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Venus

Venus, Pan and Eros

Venus, Pan and Eros (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Myth

In mythology Venus is the Roman parallel to the Greek Aphrodite. But Venus is somewhat more subdued than Aphrodite.

Venus is a goddess of seduction and, in one set of rites and myths, she is associated with Roman wine fesitvals (Vinalia). In this festival she’s seen as a mediator between Jupiter and the Roman people.

She is also the mother of Aeneas, who according to the poet Vergil, is the founder of Rome. In a sense, then, Venus was regarded as the mother of Rome.

But she was no chaste mother. Her name literally means sex, and she was the lover of Mars, who with the mortal Rhea Silva begat the twin brothers Romulus and Remus.

Since Rome was named after Romulus, who after disposing of Remus became the first ruler of Rome, Venus plays a kind of dual role in the founding of Rome. As such, she was given a sacred solemnity among the Romans that Aphrodite never enjoyed among the Greeks.

Mars and Venus have a romantic rendezvous. Fresco from the “House of Sallust” at Pompeii, now in the National Archaeological Museum, Naples. – Image via Tumblr

Venus’ first known temple was built shortly after 295 BCE. And despite New Age and Jungian attempts to treat her as some kind of pristine archetype, and others’ attempts to link her to the Vedic term for desire, her historical roots remain obscure.

However, her character did develop, as most mythic entities do, in step with the sociopolitical changes in Rome. The influential aristocrat Sulla called her his “Protectress” and, by the time of the Roman Empire, Venus was incorporated into the official pantheon.

English: Venus orbits the Sun at an average di...

Venus orbits the Sun at an average distance of about 108 million kilometers (about 0.7 AU), and completes an orbit every 224.65 days. Venus is the second planet from the Sun and it revolves round the Sun approximately 1.6 times (yellow trail) in Earth’s 365 days (blue trail) http://weelookang.blogspot.com/2011/06/ejs-open-source-kepler-3rd-law-system.html (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Astronomy

In astronomy Venus is the second planet from our sun. Due to its brightness, Venus looks like a star and is called the “morning star” or “evening star.” Venus is also the hottest planet in the solar system. It’s not the closest but its composition contributes to its high heat.

Related Posts » Aliens, Cupid, Earth, Ishtar, Libra, Taurus


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Ares

Helmeted young warrior, so-called Ares. Roman ...

Helmeted young warrior, so-called Ares. Roman copy from a Greek original—this is a plaster replica, the original is now stored in the Museum of the Villa. Canope at the Villa Adriana in Tivoli. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ares is the Greek god of war and the son of Zeus and Hera. In Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey he’s depicted as one of the 12 Olympians.

He’s often depicted as brutal, violent and merciless, but not invulnerable. He often returns to Olympia after battle complaining of his war wounds. To this Zeus responds with ambivalence, not only about war but about his feelings for Ares:

Then looking at him darkly Zeus who gathers the clouds spoke to him:
‘Do not sit beside me and whine, you double-faced liar.
To me you are the most hateful of all gods who hold Olympos.
Forever quarrelling is dear to your heart, wars and battles.

And yet I will not long endure to see you in pain, since
you are my child, and it was to me that your mother bore you.
But were you born of some other god and proved so ruinous
long since you would have been dropped beneath the gods of the bright sky.”¹

Ares and Aphrodite had three offspring, to include Eros. The Roman parallel to Ares is Mars.

¹ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ares#Character.2C_origins.2C_and_worship


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Aphrodite

Alien Aphrodite by Craig Moe via Flickr

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of beauty, love and fertility, worshipped throughout ancient Greece. Legend has it that she was born from the sea foam that arose at Paphos, Cyprus after Cronus had castrated Uranus and thrown the testicles (some say all the genitals) into the water.

My Classical Mythology Blog writes:

It seems surprising that the goddess of love would be sprung from such violence and mutilation, but when we explore the kind of “love” that this goddess delivers the connection makes more sense.¹

Homer says she is the wife of Hephaestus but also had romantic affairs with Ares, the god of War. From that union she became the mother of Eros. She also had sex with a human, Anchises, out of which the Trojan hero, Aeneas was born.

Aprhrodite might also have been the guardian of prostitutes; Pindar notes that her temples often housed corps of prostitutes. And Ovid in myth connects her to the first prostitutes in Cyprus.

Tile mosaic depicting Leada and the Swan from ...

Tile mosaic depicting Leada and the Swan from the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, Palea Paphos; now in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Primarily worshipped by women, men also took part in her cult, probably because of her role as guardian of the sea.

Although the beautiful Helen of Troy is usually blamed for the Trojan War, it was Aphrodite who bribed Paris for the prize of the Golden Apple by offering the reward of Helen, the Queen of Sparta, in the first place. So Paris abducted Helen on the – apparently – legitimate grounds of Aphrodite’s “divine” bribe.

Aphrodite is also given a curious dual nature by Plato and figures in several other myths, outlined in the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodite

The Roman parallel to Aphrodite is Venus.

¹ Read the rest of this excellent post here: http://mytholoblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/aphrodite


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Corinthians, I and II

Ancient Corinth, urban street

Ancient Corinth, urban street (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Corinthians, I and II are letters written by St. Paul to the early Christian community in Corinth. Corinth was the city of Aphrodite, where temples of various Greek deities could be found.

It seems that Paul was concerned about members of the Christian community becoming too individualistic in their faith. Paul emphasizes the ‘body’ of the community, a body with many members. As such, each member has different gifts but belongs to a single body. And those gifts are meaningless if not rooted in unselfish love.

Paul stresses the importance of either unmarried celibacy or married sex, the former being more desirable. Everything else is regarded as sinful. He warns against falling back into idolatry, perhaps due to the community’s precarious location.

Toward the end of the second letter Paul defends himself, Titus and another ‘brother’ against allegations of fraud. Some in the community had voiced concerns that the collection money intended for Jerusalem would be pocketed.

On this point Mike adds:

Something you didn’t mention about 2 Corinthians is that because of the need to defend himself Paul has to describe his ministry. » See in context


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Eros

Eros

Eros (Photo credit: virgi.pla)

In Greek mythology Eros is the son of Aphrodite and Ares. He is portrayed on ancient vases as a highly attractive athlete, as a boy with wings and arrows, and later, as a pudgy babe.

As the god of romantic love he is praised in Hesiod‘s hymns as the most beautiful of all the gods. In popular myth and classical art he’s depicted as shooting arrows of love into the hearts of soon-to-be lovers. The Orphic mystery cults deemed his creative powers great enough to regard him as the creator of the world. Hesiod wrote that Eros sprung from Chaos, representing instinctual, sexual and creative energy.

Sigmund Freud hypothesized a general life instinct which he called eros, in contrast to an opposing death insinct, thanatos (Greek = death). C. S. Lewis and many others use the term eros to describe emotional romantic love as opposed to Agape, or selfless love.

Plato used the term eros to signify a desire to seek the transcendental beauty of the eternal Forms, which is partially recognized in particular instances within this changing world of becoming.

Eros is paralleled by the Roman god Cupid and in Latin is Amor.

Related Posts » Animus, Dreams, Id, Libido, Orpheus, Philia

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