Aphrodite is the classical Greek goddess of love, lust and beauty. She was born from the foam of the sea near Pafos in Cyprus covering a part of Uranus' body (his testicles) that were cut off by his son Kronos. After the testicles fell in the sea near the island of Kithira they were led by the water to Cyprus and from the foam covering them the most beautiful woman of all made her appearance, the goddess named Aphrodite.
Because of her supernatural beauty Zeus was frightened that the male gods would quarrel over her creating many problems and conflicts so he got her married with Hephaestus, the dour and ugly god of fire and smithing.
Another myth says that after Hera, his mother, had cast him off Olympus deeming him ugly and deformed he trapped her in a magic throne asking in return for Aphrodite to be his wife to leave his mother free. Hephaestus was overjoyed at being married to the goddess of beauty and forged her beautiful jewellery, including the cestus, a girdle that made her even more irresistible to men.
Her unhappiness with her marriage caused Aphrodite to seek out companionship from others, most frequently Ares, but also Adonis.
Aphrodite's most famous son was Eros, the god of love, who helped her with her work. A talented archer, his job was to shoot arrows dipped in Aphrodite's love potion, hitting her unwitting victims, causing them to fall madly in love with the next person they saw. Many of the great love stories began this way, but many respectable homes were broken up as well.
Although she was most often loving and generous, Aphrodite could be quite malicious and vindictive as well. She insisted upon being given the honor she felt was due to her and was quick and harsh in punishing those who weren't sufficiently appreciative of her efforts. Ares, Medea, Psyche, and Atalanta, to name a few, could attest that the Greek goddess Aphrodite's power was immense.
|Zeus||The supreme god|
|Hera||Goddess of marriage, and married women|
|Poseidon||God of the sea|
|Demeter||Goddess of corn, fruit and agriculture in general|
|Apollo||God of the sun, music and poetry|
|Artemis||Goddess of the moon, hunting and chastity|
|Athena||Goddess of wisdom|
|Aphrodite||Goddess of love and beauty|
|Hermes||God of eloquence and speech|
|Ares||God of war|
|Hephaestus||God of fire and the chief workman of the gods|
|Dionysus||God of wine and merrymaking|