Aphrodite explores the many myths and meanings of the Greek goddess of love, sex and beauty. One of the most widely worshipped and popular deities in Greek antiquity, Aphrodite emerges from the imaginations of the ancient Greek writers and artists as a multifaceted, powerful and charismatic figure. This volume explores the importance of Aphrodite for the ancient Greeks, as well as her enduring influence as a symbol of beauty, adornment, love and sexuality in contemporary culture. In a wide-ranging investigation of the universality of Aphrodite’s power and significance, this volume illuminates the numerous intricate levels of divinity embodied by the alluring figure of Aphrodite.
Aphrodite offers new insights into the ancient texts and artistic representations of the goddess, as well as a comprehensive survey of the current scholarship about the origins and interpretations of Aphrodite, whilst also highlighting her eternal popular appeal across cultures and generations. A goddess of love who is not afraid to enter the battlefield; a goddess of bodily adornment who is the first to appear totally nude; a goddess born of the sea who emerges into the open sky: Aphrodite is a polyvalent deity, plural in nature, function and significance.
Table of Contents
Why Aphrodite 1. Introducing Aphrodite Who is Aphrodite? Aphrodite Emerges The Evidence for Aphrodite Overview Key Themes 2. Birth, Origins, Name Birth The Castration of Ouranos Daughter of Zeus & Dione Origins Near Eastern Aphrodite Cypriot Aphrodite Indo-European Aphrodite Names Cypris & Cythereia Ourania Overview 3. Love, Sex, War Love & Sex Mixis Peithō & Pandēmos Philommeidēs Prostitution Eros & Himeros War Overview 4. Beauty, Adornment, Nudity Beauty Adornment Garlands & Mirrors Goldenness Entourage Nudity The Knidia Overview 5. Intimacy with Mortals intimacy Pandora Helen & Paris Anchises & Aeneas Adonis Punishment Hippolytus Overview 6. Sea and Sky Anodos Sea & Sailing Sky Mountains Birds Overview Aphrodite Afterwards 7. After Greek Antiquity Aphrodite & Venus Aphrodite Today Film & Television Overview Further reading Index
Monica S. Cyrino is Professor Classics at the University of New Mexico, USA. Her research focuses on Classics in popular culture, particularly cinema, as well as ancient Greek poetry and Classical Reception studies.