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Venus/Aphrodite - Essay Example

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Studying the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses can oftentimes become quite confusing as several of these deities tend to overlap in their associated domains and responsibilities. This is because the Greeks had already established their pantheon of gods and goddesses prior to…
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Download file to see previous pages The conquering Romans liked the stories so much, they began adopting them as their own, changing the names of the deities to reflect a Roman heritage rather than Greek. This merging of tales, as well as the passage of time, is what has led to such confusion regarding the exact nature and responsibilities of the goddess Aphrodite, or Venus as she’s called in Rome.
“According to Hesiod, when Kronos (Cronos) had cut off his father’s members, he tossed them into the sea. The immortal flesh eventually spread into a circle of white foam... from this foam, Aphrodite was created. Her name literally means foam-born” (Stewart, 2005). Although she is somewhat the daughter of Ouranos, as it was his phallus from which she grew, she has no associated mother and took several lovers, including Adonis (Cotterell, 1980). As the goddess of love, Aphrodite presided over sexual love, affection between people and other social relationships. According to Guerber (1990), she was not only the goddess of lovers, but the goddess of gardens and gardeners. “The rose, lily, hyacinth, crocus and narcissus were sacred to her; so were the dove, the sparrow, the dolphin and the swan” (Guerber, 1990, p. 90).
Because the first known temple to Venus was founded in Rome on a day that was traditionally dedicated to Jupiter, Venus became associated with him in much the same way that Aphrodite was associated with Ouranos, which made Dione her mother. She became the wife of Vulcan and the mother of Cupid (Walker, n.d.) and of Aeneas, the founder of Rome. Venus was originally a goddess of gardens and vineyards and later expanded her realm to include love and beauty as she became merged with the Greek conception of Aphrodite (Lindemans, 1999). Like Aphrodite, Venus was not faithful to her husband and took many lovers including Mars and Adonis. Despite her affairs, she was considered the goddess of chastity in women. She was also the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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