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Aphrodite is one of the most famous figures of Greek mythology. Because

Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexual rapture,1 she was desired by

nearly all of the Greek gods. Aphrodite was one of the twelve main gods on Mt.

Olympus,2 and she was the most powerful goddess when it came to members of the

opposite sex.


There are many origins to Aphrodite's birth. Some of them are:

1) She arose full-grown out of the foam of the sea,

2) She is the daughter of Zeus and Dionne,

3) She is the daughter of Uranus and Gaia, which would make her a Titaness, or

4) She is the daughter of Titans Oceanus and Tethys, making her an Oceanid.3

The most common origin of her birth is her being foam-born, which is what her

name means. This origin says that Aphrodite arose nude and full-grown out of the foam

of the sea and riding into the shore of Cythera on a scallop shell. She found Cythera to be

too small of an island, so she went to live in Paphos, in Cyprus, which is still the principal

seat of her worship.4


Although Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, she had a magic girdle

that she wore that made everyone fall in love with her. She could hardly ever be

persuaded to lend it to anyone. Since Aphrodite had the magic girdle and was so

beautiful, all of the gods fell in love with her.

All of the goddesses were jealous of Aphrodite because all of the gods loved her

instead of the other goddesses. Because of this, Zeus arranged a marriage for her with

Hephaestus, the lame smith-god.5 Aphrodite didn't really mind this marriage arrangement,

though, because she thought Hephaestus would never notice her having marital affairs.6

Hephaestus knew nothing of deception until, one night, he caught his wife and

Ares, the god of war, making love at Ares' home. Hephaestus went back to his home very


Hephaestus was so angry that he decided to get revenge on Aphrodite by literally catching

the while they were making love. He got out a bronze hunting-net and attached to the

posts and sides of the bed. He told Aphrodite ...

... middle of paper ...

...ympus. His plan backfired on him

though, actually revealing himself as someone who was attempting to retain the love and

devotion from his wife.25

Now that Hephaestus had embarrassed himself in front of all of the gods,

Hephaestus became unhappy in his marriage to Aphrodite. He lost all interest in her and

turned his attention to Athena who, like Aphrodite, was not in love with him. Hephaestus

fell in love with Athena when she came to him for a spear. When he tried to initiate

intercourse, she rejected him.26


Both Hephaestus and Aphrodite are powerful and popular figures of Greek

mythology. They did many great, and maybe not so great, things during their lifetimes

that are still remembered today. They were both main gods on Mt. Olympus. They may

have not had many great times with each other according to myth, but they were still

significant gods who had great lives. Many people use both of these gods to relate to

things today, and they will be remembered for years and years to come. Their characters

in Greek mythology are very significant and they will not be forgotten anytime soon.

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