Crouching Aphrodite (Rhodes) 14x22cm
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Aphrodite Greek: Ἀφροδίτη) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation.
As with many ancient Greek deities, there is more than one story about her origins. According to Hesiod's Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus's genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros). According to Homer's Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. According to Plato (Symposium 180e), the two were entirely separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos.
Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat. Aphrodite had many lovers—both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises. She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis's lover and his surrogate mother. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.
Small statue of Aphrodite bathing, known as the Rhodes Venus. A later remodelling of a statue type of the 3rd century BCE, whose creation was attributed to the sculptor Doidalses. The Rhodian work is an eloquent example of the decorative disposition in 1st century BCE aesthetics.
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