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CLAA06H3 (39)
Chapter 9

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Classical Studies
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 9 – Myths of the Female Deites Aphrodite, Artemis and Athena • Male Olympians have objectives that overlap but females have only one like Demeter – Grain sprout from sea, Hestia – life of the house where fire burns, Aphrodite – sex attraction and new generation, Atemis – Wealth of wild. • Only Athena has no clear relationship with fertility Demeter – Mistress of Wheat • Gaea looked over birth of the world • Demeter oversaw fruitfulness of agriculture, especially wheat • Meter – mother • Godesses – Demeter and Persephone Hestia – The Hearth • Eldest of Cronus and Rhea • First swallowed and last spat out • Always virgin and protected family and extended family city Aphrodite – Goddess of Sexual Love • Overwhelming power of attraction • Companion is (child by Ares) Eros – sexual desire – roman cupid • Associated with Cypris or Cytherea where she emerged from the sea • Temple prostitution Hermaphroditus and Priapus • Aphrodite had affair with not only Ares but also Messenger god Hermes who she gave birth to beauty boy Hermaphrodites • Salmacis lived him and went into bath with him and prayed they never be separated. They fused and became bisexual • Another child she had with either Dionysus or Hermes was Priapus with erect phallus that warded off evil eye Pygmalion • All other stories of Aphrodite is from eastern origins. • Pygmalion, king of Cyprus sculpted a figure which he fell in love with. • It came to life and he called it Galatea • He gave birth to Cinyas whose daughter claimed their daughter Myrrha was more beautiful than Aphrodite • Aphrodite punished Myrrha by causing her to fall in love with her father Cinyras where they slept for 12 nights • Cinyras went to kill her but the gods turned into a tree • Cinyras killed him self and from the tree emerged hero Adonis Aphrodite and Anchises • Aphrodite has indignity of falling in love for a mortal man • Aeneas is born to her and Anchises • Aeneas had both his parents killed by Zeus • Aphrodite and Anchises • Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite outlines how Aphrodite became victim to her own power when, thanks to Zeus, she fell in love with the Anchises prince related to the Trojan royal house • The only ones who were exempt from Aphrodite’s powers were Athena, Artemis and Hestia, all of whom remained virgin • No other god or mortal is able to flee from Aphrodite’s enticement not even Zeus • Zeus in turn cast a spell on Aphrodite and put into her heart a desire for Anchises, a man with the form of a god • Aphrodite hence went back to her temple to beautify herself and make herself irresistible to the eyes of Anchises • Aphrodite disguised herself to look like an unmarried maiden so that her godly figure wouldn’t frighten Anchises, but Anchises was too smart and questioned which goddess she was • Aphrodite in reply lied and said she was a mortal, daughter of the hero Otreus and she was told by Hermes that she was to share the bed of Anchises and be named his wife and bear him many children, after Anchis
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