The rich and complex history of the ancient Greeks is laced with amazing tales of love, longing and lust. What better way to celebrate this Valentine’s Day than by impressing your lover with romantic wisdom from the ancient Greeks PLUS a delicious dinner from Greek on Wheels! Read on for everything you need to know about Aphrodite, Greek Goddess of Love, AND how you can win the perfect date for your Valentine this February 14th:
Who was Aphrodite?
Aphrodite (Αφροδιτη) was known to the ancient Greeks as the goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure and Procreation. According to legend, Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea. The Greek poet Hesiod believed the name Aphrodite came from aphrós (ἀφρός) “sea-foam” and interpreted the name as “risen from the foam”.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaistos (Ἡφαιστος), the god of Fire, Smiths, and Craftsmen, who won her hand in marriage due to a trick he played on his mother, Hera, the Queen of the Gods. Abandoned on earth by Hera as a child, Hephaistos grew up hating his mother and wanting revenge. Once he had mastered his craft as an expert blacksmith, he created a golden throne, which he sent to Hera as a gift. As she sat upon it, it bound and held her there, leaving her unable to move.
Hera’s husband Zeus was furious and promised Aphrodite’s hand in marriage to any god who could free Hera. Aphrodite only agreed to this bargain as she believed her lover, Ares, the God of War, would be successful in freeing Hera. However, unfortunately for Aphrodite, Ares failed. Ultimately, Hephaistos was persuaded by another God to go to Mount Olympus, free Hera and claim Aphrodite’s hand himself.
Fun facts about Aphrodite
- Throughout her life, Aphrodite continued to love Ares, and bore him no less than five children, though she had many other lovers as well.
- Along with Athena and Hera, Aphrodite was one of the three Goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War.
- Aphrodite’s major symbols include myrtles, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans.
- Aphrodite is almost always accompanied by Eros, the god of Lust and Desire.
- One of her lovers was the mortal Adonis, who she fought over with Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld. In the end, Zeus decreed that Adonis would divide his time between the two goddesses. Adonis was eventually killed by a wild boar, leaving Aphrodite distraught.
The team at Greek on Wheels wants to help you celebrate this Valentine’s Day in style. Head over to our Facebook page to learn how you could win dinner for two from Greek on Wheels this Valentine’s Day!