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Aphrodite and Eros

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Claesson Welsh

Chapter 9Aphrodite and Eros Aphrodite urania and Aphrodite pandemosHesiod links the goddess closely with Cythera and with Cyprus so she is called both Cytherea and CyprisAnother version over her birth gives her parents as Zeus and Dione which is the feminine form of the name ZeusThe double tradition of Aphrodites birth suggests a basic duality in her character or the existence of two separate goddesses of love Aphrodite Urania or Celestial Aphrodite sprung from Uranus alone ethereal and sublime Aphrodite Pandermos sprung from Zeus and Dione is essentially physical in natureThe Aphrodite who sprang from Uranus becomes for philosophy and religion the celestial goddess of pure and spiritual love and the antithesis of Aphrodite daughter of Zeus and Dione the goddess of physical attraction and procreationThe distinction between sacred and profane love is one of the most profound archetypes in the history of civilization The nature and appearance of AphroditeIn general she is the goddess of beauty love and marriageShe possessed a magic girdle with irresistible powers of enticementShe is a beautiful irresistible womanAttendants of Aphrodite The Graces charites and the hours or seasons horae are often associated with Aphrodite as decorative and appropriate attendants The Graces generally three are personifications of aspects of loveliness The Horae daughters of Zeus and Themis are sometimes difficult to distinguish from the Graces but they eventually emerge with clearer identity as the seasons so they are usually thought of as a group of two three or fourThe phallic priapusThe more elemental and physical aspects of Aphrodites nature are seen in her son PriapusHis father may be Hermes Dionysus Pan Adonis or even Zeus Priapus is a fertility god depicted as deformed He is found in gardens and at the doors of housesHe is part scarecrow part bringer of luck and part guardian against thieves so he has something in common with HermesHe also resembles Dionysus and PanStories about him usually come to be comic and obscenePygmalionOvid tells how Aphrodite was enraged with the women of Cyprus because they dared to deny her divinity so the goddess caused them to be the first women to prostitute themselves and as they lost all their sense of shame it was easy to turn them into stoneOvid relates the story of Pygmalion and the result of his disgust for these womenPygmalion seeing these women was disgusted and decided not to take a wife however he made a statue of ivory of a beautiful woman and he fell in love with itHe made a prayer to transform the statue intop a real womanAphrodite granted his wish and he and the maiden had a son Paphos and from him the place got its nameGalatea is the name given to Pygmalions beloved in later versions of the tale
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