In Greek mythology, the goddess of love and beauty
and the counterpart of the Roman Venus.
¡ªgoddess of love and
(The Birth of Venus
by Sandro Botticelli, 1485)
In Greek mythology,
the goddess of love and beauty and the counterpart of the Roman
Venus. In Homer's Iliad she is said to be the daughter of
Zeus and Dione, one of his consorts, but in later legends she is
described as having sprung from the foam of the sea and her name
may be translated "foam-risen." In Homeric legend Aphrodite is
the wife of the lame and ugly god of fire, Hephaestus. Among her
lovers was Ares, god of war, who in later mythology became her
husband. She was the rival of Persephone, queen of the
underworld, for the love of the beautiful Greek youth Adonis.
Perhaps the most
famous legend about Aphrodite concerns the cause of the Trojan
War. Eris, the goddess of discord, the only goddess not invited
to the wedding of King Peleus and the sea nymph Thetis,
resentfully tossed into the banquet hall a golden apple, marked
"for the fairest." When Zeus refused to judge between the three
goddesses who claimed the apple, Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite,
they asked Paris, prince of Troy, to make the award. Each
offered him a bribe: Hera, that he would be a powerful ruler;
Athena, that he would achieve great military fame; and
Aphrodite, that he should have the fairest woman in the world.
Paris selected Aphrodite as the fairest and chose as his prize
Helen of Troy, the wife of the Greek king Menelaus. Paris's
abduction of Helen led to the Trojan War.
Probably Oriental in
origin, Aphrodite was identified in early Greek religious
beliefs with the Phoenician Astarte and was known as Aphrodite
Urania, queen of the heavens, and as Aphrodite Pandemos, goddess
of the people.
probably Roman ca. 100BC,
Archeological Museum, Nicosia, Cyprus.)
1. Who was Aphrodite's
husband in Homeric legend?
2. Why was Aphrodite
the rival of Persephone?
3. What was the cause of
the Trojan War?
4. What did Aphrodite