Aphrodite is the Olympian goddess of Love and Beauty in Greek mythology. It is theorized that she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, whilst another theory claims that she was born from the severed genitals of Ouranos when Kronos slew him. Despite being known to have frequent affairs against her husband Hephaestus (especially with her lover Ares, the God of War), she is often portrayed in myths as a friendly, kind, benevolent, and even generous entity. The sites of Cythera and Cyprus are often associated with her, as they claim to be her place of birth. She is also frequently portrayed in many works of art, often nude.
There are two forms of Aphrodite's birth. The first, and most common, is that after Kronus slew Ouranos, he threw most of Ouranos' body parts into Tartarus, one of which, Ouranos' genitals, fell into the sea. These divinities caused the sea foam to turn into a goddess, resulting in Aphrodite.
A second story however suggests a different origin. It states that Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
Appearance and Beauty
Upon sight of the gods, Aphrodite's strikingly beautiful body began to attracted the attention of the many male gods. Zeus, fearing that her beauty would cause tension between the Olympian gods, had her married almost immediately to his son, Hephaestus, who was pleased greatly at this action. The Greek goddess Aphrodite, however did not want to be stuck with the rather plain Hephaestus for the rest of her life, and because of this, Aphrodite began her well renowned love affairs she had which resulted in many offspring by her various lovers. Her most notable lovers were the gods Ares, Dionysus, Hermes, Poseidon, and the mortal, Adonis. Hephaestus became quite jealous at times after learning of these affairs, however he seemed to accept this arrangement most of the time, happy to just have and hold her when he had the chance. Indeed, their marriage seemed companionable, with little passion perhaps, but little conflict as well.
Aphrodite has had many significant lovers, being both gods and mortals. Her primary lover was Ares, who's belligerent and violent personality attracted her. Hepheastus, upon learning this, became furious and seeked justice for Aphrodite's affair. Using his wit, he crafted skills an indesructible net and trapped the two lovers while they were in bed, then dragged them to Olympia. Upon arrival, Hepheastus demanded punishment amongst the Gods, Zeus included, but they just laughed off his statement. In the end nothing was done and things went back to the way they were beforehand, and Hepheastus learned to accept Aphrodite’s adulterous affairs.
Another serious affair was with the mortal Adonis, as it caused great suffering on her part (since mortality and immortality never mix well). When Adonis was killed by a wild boar, his cries were heard by Aphrodite and joined him at this side at his dying moments. She grieved deeply and cursed the Fates ordained his demise. In memorial to his love Aphrodite turned Adonis’ dripping blood into wildflowers.
Skills and Abilities
Aphrodite has several powers and abilities that mortals should not take lightly. While it may appear as though she was uncontrolled, she had the power to affect a number of emotions in both humans and gods. She has the ability to seduce men into falling in love with her, however she prefers a more helpful solution to her powers, by helping hopeless romantics suceed in finding love in their life using her powers to charm individuals to appear more appealing amongst each other or even charming them to fall in love directly and immediately. She is also able to charm objects into present a more pleasant and attractive appearance (usually in the form of flora).
Aphrodite was known to be quite seductive and occasionally short-tempered and self-absorbed. Though despite these flaws, she was very joyful, loving, benevolent, and friendly, not to mention being soft-spoken and passionate. She was often attracted my the many masculine features of older men she met in her life. She wasn't as flirtatious as people presume she is; rather one glance at her would catch the attention of all the gods and mortal men, causing them to madly desire/lust and fall in love for her.
Her relations with the other gods varied. Although she was married to Hephaestus, she highly despised him, due to his unappealing appearance, and attempted to avoid him whenever possible. She and Athena often didn't get along well, mainly due to the fact many humans favored the goddess of love and beauty over the goddess of wisdom and warfare. She however was attracted to her brother and Athena's rival Ares, and because of this, she often had affairs with the god of war, making him her primary lover in the myths, in doing so, she would pacify the war god as a means to prevent conflicts such as invasions that were caused by him from happening. Aphrodite also had affairs with her brothers Dionysus, Hermes, and even her uncle Poseidon, all three of which she bore children to along with her primary lover Ares.
Folklore, Religions, and Myths