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Aphrodite And Hephaestus

Aphrodite And Hephaestus

HEPHAESTUS AND APHRODITE APHRODITE Aphrodite is one of the most famous figures of Greek mythology. Because Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and sexual rapture,1 she was desired by nearly all of the Greek gods. Aphrodite was one of the twelve main gods on Mt. Olympus,2 and she was the most powerful goddess when it came to members of the opposite sex. THE BIRTH OF APHRODITE There are many origins to Aphrodite's birth. Some of them are: 1) She arose full-grown out of the foam of the sea, 2) She is the daughter of Zeus and Dionne, 3) She is the daughter of Uranus and Gaia, which would make her a Titaness, or 4) She is the daughter of Titans Oceanus and Tethys, making her an Oceanid.3 The most common origin of her birth is her being foam-born, which is what her name means. This origin says that Aphrodite arose nude and full-grown out of the foam of the sea and riding into the shore of Cythera on a scallop shell. She found Cythera to be too small of an island, so she went to live in Paphos, in Cyprus, which is still the principal seat of her worship.4 THE MYTH OF APHRODITE AND HEPHAESTUS AND ARES Although Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, she had a magic girdle that she wore that made everyone fall in love with her. She could hardly ever be persuaded to lend it to anyone. Since Aphrodite had the magic girdle and was so beautiful, all of the gods fell in love with her. All of the goddesses were jealous of Aphrodite because all of the gods loved her instead of the other goddesses. Because of this, Zeus arranged a marriage for her with Hephaestus, the lame smith-god.5 Aphrodite didn't really mind this marriage arrangement, though, because she thought Hephaestus would never notice her having marital affairs.6 Hephaestus knew nothing of deception until, one night, he caught his wife and Ares, the god of war, making love at Ares' home. Hephaestus went back to his home very angry.7 Hephaestus was so angry that he decided to get revenge on Aphrodite by literally catching the while they were making love.

 He got out a bronze hunting-net and attached to the posts and sides of the bed. He told Aphrodite that he was to a short holiday trip to Lemnos. Aphrodite did not offer to go with him. When Hephaestus left, she sent hurriedly for Ares and the two immediately went to sleep together. When they went to bed, they got tangled in the net.8 At dawn, Hephaestus returned from his trip. He summoned all of the gods together so they could see what Aphrodite and Ares did. Hephaestus thought that, by Zeus seeing how Aphrodite deceived him, Zeus would return all of the marriage gifts. Instead, Zeus told Hephaestus that this should handled by him and Aphrodite instead of being made a public affair, therefore Zeus did not return the marriage gifts.9 MYTHS OF OTHER LOVERS OF APHRODITE Hermes After Aphrodite had been publicly humiliated, she returned to Paphos and renewed her virginity to the sea. Soon afterwards, Hermes confessed his love for her, and she slept with him. She eventually bore a double-sexed child name Hermaphroditus. Poseidon Poseidon, like Hermes, also confessed his love for her, and she bore him two sons named Rhodus and Herophilus. Later Aphrodite also slept with Dionysus in which she bore a deformed son by him. The deformity was caused by Hera; she did this in disapproval of Aphrodite's permiscuity.10 Anchises Later, Zeus wanted to humiliate Aphrodite by making her fall in love with a mortal named Anchises. He was a handsome man, and he was the King of the Dardanians. One night Aphrodite visited him without him knowing who she was. When they Parted at dawn, she revealed her identity and told him not to tell anyone that they had slept together. Anchises was terrified when he learned that he had uncovered the nakedness of a goddess, and he begged her to kill him. She told him that he had nothing to worry about and that their son would become famous.11 A few days later, Anchises was drinking with one of his friends. His friend asked, Would you rather sleep with the daughter of so-and-so than with Aphrodite herself?12 Anchises' reply was, No, having slept with both of them, I find the question inept.13 Zeus overheard Anchises boasting, so he threw a thunderbolt at him that would have killed him immediately, but Aphrodite put her magic girdle in front of him, so the bolt dropped down at his feet.

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