Aphrodite (Ancient Greek: Ἀφροδίτη, Aphrodítē) is the Ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty. Aphrodite is one of the Twelve Olympians. The most beautiful and refined of the goddesses, Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, god of fire and metalworking. Aphrodite had numerous affairs with other beings, the most notable of these being Ares, the god of war.
In Homer's Iliad, one of the Oceanids. In Hesiod's Theogony, however, Aphrodite is stated to have risen from sea foam, formed at the spot where Uranos' genitals landed, after Kronos castrated him and tossed them into the sea. Aphrodite's cult was centered on the islands of Cythera and Cyprus, both of which were claimed to be her birthplace. Her main festival was the Aphrodisia, which was celebrated annually every midsummer. The Charites (minor goddesses of grace and splendor) attended to Aphrodite and served as her handmaidens. Aphrodite's symbols include the dolphin, myrtle, rose, dove, sparrow, swan and pearl, and the dove, sparrow and swan were her sacred animals. The goddess Venus is her Roman equivalent. Aphrodite was quite often described as very beautiful, and was used as a point of comparison for female beauty.
Aphrodite was very beautiful, which made Zeus afraid that she would be the cause of fights between the other gods. He therefore gave Aphrodite to Hephaestus. Hephaestus was happy to be married to Aphrodite and gave her many pieces of jewelry which were gifts of love, like a belt that when ever she wore it, it would make men be attracted to her. Aphrodite, however, was not attracted to him. So she spent most of her time with Ares, but was also spent time with Adonis and Anchises. She had many children.
- Eros is usually mentioned as the son of Aphrodite but in other versions he is born out of Chaos
- Homer, Iliad 5.370.
- Hesiod, Theogony, 188