Aphrodite, one of the great Olympian divinities, was, according to the popular and poetical notions of the Greeks, the goddess of love and beauty. Some traditions stated that she had sprung from the foam (aphros) of the sea, which had gathered around the mutilated parts of Uranus, that had been thrown into the sea by Kronos after he had unmanned his father. With the exception of the Homeric hymn on Aphrodite there is no trace of this legend in Homer, and according to him Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Later traditions call her a daughter of Kronos and Euonyme, or of Uranus and Hemera.
According to Hesiod and the Homeric hymn on Aphrodite, the goddess after rising from the foam first approached the island of Cythera, and thence went to Cyprus, and as she was walking on the sea-coast flowers sprang up under her feet, and Eros and Himeros accompanied her to the assembly of the other great gods, all of whom were struck with admiration and love when she appeared, and her surpassing beauty made every one desire to have her for his wife.
According to the cosmogonic views of the nature of Aphrodite, she was the personification of the generative powers of nature, and the mother of all living beings. A trace of this notion seems to be contained in the tradition that in the contest of Typhon with the gods, Aphrodite metamorphosed herself into a fish, which animal was considered to possess the greatest generative powers. But according to the popular belief of the Greeks and their poetical descriptions, she was the goddess of love, who excited this passion in the hearts of gods and men, and by this power ruled over all the living creation.
- Who is Aphrodite?
- Where did Aphrodite originate?
- Who are Aphrodite's parents according to Homer?
- Who accompanied Aphrodite to the asembly of the other great god after she had sprung from the foam of the sea?
- According to the cosmogonic views, what does Aphrodite personify?