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Aphrodite- Greek Goddess of Love

Aphrodite came before Zeus as noted earlier . She rose from the foam created when Cronus, father of Olympians, threw Uranus genitals into the sea.

The goddess of love, lust and mating never had to do much work. She had no responsibility other than making love. Aphrodite possessed a magic girdle that made its wearer an object of desire for everyone who swar her. She took particular delight in causing her fellow Olympians to fall in love with mortals. (Zeus paid her back by making her fall in love with the mortal Anchises and gave birth to the hero Aneas).

Like other gods and goddesses, Aphrodite also harsly punished those who refused to honor her properly i.e. celibates or others who withstood pleasures of love. Hipplolytus was one of the mortals punished for refusing erotic joys.

Hephaestus and Ares

Aphrodite was married to Hera's son Haphaestus who was gruff, ugly and lame. Unsurprisingly, the marrage was not a happy one.

Aphrodite had countless affairs with both gods and mortals. The most famous of them was Ares . One night, the lovers stay together for too long. They were in Ares's palace in Thrace and was spotted by Helius in his golden chariot.

When Helius told Hephaestus what he had seen, the smith god fashion an unbreakable bronze net. He caught the couple on their bed the next morning. The cuckholded god quickly gathered all the other gods to witness the shame of the naked and helpless couple.

Hephaestus then demanded the return of the marriage he had given to Aphrodite's adoptive father, Zeus. Zeus refused, calling the adultery a marital dispute and ridiculing Hephaestus for making it a public spectacle.

Poseidon fell in love with the naked goddeess at first sight. So he suggested that Ares should pay for the marriage gifts. Poseidon then gladly serve as gurantor which means that if Ares defaults, Poseidon would pay and take Aphrodite as his wife. Ares, did ultimately default, but Hephaestus was still in love with his wife and did not want a divorce, so he never brought it up again.

Aphrodite and Hermes

Hermes too fell in love with the naked goddess. But when she rejected him, Hermes requested Zeus's help. The king of god sent an eagle to steal one of her sandals. To retrieve it, she was forced to submit to Hermes. The child conceived was a double-sexed child: Hermaphroditus.

Our word hemaphrodite meaning a person born with both male and female reproductive organs is derived from this child.



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