In Greek mythology, Eros is the Greek god of love. His Roman counterpart was Cupid, he is described as one of the children of Aphrodite and Ares, with most of his siblings, was a part of group, consisting of winged love gods. However, sometimes he is described as one of the primordial gods, but he is most identified with Phanes; the Greek ἔρως, meaning "desire," comes from ἔραμαι "to love", of uncertain etymology. R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin. Eros appears in ancient Greek sources under several different guises. In the earliest sources, he is one of the primordial gods involved in the coming into being of the cosmos, but in sources, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form illicitly. In the satirical poets, he is represented as a blindfolded child, the precursor to the chubby Renaissance Cupid, whereas in early Greek poetry and art, Eros was depicted as an adult male who embodies sexual power, a profound artist.
A cult of Eros existed in pre-classical Greece, but it was much less important than that of Aphrodite. However, in late antiquity, Eros was worshiped by a fertility cult in Thespiae. In Athens, he shared a popular cult with Aphrodite, the fourth day of every month was sacred to him. Eros was one of the Erotes, along with other figures such as Himeros and Pothos, who are sometimes considered patrons of homosexual love between males. Eros is part of a triad of gods that played roles in homoerotic relationships, along with Heracles and Hermes, who bestowed qualities of beauty and eloquence onto male lovers. According to Hesiod's Theogony, one of the most ancient of all Greek sources, Eros was the fourth god to come into existence, coming after Chaos and Tartarus. Homer does not mention Eros. However, one of the pre-Socratic philosophers, makes Eros the first of all the gods to come into existence; the Orphic and Eleusinian Mysteries featured Eros as a original god, but not quite primordial, since he was the child of Night.
Aristophanes, influenced by Orphism, relates the birth of Eros: "At the beginning there was only Chaos, Night and the Abyss. Earth, the Air and Heaven had no existence. Firstly, blackwinged Night laid a germless egg in the bosom of the infinite deeps of Darkness, from this, after the revolution of long ages, sprang the graceful Love with his glittering golden wings, swift as the whirlwinds of the tempest, he mated in the deep Abyss with dark Chaos, winged like himself, thus hatched forth our race, the first to see the light." In myths, he was the son of the deities Aphrodite and Ares: it is the Eros of these myths, one of the erotes. Eros was associated with athleticism, with statues erected in gymnasia, "was regarded as the protector of homosexual love between men." Eros was depicted as carrying a lyre or bow and arrow. He was depicted accompanied by dolphins, roosters and torches. “We must have a word with Aphrodite. Let us go together and ask her to persuade her boy, if, possible, to loose an arrow at Aeetes’ daughter, Medea of the many spells, make her fall in love with Jason...”
"He smites maids’ breasts with unknown heat, bids the gods leave heaven and dwell on earth in borrowed forms." "Once, when Venus’ son was kissing her, his quiver dangling down, a jutting arrow, had grazed her breast. She pushed the boy away. In fact the wound was deeper. Enraptured by the beauty of a man." "Eros drove Dionysos mad for the girl with the delicious wound of his arrow curving his wings flew to Olympus. And the god roamed over the hills scourged with a greater fire.” The story of Eros and Psyche has a longstanding tradition as a folktale of the ancient Greco-Roman world long before it was committed to literature in Apuleius' Latin novel, The Golden Ass. The novel itself is written in a picaresque Roman style. Eros and Aphrodite are called by their Latin names, Cupid is depicted as a young adult, rather than a child; the story tells of the struggle for trust between Eros and Psyche. Aphrodite was jealous of the beauty of mortal princess Psyche, as men were leaving her altars barren to worship a mere human woman instead, so she commanded her son Eros, the god of love, to cause Psyche to fall in love with the ugliest creature on earth.
But instead, Eros falls in love with Psyche himself and spirits her away to his home. Their fragile peace is ruined by a visit from Psyche's jealous sisters, who cause Psyche to betray the trust of her husband. Wounded, Eros leaves his wife, Psyche wanders the Earth, looking for her lost love, she approaches Aphrodite and asks for her help. Aphrodite imposes a series of difficult tasks on Psyche, which she is able to achieve by means of supernatural assistance. After completing these tasks, Aphrodite relents and Psyche becomes immortal to live alongside her husband Eros. Together they had a daughter, Voluptas or Hedone (meaning phys
Christianity is an Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament. Depending on the specific denomination of Christianity, practices may include baptism, prayer, confirmation, burial rites, marriage rites and the religious education of children. Most denominations hold regular group worship services. Christianity developed during the 1st century CE as a Jewish Christian sect of Second Temple Judaism, it soon attracted Gentile God-fearers, which lead to a departure from Jewish customs, the establishment of Christianity as an independent religion. During the first centuries of its existence Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, to Ethiopia and some parts of Asia. Constantine the Great decriminalized it via the Edict of Milan; the First Council of Nicaea established a uniform set of beliefs across the Roman Empire.
By 380, the Roman Empire designated Christianity as the state religion. The period of the first seven ecumenical councils is sometimes referred to as the Great Church, the united full communion of the Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, before their schisms. Oriental Orthodoxy split after the Council of Chalcedon over differences in Christology; the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church separated in the East–West Schism over the authority of the Pope. In 1521, Protestants split from the Catholic Church in the Protestant Reformation over Papal primacy, the nature of salvation, other ecclesiological and theological disputes. Following the Age of Discovery, Christianity was spread into the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, the rest of the world via missionary work and colonization. There are 2.3 billion Christians in the world, or 31.4% of the global population. Today, the four largest branches of Christianity are the Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church and Oriental Orthodoxy.
Christianity and Christian ethics have played a prominent role in the development of Western civilization around Europe during late antiquity and the Middle Ages. In the New Testament, the names by which the disciples were known among themselves were "brethren", "the faithful", "elect", "saints" and "believers". Early Jewish Christians referred to themselves as'The Way' coming from Isaiah 40:3, "prepare the way of the Lord." According to Acts 11:26, the term "Christian" was first used in reference to Jesus's disciples in the city of Antioch, meaning "followers of Christ," by the non-Jewish inhabitants of Antioch. The earliest recorded use of the term "Christianity" was by Ignatius of Antioch, in around 100 AD. While Christians worldwide share basic convcitions, there are differences of interpretations and opinions of the Bible and sacred traditions on which Christianity is based. Concise doctrinal statements or confessions of religious beliefs are known as creeds, they began as baptismal formulae and were expanded during the Christological controversies of the 4th and 5th centuries to become statements of faith.
The Apostles' Creed is the most accepted statement of the articles of Christian faith. It is used by a number of Christian denominations for both liturgical and catechetical purposes, most visibly by liturgical churches of Western Christian tradition, including the Latin Church of the Catholic Church, Lutheranism and Western Rite Orthodoxy, it is used by Presbyterians and Congregationalists. This particular creed was developed between the 9th centuries, its central doctrines are those of God the Creator. Each of the doctrines found in this creed can be traced to statements current in the apostolic period; the creed was used as a summary of Christian doctrine for baptismal candidates in the churches of Rome. Its main points include: Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Holy Spirit The death, descent into hell and ascension of Christ The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful; the Nicene Creed was formulated in response to Arianism, at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381 and ratified as the universal creed of Christendom by the First Council of Ephesus in 431.
The Chalcedonian Definition, or Creed of Chalcedon, developed at the Council of Chalcedon in 451, though rejected by the Oriental Orthodox churches, taught Christ "to be acknowledged in two natures, unchangeably, inseparably": one divine and one human, that both natures, while perfect in themselves, are also united into one person. The Athanasian Creed, received in the Western Church as having the same status as the Nicene and Chalcedonian, says: "We worship one God in Trinity, Trinity in Unity. Many evangelical Protestants reject creeds as definitive statements of faith while agreeing with some or all of the substance of the creeds. Most Baptists do not use creeds "in that they have not sought to establish binding
In Greek mythology, a satyr known as a silenos, is a male nature spirit with ears and a tail resembling those of a horse, as well as a permanent, exaggerated erection. Early artistic representations sometimes include horse-like legs, but, by the sixth century BC, they were more represented with human legs. Comically hideous, they have mane-like hair, bestial faces, snub noses and are always shown naked. Satyrs were characterized by their ribaldry and were known as lovers of wine, music and women, they were companions of the god Dionysus and were believed to inhabit remote locales, such as woodlands and pastures. They attempted to seduce or rape nymphs and mortal women alike with little success, they are sometimes shown engaging in bestiality. In classical Athens, satyrs made up the chorus in a genre of play known as a "satyr play", a parody of tragedy and was known for its bawdy and obscene humor; the only complete surviving play of this genre is Cyclops by Euripides, although a significant portion of Sophocles's Ichneutae has survived.
In mythology, the satyr Marsyas is said to have challenged the god Apollo to a musical contest and been flayed alive for his hubris. Though superficially ridiculous, satyrs were thought to possess useful knowledge, if they could be coaxed into revealing it; the satyr Silenus was the tutor of the young Dionysus and a story from Ionia told of a silenos who gave sound advice when captured. Over the course of Greek history, satyrs became portrayed as more human and less bestial, they began to acquire goat-like characteristics in some depictions as a result of conflation with the Pans, plural forms of the god Pan with the legs and horns of goats. The Romans identified satyrs with their native nature spirits fauns; the distinction between the two was lost entirely. Since the Renaissance, satyrs have been most represented with the legs and horns of goats. Representations of satyrs cavorting with nymphs have been common in western art, with many famous artists creating works on the theme. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, satyrs have lost much of their characteristic obscenity, becoming more tame and domestic figures.
They appear in works of fantasy and children's literature, in which they are most referred to as "fauns". The etymology of the name satyr is unclear, several different etymologies have been proposed for it, including a possible Pre-Greek origin; some scholars have linked the second part of name to the root of the Greek word θηρίον, meaning "wild animal". This proposal may be supported by the fact. Another proposed etymology derives the name from an ancient Peloponnesian word meaning "the full ones", alluding to their permanent state of sexual arousal. Eric Partridge suggested that the name may be related to the root sat-, meaning "to sow", proposed as the root of the name of the Roman god Saturn. Satyrs are indistinguishable from silenoi, whose iconography is identical. According to Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, the name "satyr" is sometimes derogatorily applied to a "brutish or lustful man"; the term satyriasis refers to a medical condition in males characterized by excessive sexual desire.
It is the male equivalent of nymphomania. According to classicist Martin Litchfield West and silenoi in Greek mythology are similar to a number of other entities appearing in other Indo-European mythologies, indicating that they go back, in some vague form, to Proto-Indo-European mythology. Like satyrs, these other Indo-European nature spirits are human-animal hybrids bearing equine or asinine features. Human-animal hybrids known as Kiṃpuruṣas or Kiṃnaras are mentioned in the Rāmāyaṇa, an Indian epic poem written in Sanskrit. According to Augustine of Hippo and others, the ancient Celts believed in dusii, which were hairy demons believed to take human form and seduce mortal women. Figures in Celtic folklore, including the Irish bocánach, the Scottish ùruisg and glaistig, the Manx goayr heddagh, are part human and part goat; the lexicographer Hesychius of Alexandria records that the Illyrians believed in satyr-like creatures called Deuadai. The Slavic lešiy bears similarities to satyrs, since he is described as being covered in hair and having "goat's horns, ears and long clawlike fingernails."Like satyrs, these similar creatures in other Indo-European mythologies are also tricksters, mischief-makers, dancers.
The lešiy was believed to trick travelers into losing their way. The Armenian Pay were a group of male spirits said to dance in the woods. In Germanic mythology, elves were said to dance in woodland clearings and leave behind fairy rings, they were thought to play pranks, steal horses, tie knots in people's hair, steal children and replace them with changelings. West notes that satyrs and other nature spirits of this variety are a "motley crew" and that it is difficult to reconstruct a prototype behind them. Nonetheless, he concludes that "we can recognize recurrent traits" and that they can be traced back to the Proto-Indo-Europeans in some form. On the other hand, a number of commentators have noted that satyrs are similar to beings in the beliefs of ancient Near Eastern cultures. Various demons of the desert are mentioned in ancient Near Eastern texts, although the iconography of these beings is poorly-attested. Beings similar to satyrs called śě’îrîm are mentioned several times in the Hebrew Bible.
Hymen, Hymenaios or Hymenaeus, in Hellenistic religion, is a god of marriage ceremonies, inspiring feasts and song. Related to the god's name, a hymenaios is a genre of Greek lyric poetry sung during the procession of the bride to the groom's house in which the god is addressed, in contrast to the Epithalamium, sung at the nuptial threshold, he is one of Erotes. Hymen is one of the muses, Clio or Calliope or Urania or Terpsichore. Hymen is supposed to attend every wedding. If he did not the marriage would prove disastrous, so the Greeks would run about calling his name aloud, he presided over many of the weddings for all the deities and their children. Hymen is celebrated in the ancient marriage song of unknown origin Hymen o Hymenae, Hymen delivered by G. Valerius Catullus. At least since the Italian Renaissance, Hymen was represented in art as a young man wearing a garland of flowers and holding a burning torch in one hand. Hymen was mentioned in Euripides's The Trojan Women, where Cassandra says: Bring the light and show its flame!
I am doing the god's service, see! I making his shrine to glow with tapers bright. O Hymen, king of marriage! Blest is the bridegroom. Hail Hymen, king of marriage! Hymen is mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid and in seven plays by William Shakespeare: Hamlet, The Tempest, Much Ado about Nothing, Titus Andronicus, Prince of Tyre, Timon of Athens, As You Like It, where he joins the couples at the end — Tis Hymen peoples every town. Honour, high honour, renown,To Hymen, god of every town! There is a song to Hymen in the comic opera H. M. S. Pinafore by W. S. Gilbert & A. Sullivan. Hymen appears in the work of the 7th- to 6th-century BCE Greek poet Sappho: High must be the chamber –Hymenaeum! Make it high, you builders! A bridegroom's coming –Hymenaeum! Like the War-god himself, the tallest of the tall! Hymen is the son of Aphrodite. Other stories give Hymen a legendary origin. In one of the surviving fragments of the Megalai Ehoiai attributed to Hesiod, it's told that Magnes "had a son of remarkable beauty, Hymenaeus.
And when Apollo saw the boy, he was seized with love for him, wouldn't leave the house of Magnes". Aristophanes' Peace ends with Trygaeus and the Chorus singing the wedding song, with the repeated phrase "Oh Hymen! Oh Hymenaeus!", a typical refrain for a wedding song. Hymen is mentioned in chapter 20 of Vanity Fair by William Makepiece Thackeray. Hymen is an early book of poetry by the American modernist poet H. D; the eponymous long poem of the collection imagines an ancient Greek women's ritual for a bride. According to a romance, Hymen was an Athenian youth of great beauty but low birth who fell in love with the daughter of one of the city's wealthiest women. Since he couldn't speak to her or court her, due to his social standing, he instead followed her wherever she went. Hymen disguised himself as a woman in order to join one of these processions, a religious rite at Eleusis where only women went; the assemblage was captured by pirates, Hymen included. He encouraged the women and plotted strategy with them, together they killed their captors.
He agreed with the women to go back to Athens and win their freedom, if he were allowed to marry one of them. He thus succeeded in both the mission and the marriage, his marriage was so happy that Athenians instituted festivals in his honour and he came to be associated with marriage. Hymen was killed by Nicaea. Leonhard Schmitz, "HYMEN." A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, editor.. P. Maas, "Hymenaios" REF 9 pp. 130–34. Ovid. Medea and Metamorphoses, 12. Virgil. Aeneid, 1 Catullus, Poem 62
The term "Gallo-Roman" describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman morals and way of life in a uniquely Gaulish context; the well-studied meld of cultures in Gaul gives historians a model against which to compare and contrast parallel developments of Romanization in other, less-studied Roman provinces. Interpretatio romana offered Roman names for Gaulish deities such as the smith-god Gobannus, but of Celtic deities only the horse-patroness Epona penetrated Romanized cultures beyond the confines of Gaul; the barbarian invasions beginning in the early fifth century forced upon Gallo-Roman culture fundamental changes in politics, in the economic underpinning, in military organization. The Gothic settlement of 418 offered a double loyalty, as Western Roman authority disintegrated at Rome; the plight of the Romanized governing class is examined by R. W. Mathisen, the struggles of bishop Hilary of Arles by M. Heinzelmann.
Into the seventh century, Gallo-Roman culture would persist in the areas of Gallia Narbonensis that developed into Occitania, Cisalpine Gaul, Orléanais, to a lesser degree, Gallia Aquitania. The Romanized north of Gaul, once it had been occupied by the Franks, would develop into Merovingian culture instead. Roman life, centered on the public events and cultural responsibilities of urban life in the res publica and the sometimes luxurious life of the self-sufficient rural villa system, took longer to collapse in the Gallo-Roman regions, where the Visigoths inherited the status quo in 418. Gallo-Roman language persisted in the northeast into the Silva Carbonaria that formed an effective cultural barrier with the Franks to the north and east, in the northwest to the lower valley of the Loire, where Gallo-Roman culture interfaced with Frankish culture in a city like Tours and in the person of that Gallo-Roman bishop confronted with Merovingian royals, Gregory of Tours. Based on mutual intelligibility, David Dalby counts seven languages descended from Gallo-Romance: Gallo-Wallon, Franco-Provençal, Ladin and Lombard.
However, other definitions are far broader, variously encompassing the Rhaeto-Romance languages, Occitano-Romance languages, Gallo-Italic languages. Gaul was divided by Roman administration into three provinces, which were sub-divided in the third century reorganization under Diocletian, divided between two dioceses and Viennensis, under the Praetorian prefecture of Galliae. On the local level, it was composed of civitates which preserved, broadly speaking, the boundaries of the independent Gaulish tribes, organised in large part on village structures that retained some features in the Roman civic formulas that overlaid them. Over the course of the Roman period, an ever-increasing proportion of Gauls gained Roman citizenship. In 212 the Constitutio Antoniniana extended citizenship to all free-born men in the Roman Empire. During the Crisis of the Third Century, from 260 to 274, Gaul was subject to Alamanni raids because of the civil war. In reaction to local problems the Gallo-Romans appointed their own emperor Postumus.
The rule over Gaul and Hispania by Postumus and his successors is called The Gallic Empire although it was just one set of many usurpers who took over parts of the Roman Empire and tried to become emperor. The capital was Trier, used as the northern capital of the Roman Empire by many emperors; the Gallic Empire ended. The pre-Christian religious practices of Roman Gaul were characterized by syncretism of Graeco-Roman deities with their native Celtic, Basque or Germanic counterparts, many of which were of local significance. Assimilation was eased by interpreting indigenous gods in Roman terms, such as with Lenus Mars or Apollo Grannus. Otherwise, a Roman god might be paired with a native goddess, as with Rosmerta. In at least one case – that of the equine goddess Epona – a native Gallic goddess was adopted by Rome. Eastern mystery religions penetrated Gaul early on; these included the cults of Orpheus, Mithras and Isis. The imperial cult, centred on the numen of Augustus, came to play a prominent role in public religion in Gaul, most at the pan-Gaulish ceremony venerating Rome and Augustus at the Condate Altar near Lugdunum annually on 1 August.
Gregory of Tours recorded the tradition that after the persecution under the co-emperors Decius and Gratus, future pope Felix I sent seven missionaries to re-establish the broken and scattered Christian communities, Gatien to Tours, Trophimus to Arles, Paul to Narbonne, Saturninus to Toulouse, Denis to Paris, Martial to Limoges, Austromoine to Clermont. In the fifth and sixth centuries, Gallo-Roman Christian communities still consisted of independent churches in urban sites, each governed by a bishop; some of the communities had origins. The personal charisma of the bishop set the tone, as fifth-century allegiances, for pagans as well as Christians, switched from institutions to individuals: most Gallo-Roman bishops were drawn from the highest levels of society as appropriate non-military civil roads to advancement dwindled, they represented themselves as bulwarks of high literary standards and Roman traditions against the Vandal and Gothic interlopers. Bishops took on the duties of civil administrator after the contraction of the Roman imperial administration d
In Greek mythology, a Charis or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, nature, human creativity, fertility, together known as the Charites or Graces. The usual list, from oldest to youngest, is Aglaea and Thalia. In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". In some variants, Charis was not the singular form of their name; the Charites were considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome and Euanthe. Homer wrote; the Charites were associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries. The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to the three goddesses. Although the Graces numbered three, according to the Spartans, not Thalia, was the third, other Graces are sometimes mentioned, including Damia, Cleta, Hegemone, Paregoros and Charis or Cale. An ancient vase painting attests the following names as five: Antheia, Euthymia, Paidia, Pannychis —all referring to the Charites as patronesses of amusement and festivities.
Pausanias interrupts his Description of Greece to expand upon the various conceptions of the Graces that had developed in different parts of mainland Greece and Ionia: "The Boeotians say that Eteocles was the first man to sacrifice to the Graces. Moreover, they are aware that he established three as the number of the Graces, but they have no tradition of the names he gave them; the Lacedaemonians, say that the Graces are two, that they were instituted by Lacedaemon, son of Taygete, who gave them the names of Cleta and Phaenna. These are appropriate names for Graces, as are those given by the Athenians, who from of old have worshipped two Graces and Hegemone, until Hermesianax added Peitho as a third, it was from Eteocles of Orchomenus. And Angelion and Tectaus, sons of Dionysus, who made the image of Apollo for the Delians, set three Graces in his hand. Again, at Athens, before the entrance to the Acropolis, the Graces are three in number. Pamphos was the first we know of to sing about the Graces, but his poetry contains no information either as to their number or about their names.
Homer makes one the wife of Hephaestus. He says that Sleep was a lover of Pasithea, in the speech of Sleep there is this verse:Verily that he would give me one of the younger Graces."Hence some have suspected that Homer knew of older Graces as well. Hesiod in the Theogony says that the three Graces are daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, giving them the names of Aglaia and lovely Thalia; the poem of Onomacritus agrees with this account. Antimachus, while giving neither the number of the Graces nor their names, says that they are daughters of Aegle and the Sun; the elegiac poet Hermesianax disagrees with his predecessors in that he makes Persuasion one of the Graces." Nonnus gives their three names as Pasithea and Aglaia. Sostratus gives the names as Pasithea and Euphrosyne; the Charites was most depicted in the sanctuaries of other gods, but they did have their own temples as well, at least four temples to them are known from Greece. The two main cult centres of the Charites were the town of Orkhomenos in northern Boiotia, the Aegean island of Paros.
There were temples to the Charites in Hermione, in Sparta and in Elis: "There is a sanctuary to the Kharites. One of them holds a rose, the middle one a die, the third a small branch of myrtle; the reason for their holding these things may be guessed to be this. The rose and the myrtle are sacred to Aphrodite and connected with the story of Adonis, while the Kharites are of all deities the nearest related to Aphrodite; as for the die, it is the plaything of youths and maidens, who have nothing of the ugliness of old age. On the right of the Kharites is an image of Eros, standing on the same pedestal."The temple regarded as their most important was the Temple of the Charites in Orkhomenos, where their cult was thought to have originated: "The Boiotians say that Eteokles was the first man to sacrifice to the Kharites. Moreover, they are aware that he established three as the number of the Kharites, but they have no tradition of the names he gave them... It was from Eteokles of Orkhomenos. At Orkhomenos is a sanctuary of Dionysos.
They worship the stones most, say that they fell for Eteokles out of heaven. The artistic images were dedicated in my time, they too are of stone."Strabo wrote: "Eteokles, one of those who reigned as king at Orkhomenos, who founded a temple of the Kharites, was the first to display both wealth and power.
Aphrodite is an ancient Greek goddess associated with love, pleasure and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus, named after the Roman goddess Venus, with whom Aphrodite was extensively syncretized. Aphrodite's major symbols include myrtles, doves and swans; the cult of Aphrodite was derived from that of the Phoenician goddess Astarte, a cognate of the East Semitic goddess Ishtar, whose cult was based on the Sumerian cult of Inanna. Aphrodite's main cult centers were Cythera, Cyprus and Athens, her main festival was the Aphrodisia, celebrated annually in midsummer. In Laconia, Aphrodite was worshipped as a warrior goddess, she was the patron goddess of prostitutes, an association which led early scholars to propose the concept of "sacred prostitution", an idea, now seen as erroneous. In Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite is born off the coast of Cythera from the foam produced by Uranus's genitals, which his son Cronus has severed and thrown into the sea. In Homer's Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
Plato, in his Symposium 180e, asserts that these two origins belong to separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos. Aphrodite had many other epithets, each emphasizing a different aspect of the same goddess, or used by a different local cult, thus she was known as Cytherea and Cypris, due to the fact that both locations claimed to be the place of her birth. In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was married to the god of blacksmiths and metalworking. Despite this, Aphrodite was unfaithful to him and had many lovers. In the First Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, she seduces the mortal shepherd Anchises. Aphrodite was the surrogate mother and lover of the mortal shepherd Adonis, killed by a wild boar. Along with Athena and Hera, Aphrodite was one of the three goddesses whose feud resulted in the beginning of the Trojan War and she plays a major role throughout the Iliad. Aphrodite has been featured in western art as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of western literature.
She is a major deity in modern Neopagan religions, including the Church of Aphrodite and Hellenismos. Hesiod derives Aphrodite from aphrós "sea-foam", interpreting the name as "risen from the foam", but most modern scholars regard this as a spurious folk etymology. Early modern scholars of classical mythology attempted to argue that Aphrodite's name was of Greek or Indo-European origin, but these efforts have now been abandoned. Aphrodite's name is accepted to be of non-Greek Semitic, but its exact derivation cannot be determined. Scholars in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, accepting Hesiod's "foam" etymology as genuine, analyzed the second part of Aphrodite's name as *-odítē "wanderer" or *-dítē "bright". Michael Janda accepting Hesiod's etymology, has argued in favor of the latter of these interpretations and claims the story of a birth from the foam as an Indo-European mytheme. Witczak proposes an Indo-European compound *abʰor- "very" and *dʰei- "to shine" referring to Eos.
Other scholars have argued that these hypotheses are unlikely since Aphrodite's attributes are different from those of both Eos and the Vedic deity Ushas. A number of improbable non-Greek etymologies have been suggested. One Semitic etymology compares Aphrodite to the Assyrian barīrītu, the name of a female demon that appears in Middle Babylonian and Late Babylonian texts. Hammarström looks to Etruscan, comparing prϑni "lord", an Etruscan honorific loaned into Greek as πρύτανις; this would make the theonym in origin an honorific, "the lady". Most scholars reject this etymology as implausible since Aphrodite appears in Etruscan in the borrowed form Apru; the medieval Etymologicum Magnum offers a contrived etymology, deriving Aphrodite from the compound habrodíaitos, "she who lives delicately", from habrós and díaita. The alteration from b to ph is explained as a "familiar" characteristic of Greek "obvious from the Macedonians"; the cult of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia, which, in turn, was influenced by the cult of the Mesopotamian goddess known as "Ishtar" to the East Semitic peoples and as "Inanna" to the Sumerians.
Pausanias states that the first to establish a cult of Aphrodite were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians, the Paphians of Cyprus, the Phoenicians at Ascalon. The Phoenicians, in turn, taught her worship to the people of Cythera. Aphrodite took on Inanna-Ishtar's associations with procreation. Furthermore, she was known as Ourania, which means "heavenly", a title corresponding to Inanna's role as the Queen of Heaven. Early artistic and literary portrayals of Aphrodite are similar on Inanna-Ishtar. Like Inanna-Ishtar, Aphrodite was a warrior goddess, he mentions that Aphrodite's most ancient cult statues in Sparta and on Cythera showed her bearing arms. Modern scholars note that Aphrodite's warrior-goddess aspects appear in the oldest strata of her worship and see it as an indication of her Near Eastern origins. Nineteenth century classical scholars had a general aversion to the idea that ancient Greek religion was at all influenced by the cultures of the Near East, but Friedrich Got