associated with ancient goddess ISHTAR who is a war goddess
the spartans kept the war aspects of APHRODITE but the rest of
the greeks didnt
she is accompanied by the three GRACES, always nude, stand side
by side with the center one's back to us.
she had four sons.
most famous was EROS (by Ares or Hermes or Zeus. usually in
artwork though there are family portraits of aphrodite, ares,
and eros). roman: Cupid. winged. usually depicted with his mom.
usually a chubby winged kid, sometimes adolescent.
son from Dionysus.
● fertility god
● has a huge erect dick in artwork
● deformed & huge erect penis
● image usually in gardens as scarecrow god
● often on the front doors of houses (cause he brought luck
and gaurded against theives)
● most of his myths are comic and obscene
PYGMALION AND GALATEA - CYPRUS was aphrodites city. one of her myths is creating the
1st prostitutes. this took place in cyprus. there was a fest for
her and they didn't give her proper praise so she made them
prostitutes and over time they turn into stone from shame
- a man named PYGMALION, who was disgusted by these prostitutes
so he sculpted a female statue and it is so beautiful that he
falls in love with it. he treated it like a living female. he
dresses, talks, lays with it.
- eventually another fest for aphrodite occured and he asked for
her to transform the statue into a real living woman. her name
was given as GALATEA.
- PYGMALION and GALATEA give birth to a sun named PAPHOS.
That myth leads to this one:
MYRRHA & CINYRAS
PAPHOS has a son named CINYRAS, who has a daughter named MYRRHA,
who falls in love with her father. she is disgusted with herself
and tries to kill herself. the nurse stops her. the nurse is
disgusted but tries to help her fulfil MYRRHA's desire to sleep
with her festival. CINYRAS finds out he slept with his own
daughter and is pissed. he chases her, myrrha flees to the
woods, and prays to the gods to save her. the gods transform her
into MYRRH TREE, which drips tears.
this myth leads into the ADONIS myth
MYRRHA gets pregnant from sex with her father, and gives birth
after she becomes a tree. her son, ADONIS, is born from this
myrrh tree. when APHRODITE sees him, she falls in love.
ADONIS represented ideal male beauty in the greek world. not
rippling heracles muscles, but youthful slim body. cupid also
represented this when in his teenager state. ADONIS grows up and wants to hunt, which aphrodite says not to.
he goes to kill a boar which belongs to ARES, its his animal.
the boar of ares kills him. the boar represents ares, aphrodites
regular lover, killing him.
when ADONIS' blood hits the ground, a flower emerges from teh
aphrodite mourns him and creates a cult and annual ritual in his
honour. every year, the worshippers of adonis reenact his death.
adonis is associated with death and rebirth (flower is rebirth,
and then every year the petals fall off and it dies). kind of
the second version of ADONIS
after he's born, aprhodite falls in love, but as a child she
puts him in a box and gives him to the queen of the underworld,
PERSEPHONE, for safe keeping. she peaks in the box eventually
and also falls in love. when aphrodite comes to pick him up,
persephone doesn't want to let him go. they both want him. so
they go to zeus and ask him to determine who of the two should
get Adonis. he decrees that adonis has to spend part of the year
with aphrodite and half with persephone. death and rebirth.
there are other seasonal myths too.
APHRODITE - ANCHISES
- anchises is a human
- bears a semi-divine child
- begins with aphrodite bragging that she can make any goddess
ecept athena, artemis, or hestia, fall in love with a human
male. it was major downgrading for a goddess to sleep with a
human male. they usually only sleep with male gods. because of
her bragging, zeus makes aphrodite fall in love with a human male, a trojan prince named ANCHISES.
- she disguises herself as a mortal princess and goes to
anchises. when she shows up, anchises doesn't believe that she's
mortal, she's too good looking. but aphrodite insists she is and
they go to bed together. when he wakes up he sees oh it was a
goddess and is frightened thinking it will sappen his manhood.
she says no, you won't lose your manhood, but i am pregenant
with your son. she says i'm taking this child, naming it AENEAS,
and raise him with the help of some nymphs. when he's five, i'll
return him and he can live with you. but she's really
embarrassed so warns him that he better not brag about sleeping
with a goddess or zeus will kick his ass.
- ANCHISES brags the next day, so the gods paralyse him for high
fiving his friends.
- AENEAS becomes a very important figure in the trojan war. his
fate was to survive the war and start a new Troy. during the
way, aphrodite often intervenes to rescue her son, aeneas.
*when the trojan war breaks out, the gods all take sides.
aphrodite takes troy's side.
- AENEAS becomes even more important in the roman period. in the
imperial roman period, the romans liked the greeks a lot and
wanted to connect themselves to the greek mythic past. one way
to connect was to the trojan side. Aeneas was well known in
Italy. after the war, his myth sizzles out and no one knows what
the new troy is supposed to be. So the romans write a myth where
Aeneas travels from Troy to Italy and his ancestors establish
ROME, the new TROY. Julius Caesar claims Aeneas as his ancestor.
so the first emperor of rome could claim that his ancestors were
Aphrodite and Ares (who is the ancestor of Romulus)
- so AENEAS becomes very important. he become sone of the
founding fathers of Rome.
MORE STORIES OF APHRODITE
ATALANTA & HIPPOMENES ATALANTA as a baby was left exposed and out to die, where she
was kept by a bear, and then found by hunters. she becomes a
hunteress and an athlete. two things greek females typically
don't do. so when atalanta was wrestling other men, she was
nude, and this is why women wrren't supposed to do it.
evertually she is reunited with her father. when she comes of
marrying age, her father sets up a competition where someone has
to beat you in a foot race to marry her. known as the RACE FOR
THE BRIDE. if you win, you get the wife, if you lose, you are
HIPPOMENES, a devout worshipper of aphrodite, prays to help him
win. she gives him three golden apples which he drops and
atalanta stops to pick them up, and he wins the race.
they're engaged to be married, but before the wedding, they
sneak to the cave of CYBELE and defile it. for that sacrilege,
the goddess turns them both into a lion and lioness. cybele is a
near eastern god whose animal was lions.
most well known of aphrodites sons.
god of homosexuality b/c he is the son of aphrodite (esp. in his
more mature form, ideal masculine body)
procreation, sex, etc, much like his mother
often reinterpreted by philosophers like plato and socrates as
an allegory. they would use him to teach lessons about the
dangers and rewards of love.
PSYCHE & CUPID
- one of few myths with a happy ending
- comes from a roman novel called "THE GOLDEN ASS" by writer
Apuleius (spelling?) - A guy in greece is turned into a donkey that romes around
Ancient Greece having adventures.
- he hears a myth about PSYCHE, whose name means SOUL. she was
the youngest of 3 daughters. she was most innocent and most
beautifula nd her sisters were jealous.
- some locals declared that PSYCHE cpould be more beautiful than
aphrodite, which pisses aph off.
- she instructs eros to go shoot an arrow at her which will make
her fall in love with a monster, but he falls in love wiht her
and doesn't shoot her.
- eventually the two older sisters are married, but because
cupid is intervening, no one can marry psyche.
- king is wondering why not psyche and thinks it must be a god
and goes to ask an oracle
- the oracle says dress her up as a corpse, put her on a
mountain top, and a monster will come get her.
- as psyche is waiting on top of a mountain she falls asleep,
and a wind picks her up and settles her in cupids palace in a
- then cupid marries her but doesn't let her know who he is. he
sleeps with her and is always gone in the morning but she
doesn't know who he is, though she has everything she wants.
- her sisters go looking for her. cupid tells her not to answer,
cause if they meet you, they will scheme to find out who i am,
and it is best you don't answer them at all.
- eventually he relents and lets her go see her sister.
- when she meets them, she shows them her gold and jewels and
they are jealous and figure she must be wed to a god, and they
want to find out which one. want psyche to find out.
- cupid warns psyche that if she tries to discover who he is, he
will leave her.
- also, you're pregnant, and if you don't find my identity, our child will be immortal. if you do find out, he'll be regular.
- after visiting the sisters over and over, they come up with a
plan to get psyche to figure it out. they remind her that she is
probably sleeping with a monster cause of the monster.
- so she brings to bed an oil lamp, and when cupid falls asleep,
she lights the lamp with dagger ready and sees him and falls in
love. some of the oil falls on him and burns him. eros flees.
psyche is distraught and tries to kill herself in river, but
river saves her and brings her to shore. she is lamenting loss
of her love. then one day she runs into the god PAN. she says
don't weep, go fight for cupid. she begins scouring looking for
cupid and runs into one of her sisters, and being ticked off,
she gets revenge. she tells her sister that cupid is interested
in her, but she has to doll herself up and jump off a mountain.
she dies. she tells her other sister the same thing, who also
- aphrodite is pissed, so she captures psyche and has her
brought to her and given impossible tasks.
1 first task: large pile of grain. sort it over night or else.
an ant comes to her aid and does it for her.
2 she is then told to go to a river bank where some dangerous
sheep live and to gather some of their golden wool. a reed tell
her to wait till they leave and pick the loose stuff snagged on
3 told to go fill a jar of Stygian waters, a stream that flowed
into the underworld, the river STYX. there is a dragon that
guards the entrance to the underworld. an eagle sent by zeus
grabs the jar, swoops down, and fills it for her.
4 told to go to the underworld, ask persephone for a peice of
her beauty, and put it in this container. she decides to throw
herself off a tower, but the tower tells her not to. says take
some money to pay the fairy across the river styx, here is some
food for the hound, and don't look in the box after she gives
you some beauty. she goes down, she gets it, on her way out,
looks! it isn't beauty, it is DEADLY SLEEP!
CUPID goes and rescues her though, and says stop being so curious, look what happened. cupid brings her to zeus and asks
him to rattify the marriage of psyche and cupid. after doing
so , aphrodite is ok with the union. and so psyche ends up
becoming a goddess, and their child is born and immortal, his
name is PLEASURE. and they live happily ever after.
HERMAPHRODITUS & SALAMACIS
hermaphroditus, a male child of aphrodite, who was loved by a
nymph named Salamacis. she loved him so much that she asked not
to let them ever be apart, and so they joined them and made the
SAPPHO - poet who lived on Lesbos. was didcated to aphrodite.
love poems dedicated to aphrodite. since she was in love with a
goddess, and she lives on lesbos, we get the name LESBIAN from
daugter of ZEUS and the goddess LETO, twin brother of APOLLO.
- hera was pissed and threatened humans not to let leto land on
earth anywhere to give birth. but humans were not letting her.
one of these refusals was in a LYDIAN VILLAGE, located near a
marsh. they refused her for fear of hera. Leto asked for at
least a sip of water, which they didn't let her have either, so
she trasformed them all into frogs. frogs live in marshes,
- eventually finds a place to bear ARTEMIS: ORTYGIA. this is her
sanctuary site and prime place of worship. Apollo was born on
- goddess of wild (esp. wild animas)
- huntress, virgin. when she was born she immediately went to