Regarding the birth of Aphrodite there are three different versions: the first one wants her to be the daughter of Poseidon (in other legends she is even the lover of the God), the second version tells of her birth as the fruit of the union between Zeus and Thalassa and finally in the third version, the most widespread, it is said that Aphrodite was born from the foam of the sea of Cyprus following a dispute between Uranus and Kronos, at the end of which Kronos cut off the testicles of Uranus and threw them into the sea.
Aphrodite Sosandra, Roman copy of the II century A.D. on Renaissance bust, National Archaeological Museum, Venice
Aphrodite, (Venus in Roman mythology), represents the Goddess of love, beauty, sexuality and lust. Her figure, however, does not possess at all the qualities of a romantic and sweet woman. She is in fact described as an unfaithful and lustful creature, vain, irritable and touchy.
Her unfaithfulness to her husband Hephaestus, however, seems to have been due to the fact that she was forced to marry the ugly and sad God of Fire because of an order from Hera.
Very well known is in fact the legend according to which at birth, Hephaestus, was thrown down from Olympus by his mother Hera. This one declared herself terrified by the horrible aspect of her own son. According to other legends Hephaestus was not the son of Hera, but the result of one of the many escapades of Zeus with the high women. So he was expelled from Olympus only for revenge. Consequently Hephaestus grew day after day feeding a deep hatred towards his mother who had so miserably repudiated him.
So she decided to take her revenge, building a wonderful and damned throne to give to her mother. In fact, after sitting there, Hera could not get up anymore. She would have been condemned forever to such a destiny if she had not promised in marriage to the rancorous Hephaestus the beautiful Aphrodite, with whom the god had fallen madly in love.
But the beautiful and lustful goddess resigned herself to such a fate. So she had many sentimental relationships with gods and mortals. Among her lovers we remember the beautiful Adonis, a hunter who died because of the deep wounds caused by the aggression of a large and fierce wild boar.
On his remains, Aphrodite recited a spell ordering that these returned to life every spring with the appearance of an anemone. Before marrying Hephaestus, she was the wife of Achises, a Trojan prince with whom she generated the great Aeneas.
The Goddess, even during her marriage with her husband Hephaestus, always had a deep and lasting bond with Ares. With him she generated Eros (God of Love) and Anteros (personification of love). From the relationship with Ares, Aphrodite also generated Demos (Terror), Phoebus (Fear) and Harmony.
Aphrodite became the protector of the Trojans during the war with the Greeks, even if she could not avoid neither the defeat of Troy nor the death of Paris to whom she had promised Helen in marriage.