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Facts about Aphrodite for Kids

Gathered by: Kelly

  • Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.
  • Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.
  • According to Hesiod’s Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus’s genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros).
  • Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat.
  • Aphrodite had many lovers—both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises.
  • She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis’s lover and his surrogate mother.
  • Aphrodite is also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two cult sites, Cythera and Cyprus, which claimed to be her place of birth.
  • The connection to Phoenician religion claimed by Herodotus has inspired attempts to show that the Greek Aphrodite is derived from a Semitic word, Aštoret, by way of a hypothetical Hittite transmission, but these attempts have been inconclusive.
  • In another version of her origin, she was considered a daughter of Zeus and Dione, the mother goddess whose oracle was at Dodona.
  • Aphrodite’s husband Hephaestus is one of the most even-tempered of the Hellenic deities, but in the Odyssey she is portrayed as preferring Ares, the volatile god of war because she is attracted to his violent nature.
  • Hephaestus is overjoyed to be married to the goddess of beauty, and forges her beautiful jewelry, including the cestus, a girdle that makes her even more irresistible to men.
  • Her unhappiness with her marriage causes Aphrodite to seek other male companionship, most often Ares, but also sometimes Adonis.
  • The gods and goddesses, as well as various mortals, were invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles).
  • He scorned the worship of Aphrodite for Artemis and, in revenge, Aphrodite caused his stepmother, Phaedra, to fall in love with him, knowing Hippolytus would reject her.
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