AphroditeGoddess of love and beauty
Compiled by Jacob Robertson

The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1485
The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli, 1485
The Need-to-knows of Aphrodite
  • Phonetic pronunciation: AF-ro-Dii-tee
  • Greek goddess of love and beauty
  • One of the 12 Greek Olympian Gods
  • Roman counterpart: Venus
  • Born from the sea and Uranus's Genitals
  • Married To Hephaestus
  • Most known love affaire with Ares
  • Associated with starting the trojan war (see Judgement of Paris)

Overview: Aphrodite is viewed to be the Greek goddess of love and beauty. Some also would say that she is the goddess of desire, fertility, and sexual rapture. She is one of the 12 Greek Olympian gods. Her roman counterpart is Venus.

There are several myths explaining the birth of Aphrodite. Their are not any common myths of her childhood, because in the following myths she is born as an adult.
Artist depiction of Aphrodite's birth
Artist depiction of Aphrodite's birth

The first myth, told by Greek poet hesoid, says that she was created when Uranus, did not permit his children to emerge into the light and perpetually embrace Gaia. This myth tells that Cronus, the son of Uranus, castrated his father and threw his genitals into the sea. Aphrodite came from the foam of the sea Fully grown. Aphro is the greek word for foam, and this is hwere her name is derived from. This myth associates her with the myth of creation and places her as one of the oldest devinities. This is the most commonly accepted myth. The second myth is told according to Homer. In this story, Zeus and Dione conceive Aphrodite, and she is their daughter. This myth would make her a younger divinity and a minor goddess.

Portrait of Ares and Aphrodite
Portrait of Ares and Aphrodite

Lovers Seeing as that Aphrodite was the goddess of love and desire, she had a plethora of love affaires and involvements.
Although she was said to be married to Hephaestaus, she was told to have had love affairs with up to seven men, mortal and immortal. Aphrodite produced bountiful offspring from her various relationships. For a full list of lovers and children, click on the link above that says, lovers. Her most famous affair was with the Greek God of War, Ares. The two gods conceived Harmonia, Deimos, and Phobus.

The Judgment of Paris
Artist interpretation of judgement of paris
Artist interpretation of judgement of paris

In the Judgement of Paris, Aphrodite competed to be fairest of the goddesses, and in doing so she started the trojan war. The myth begins at the wedding of the sea nymph Thetis the mortal Peleus. Eris, god of strife, was the only immotral that was not invited to the wedding. Eris did not take kindly to her alienation from the other immortals, so the goddess rolled a golden apple across the floor. This apple was eyecatching, and it was marked "For the Fairest". Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite all considered themself to be the fairest, so the quarrelled as to who should maintain possetion of the golden apple. Zeus decided to let Paris, thought to be a young sheppard, but actually prince of Troy, decide.
To win the Paris's judgment, the three godesses all promised a great girt to the trojan. Hera said that he could have much power and all kingdoms in Asia. Athena campaigned to him victory in battle, beauty, and wisdom. Aphrodite's promise, the most appealing to Paris, was the most beautiful woman on Earth, Helen of Sparta, the wife of Menelaus. So, Paris ruled sided with Aphrodite, winning the eternal hatred of the other two goddesses. Aphrodite assisted Paris in winning Helen's affection, leading to the Trojan War.

There are an almost limitless number of stories involving Greek Divinities and this is only a small selection of what i thought to be the most interesting myths about Aphrodite. I hope that it interested you as well, and if you would like to learn more stories, click on any of the links in my Wikipage.

The video above is a sideshow of several works of art themed around Aphrodite.
It does not have any words.

Title Picture
conception picture
Ares and Aphrodite Picture
Judgement of Paris Picture
Works Cited myth.doc