It’s no secret that Aphrodite got around. Mostly with Ares, but there were other gods thrown in there. She had a lot of children and was associated with a lot of gods. And while most of major gods associated with her have their own Mythology Mondays, there were a few odds and ends of note that I thought would fit nicely in a combined blog post.
The Erotes were winged gods of love. The gods of marriage were often counted among them. A flock of these accompanied Aphrodite. The three primary erodes were….
Himeros– The god of sexual desire. He is either a son of Aphrodite or one of the two dogs (along with Eros) who greeted her when she was born from sea foam. He’s often paired with Anteros, the god of reciprocal love.
Pothos– The god of sexual yearning. He’s sometimes considered the son of Iris and Zephyros (the west wind), or he’s a son of Eros.
Anteros, The God of Reciprocal Love, was also sometimes considered an Erotes. and the avenger of the unrequited (I love that title). He’s a son of Ares and Aphrodite or Poseidon and a Neriad.
Gods of Marriage were Gods associated with different aspects of Marriage in Greek Mythology. You’d think these would mostly associate with Hera, but for the most part they were strongly linked with Aphrodite.
Hebe (Juventas)-The goddess of youth and cupbearer to the gods until Ganymedes came along. She was given to Hercules as a wife after he ascended to Olympus. She’s the daughter of Zeus and Hera. She helped her mom enter her chariot, attended to Aphrodite, and was the patron goddess of young brides. In some depictions, she has wings. She can also grant eternal youth.
Hymenaios– The god of the weddings and the marriage hymn. Hymenaios was s son of Apollo and one of the Muses or, depending on the myth, Aphrodite and Dionysus. In other versions of the myth, he was a pretty mortal boy that Apollo saw and decided to turn into a god/plaything. In far later stories, he was a mortal boy who fell in love with a girl far above his station, so he disguised himself as a woman and followed the woman he loved to a women’s only religious ceremony. But en-route, the women were captured by pirates. Hymenaios helped the women plot their escape, and after they were all safe and sound, he was allowed to marry his beloved. Their marriage was so happy, the people of Athens held festivals to honor them and the couple later became associated with marriage.
Peitho (Suadela)– The goddess of persuasion, seduction, and charming speech. She was a handmaiden of Aphrodite and is one of the goddesses of marriage. Often she’s viewed as a facet of Aphrodite. It’s possible she was an Oceanid or a daughter of Aphrodite, and she is often numbered as one of the Charities. Some sources say she was the wife of Hermes, others say she was the wife of the hero king Phoroneus, and the mother of the heroes Aegialeus and Apia.
Odds and Ends:
Phobos and Deimos- More spirits or personifications than gods, Phobos and Deimos were the twin sons of Ares and Aphrodite. They personified terror and dread (Deimos) and panic and flight (Phobos). Mar’s moons are named after them, as are Sailor Mars’s ravens. They were most notably worshiped in Sparta.
Dione– Dione is the mother of the second Aphrodite in Greek mythology (though it’s interesting to note that her name is just a feminine form of Zeus). She was a Titan Goddess of prophecy, and the oracle of Dodona in Thesprotia. Her sisters were also oracles. Phoibe was the oracle of Delphi, Mnemosyne the oracle of Lebadeia, Themis was another oracle of Delphi and Dodona. Some sources identified her as an ancient wife of Zeus (as was Themis, go figure).
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