Many enjoy the fascinating legends passed down from ancient Greece. These ancient Greek legends introduce mythology, rituals, and its core beliefs. In these mythologies, we came to know about the twelve major Olympian gods and goddesses. Among these figures also include Aphrodite, the goddess of love and desire. Find out more about this Greek goddess with our Aphrodite facts.
Aphrodite had several children with numerous men.
The Greek goddess had 17 known children from 7 known men based on mentions in ancient literature and texts. These children include Eros, Phobos, Peitho, Priapus, the Three Graces, Aeneas, Hermaphroditus, and more.
Aphrodite is known as the goddess of love and sexuality, and as such is considered very beautiful and sexually attractive. She was also been able to seduce many men to her pleasing thanks to her abilities as an Olympian god.
She is often depicted as the Greek equivalent of the Roman goddess, Venus.
Venus is the Roman counterpart of Aphrodite because they share similar titles as the goddess of beauty, sex, and fertility. However, a key difference between the two figures is that Venus was also considered to be the goddess of victory.
The two have also had both god and mortal lovers which they also had several children with. Additionally, both goddesses have also been worshipped and celebrated with their festivals and temples dedicated to each of them.
Aphrodite’s name originated from the word Sea-foam.
The Greeks connected Aphrodite’s name with the word Aphros, which in English translates to foam. This relates to Aphrodite’s birth story where she was formed from the foam that came from the several genitals of Uranus after he was thrown into the sea.
This is also why Aphrodite is often connected with water creatures as well. Aphrodite means ‘to rise from foam’.
Aphrodite is often associated with the symbol of roses, doves, swans, and sparrows.
In Greek mythology, the dove was chosen to represent romance. Additionally, swans are also generally considered beautiful and elegant. Some myths also believe that swans were Aphrodite’s favorite animal which is why it is associated with her.
The Aphrodite of Knidos was sculpted during the 4th century BCE.
This sculpture was created by Praxiteles of Athens. This sculpture is also said to be one of the first life-sized representations of the greek goddess in her nude form. This also signifies one of the first alternatives to Greek male heroic nudity in art forms.
The film Mighty Aphrodite was inspired by the play Pygmalion inspired by the goddess.
Mighty Aphrodite tells the story of a man’s search for his son’s biological mother which received an overall positive review from film critics. The inspiration for the film comes from the story of Pygmalion who fell in love with a beautiful sculpture and was brought to life by the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
Sappho wrote a lyrical poem inspired by the Greek goddess called Ode to Aphrodite.
The Ode to Aphrodite poem was composed of an archaic Greek poet by the name of Sappho. In the lyrical poem, the speaker calls on the aid of Aphrodite in their pursuit of their beloved. The poem also makes use of the Homeric language and mentions a small part of the Iliad story.
Like every Greek Olympic god, Aphrodite was also immortal and powerful.
Her main powers catered towards love and desire which allowed her to easily seduce any person of her choosing. She was also equipped with a magical belt that allowed the wearer to cause others to fall in love with them. Aphrodite could also cause arguing couples to fall in love with each other again and become attracted to each other.
Aphrodite and Ares were once in a sexual relationship with each other.
The Greek myth between these two figures is considered to be one of the most interesting in Greek mythology. According to the myth, Ares fell madly in love with Aphrodite and decided to win her over, unlike his previous partners.
They spent a great amount of time together until Aphrodite reciprocated his feelings and Eros was born. Aphrodite continued to have many children with Ares until she moved on to her next lover.
The temple of Aphrodite is famous for its alleged temple of prostitution.
The Temple of Aphrodite is located in Acrocorinth and is considered a sanctuary during the Ancient Corinth, The temple is dedicated to the goddess Aphrodite and was built around the early 5th century BC.
The temple is said to have been focused on servicing men with temple slaves dedicated to Aphrodite. This also caused the large attraction of visitors in the city at the time who came for the services of the temple.
The statue of Venus de Milo is said to depict the Greek goddess Aphrodite
The Venus de Milo statue was created between 130 and 100 BC and is considered one of the most famous ancient Greek sculptures. The sculpture is currently set as a permanent display in the Louvre museum located in Paris, France.
Additionally, the arms of the Venus de Milo are missing for unknown reasons. The sculpture is also named after Aphrodite’s Roman counterpart, Venus, and the Greek island of Milos.
There is a flower named after the Greek goddess Aphrodite.
The Calycanthus Aphrodite, or also known as the sweetshrub, is greatly valued for its sweet and fruity floral fragrance. The flower resembles the magnolia blossoms that are commonly found during late spring and the early summer seasons. All parts of the flower are also fragrant, including the leaves, seed pods, and as well as its bark. Generally, the plant grows an average of 150 to 240 cm tall.
In the world of the Percy Jackson series, Aphrodite’s daughter is Piper.
Much of the myths surrounding Aphrodite remains as they are told in Greek mythology in the world of the Percy Jackson books. However, in this tale, Aphrodite gives life to a demigod child named Piper with a mortal man. Unlike Aphrodite, the character of Piper is not concerned with her looks and beauty.
The folds of Aphrodite refer to the lines made on a woman’s cheek from smiling.
To be more precise, it is the term used to refer to the graceful way that the cheeks arrange themselves when beautiful women smile. This is the gentle crease that forms from the cheekbones and runs downward in a slightly diagonal arc. This formed line is said to direct the eyes of the woman to her mouth.
Aphrodite was described by some as ill-tempered and easily offended.
Some historians believed that while Aphrodite was a great beauty unlike any other Olympian goddess, she had a rather damaged personality. In some ancient texts and myths, Aphrodite is described to be frightened and weak. The goddess is also said to have a short temper and would easily result in punishing those who go against her.
Aphrodite’s magical girdle or belt also served as her weapon.
Like all Olympian gods, each figure was associated with a tool that reflected their abilities. For Aphrodite, she wielded a magical belt which allowed her to easily make anyone fall in love with the wearer.
At times, other goddesses would borrow this belt to attract and seduce their lovers without effort. This belt was known to be effective on both mortal men and gods.
Aphrodite did not take rejection very well.
Due to her short temper and ill personality, Aphrodite would often seek revenge on those who did not please her. While she was known for being the goddess of love and desire, there were a few men who rejected her. This led Aphrodite to mercilessly kill these men and their loved ones through tricks.
There are more artworks for Aphrodite than any other classic mythology figure.
Aphrodite can be found in many works of art throughout the centuries such as in paintings and sculptures. She is also mentioned in several literary works throughout time and is also famously known for inspiring the Venus de Milo sculpture.
Aphrodite is often depicted as perfectly symmetrical.
Throughout many artistic forms, Aphrodite is always depicted as perfectly symmetrical and radiant. However, her image is not known for any distinctive features apart from an overwhelming beauty. Apart from that, she is often depicted with an apple, dove, or shell which relates to stories in Greek mythology.
Eros is Aphrodite’s son with Ares.
Eros, the Greek god of love and sex is the first child of Aphrodite and Ares followed by multiple other children. Like Aphrodite, Eros could make others fall in love with each other and is also often referred to by his Roman counterpart, Cupid.
Aphrodite also had children with Poseidon.
Another known affair that Aphrodite engaged in was with the Greek god of the sea, Poseidon. Aphrodite bore two daughters for him named Rhodos and Herophilos. Some myths state that Aphrodite also gave birth to Triton who was born half man and half fish.
Like her siblings, Aphrodite also indulged in incestuous relationships.
Among Olympian gods and goddesses, there are no rules when it comes to love affairs. Aphrodite had many sexual relationships with other gods, including her siblings and uncles. However, she did not have children with all of them but her relationships did cause several fits of jealousy from other goddesses.
Aphrodite’s name has been spelled and officially recognized in many different ways.
Some of these alternative names include Afrodite and Afroditi. In Greece, she is also known as Acida’lia which is derived from the well of Acidalius located near Orchomenos. This place is also known to be a place where Aphrodite used to bathe with the Three Graces. She is also known as Acraea in other temples and Ambologe-ra in Sparta.
Aphrodite is often depicted as nude and desirable.
Due to her title as the goddess of love and desire, she is often depicted nude in artworks and sculptures. At times, she was also represented alongside her son Eros who would accompany her on official matters that required her attention. In many artworks, she is also portrayed coming from the sea or waters on a shell.
The three Charities were Aphrodite’s main attendants.
These women were also known as the Three Graces and were identified as the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome. This would mean that they were also sisters of Aphrodite who she used to give orders and her use to her pleasing.
Priapus is considered to be Aphrodite’s son with Dionysus.
While Priapus is Aphrodite’s son, some myths state that it was not with Dionysus, the god of wine. Some believe that Aphrodite’s son could have been from Hermes, Adonis, or perhaps even Zeus himself.
Greek mythology also stated that while Aphrodite was pregnant with Priapus, the child was cursed by Hera to be hideous. Priapus was born with a permanently erect penis and a large belly and long tongue.
Many Olympian goddesses have been jealous of Aphrodite.
Due to Aphrodite being the goddess of love and desire, it comes quite naturally for her to get the attention of her consorts. However, this sparked jealousy in other goddesses whose consorts would often begin relationships with Aphrodite. As a result, many gods and goddesses would often seek to punish and seek revenge on those who threaten them.
Aphrodite has also had sexual relations with a man named Anchises.
Anchises was one of Aphrodite’s mortal lovers. Aphrodite fell in love with him after seeing him herd his sheep. The two had children together but Anchises was struck by lightning by Zeus later on. There are also different versions of the myth where Anchises turns blind or is killed by Zeus.
Aphrodite’s marriage was arranged by Zeus to avoid a war.
Zeus was concerned about Aphrodite’s overwhelming beauty and that everyone would fight over her. As a result, Aphrodite was forced to marry the ugliest god in Olympus, Hephaestus.
Aphrodite was unhappy about this marriage and both parties continued to have affairs with other gods and goddesses. However, this favored Zeus as he would not be able to see Hephaestus as a threat to him.
She also supported the Trojans during the Trojan War.
In the Iliad, Aphrodite is described to be smiling and golden during the events of the Trojan War. During the war, Aphrodite is noted to have protected her son Aeneas from Diomedes. Aphrodite is also mentioned to have saved Paris from Menelaos as well.
Zeus ordered Aphrodite to create Pandora.
The first woman, Pandora, was created with gifts from many Olympian gods and goddesses. Aphrodite gave Pandora the gift of beauty and grace which allowed Pandora to create a burning desire among mortals.
Aphrodite was considered greatly generous to those who worshipped her.
In many stories in Greek mythology, Aphrodite is mentioned to honor those who worshipped her. An example of this was when she brought a statue that resembled her to life so that its sculptor could marry it.
Some of Aphrodite’s followers were also a result of experiencing her wrath first hand and have learned not to disrespect her due to her powers.
Aphrodite plays an important role in the ancient Greek poem, Iliad.
In the Iliad, Aphrodite plays a major role in the story as she is responsible for starting the Trojan War with her sisters. When she is given the golden apple, she sided with the Trojans against Hera and Athena.
She has no known children with her husband.
Despite being married, Aphrodite was not attracted to Hephaestus at all. Aphrodite would have secret affairs with other gods and as well as mortals at the time while her husband was away. Hephaestus had children with other goddesses as well.
Aphrodite is also symbolized by many types of water fowls due to her birth story.
The name of Aphrodite connects to the sea and as such is also symbolized with other objects such as swans and ducks. She is also symbolized by a hand mirror and a shell due to some myths about her coming to life standing on a large shell heading towards the shore.
Pomegranates were also once associated with Aphrodite.
In Kypros, the pomegranate was considered sacred to Aphrodite as the fruit symbolized the consummation of the marriage. This also symbolized the loss of female virginity.
However, it was also believed that eating the fruit could work as a form of contraceptive at the time. The pomegranate was also sacred to Hera, the goddess of marriage apart from being a symbol of Aphrodite.
In Greek art, Aphrodite can also be seen being accompanied by dolphins and nereids.
These artworks include Aphrodite laying on a large open seashell or clam and accompanied by servants and dolphins. Nereid also occasionally accompanies Aphrodite which is considered to be the sea nymphs of the gods.
Shakespeare has written an erotic retelling of Aphrodite and Adonis’s relationship.
The literary piece was published in 1593 and is considered to be one of Shakespeare’s first publications. The poem tells the story of Aphrodite and Adonis’ relationship where she attempts to seduce him.
The poem is considered at times, comical and tragic yet erotic. It also contains discourses regarding Aphrodite’s nature of love with Adonis.
During the early 20th century, Aphrodite was often mentioned by feminist poets.
Aphrodite was featured in literary works from Amy Lowell and Alicia Ostriker. Many of these poems also focus on the birth of Aphrodite notably known as the foam of the sea. Some also mention the many myths Aphrodite is included in talking about topics regarding her domain.
Greece celebrated Aphrodite during the Aphrodisia festival.
The Aphrodisia festival honors the Greek goddess Aphrodite and is typically celebrated between the weeks of July to August of the Gregorian calendar. The festival celebrates Aphrodite by purifying the Temple of Aphrodite with the blood of doves and offering gifts and food to the goddess.
The festival is still being celebrated by some in modern times with some changes to the original traditions. Modern-day followers follow this holiday under the Ancient Greek religion.
Aphrodite is the eldest child of Zeus.
According to some versions of Greek Mythology, Aphrodite is believed to be the first child of Zeus. However, some versions believed that Athena or Ares was the firstborn of Zeus. Other versions of the story also state that Aphrodite did not come from Zeus but rather from Ouranos. This would mean that to Aphrodite, Zeus would be her nephew.
Aphrodite has no records of her childhood.
When Aphrodite was created, she was immediately in her adult form. There are no records of Aphrodite in her infancy or childhood, nor are there any mentions of such in ancient Greek texts and mythologies.
In some texts, Aphrodite is depicted as a blonde or redhead.
Ancient Greek mythology states that Aphrodite also had whiter than ivory skin and eyes bluer than the summer sky. In some versions of the stories, Aphrodite’s hair is said to be a golden brown or red that mimics the color of the sun at sunset.
She is also said to be the mother of the Erotes gods.
Aphrodite is the mother of the Erotes gods which is the term referred to as a collection of winged gods associated with love and sex. This group is made up of Anteros, Eros, Hedylogos, Himeros, Hymen, Pothos, and Hermaphroditus.
In Greek mythology, these winged gods would often accompany Aphrodite on official matters that required her powers. Like Aphrodite, they were also frequently portrayed nude.
Aphrodite granted the wish of a sculptor named Pygmalion.
Pygmalion was a mortal sculptor who worshipped Aphrodite by making her an ivory statue in her form. The sculptor grew feelings for the sculpture’s beauty and wished to marry it. Aphrodite was pleased with this and granted the sculptors wish by bringing the statue to life. The couple then had a child later on.
Aphrodite was chosen by Paris as the fairest woman.
In the story of the Judgement of Paris, Athena, Aphrodite, and Hera all offered gifts to Paris if he would give them the golden apple meant for the fairest woman. In exchange for the apple, Aphrodite offered to give Paris the most beautiful woman on earth to which he agreed to later on. This upset the two other goddesses and caused the beginning of the Trojan War.
The cult of Aphrodite had a large following during ancient Cyprus.
Cyprus was the main location where you could find the majority of Aphrodite’s worshippers during ancient times. In some stories, Aphrodite was not only worshipped as the goddess of love and desire but also as a goddess of the sea and seafaring.
Aphrodite received many pieces of jewelry from her husband, Hephaestus.
As an attempt to win her over, Hephaestus made several fine pieces of jewelry for his wife Aphrodite. Among these include her magical belt which would allow the manifestation of love and desire. However, despite this, Aphrodite was not pleased due to her husband’s hideous looks and instead went to other men for sexual desire and pleasure.
Aphrodite’s son, Aeneas is regarded as the founder of Ancient Rome.
Aeneas is considered a Trojan hero who was also saved by Aphrodite during the time of the war. In the story of the Iliad, he is considered a minor character but is described to be an honorable warrior. Aeneas served as the leader Trojans and the attack on the Idomeneus to recover the body of Alcathous.
Aphrodite is slightly recognized as a goddess of war in Sparta.
Apart from her titles as a goddess of love, desire, and the sea, Aphrodite was also referred to as a goddess of war at times. This is mainly due to her involvement during the Trojan War and her interference during the events.