The Greek goddess Aphrodite may have been an import from the Near East where Sumerian and Babylonian goddesses played a part in love, fertility, and war. For the Greeks, Aphrodite was goddess of love and beauty. Although Aphrodite bore children to the messenger and war gods, is considered married to the blacksmith god, and was otherwise engaged in activities suitable to the immortals, she also played an active role in the lives of man. She could be helpful or hurtful with gifts of love and lust, depending.
Who Is Aphrodite?:
gives you the basics of Aphrodite goddess of love and beauty, including her family and major myths associated with her.
Aphrodite Meddles in Mortal Affairs
identifies the metamorphoses, deaths and marriages caused by Aphrodite's interference in mortal affairs.
Why Aphrodite picked Helen for Paris
to carry off before the start of the Trojan War.
Here is my re-telling of the love story of Cupid and Psyche, the charming romantic story in which the goddess Venus (Aphrodite) plays a villainous role to try to keep her son from the mortal women he loves.
Also see the Bulfinch version of Cupid and Psyche. Bulfinch retells
To the Romans, Aphrodite was Venus
, but there were other aspects of the Roman goddess of love. Read about the fertility aspect and rituals associated with Venus.
Venus is the Roman goddess of spring whose worship overlapped the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Read the basics on Venus.
There was more to Venus than love and beauty. She was also one of the goddesses in charge of modesty.
In Love Goddesses
, read about the top ancient love goddesses. Beauty (or attraction), promiscuity, fecundity, magic, and an association with death are some of the attributes associated with love goddesses.
Surprisingly, warfare was also an attribute of some love goddesses.
Read the love story of Adonis and Aphrodite
, which ends with the death of Adonis, as told in The Metamorphoses
Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite:
The generally short hymns (called Homeric Hymns, although they were not written by the epic poet Homer) to the ancient gods and goddesses reveal much of what the ancient Greeks thought about them. Read an English translation of one of them, Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite V
that reveals which gods were impervious to her charms.
Online Resources on Aphrodite Goddess:
Carlos Parada lists the many mates of Aphrodite and her interventions in human affairs, as well as three versions of her birth, and her offspring.
Aphrodite's birth, parents, spouse, and an image.