Olympian deities that could resist her charms were the virgin goddesses Athena, Artemis, and Hestia.