Aphrodite was one of the most frequently represented of the gods in classical and postclassical art. Aphrodite - in sculpture, relief, fresco, and painting - symbolized the feminine ideal of beauty, and her physical charms were central to her depictions. The earliest Hellenistic sculptures of Aphrodite emphasized the symmetry and proportion of the classical female nude. The influence of these representations on postclassical artists was lasting.
When Adonis was an infant, Aphrodite put him in a chest and gave him to the Greek goddess of the Underworld, Persephone, to be taken care of. Persephone, however, was so much charmed by the extraordinary beauty of Adonis that, when he had reached manhood, she refused to give him back to Aphrodite.
In order to judge fairly, Zeus (or, according to another myth, the Muse Calliope) allowed Persephone to keep Adonis in the Underworld for four months every year. Four months Adonis should also spend with Aphrodite and the remaining four months he could stay with whomever his heart longed for. Adonis opted for Aphrodite.
Aphrodite is the goddess of sexual love, also associated with physical beauty in all its forms. Yet her affairs with the war god Ares, and her engineering of the Trojan War (as well as lesser conflicts), suggest the close relationship between sexual love and conflict.
Aphrodite plays a pivotal role in the Trojan War. Paris, of Troy is chosen by Zeus to decide who is the greatest beauty Hera, Athena or Aphrodite. He chooses Aphrodite because she promised him the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, Helen. The other goddesses were enraged by this and because of Helen's abduction by Paris they brought about the Trojan War.”
Aphrodite's exploits were invariably erotic in nature, and there were numerous scandalous stories about her. Homer - a Greek epic poet of the ninth or eighth century BCE - tells of her nocturnal affair with Ares (Mars) while her husband, the blacksmith Hephaestus (Vulcan) was working at his forge. Hephaestus had won Aphrodite's hand in marriage after setting a trap for Hera, the wife of Zeus, and holding her for ransom. Aphrodite always despised her husband and preferred the handsome and impulsive Ares, the god of war.
[Aphrodite's] cult was very popular in ancient Greece with numerous shrines and temples throughout the land. Her main cult centres within Greece were the city of Korinthos (Corinth) on the Isthmus, and the island of Kythera off the coast of Lakedaimonia. Outside of Greece itself, the island of Kypros was famed for its Mystery cult dedicated to the goddess. Aphrodite was also worshipped with private rituals and prayers. In classical sculpture Aphrodite was usually portrayed as a naked or partially disrobed women, often with arms drawn in a futile gesture of modesty.
The Greek Goddess Aphrodite is often pictured with a mirror and a magical girdle which caused everyone who saw her to fall in love with her. She is also shown riding on a mussel shell with pearls falling at her feet.
Aphrodite could be both rewarding and revengeful. She inspired in Eos (Dawn) an insurmountable love for Orion. But, she chastised the women of Lemnos for failing to worship her by sending an unbearable smell to plague them; and finally she forced the daughters of King Cinyras of Paphos to give themselves to strangers. The characteristics of Aphrodite have bewildered philosophers who, like Plato, made a distinction between the two aspects of the goddess, one Uranian "celestial," as the goddess of pure love, and Pandemian, or "popular," as the goddess presiding over ordinary love affairs.
One of the 12 OLYMPIAN GODS; identified with the Roman Venus and, much earlier, with the Near Eastern fertility goddess Astarte and Ishtar. Aphrodite was a very ancient deity, and EARTH MOTHER whose domain embraced all creation, vegetable and animal as well as human. She represented sacred love and marriage as well as sensuality and desire. Aphrodite was so beautiful that all men who saw her loved her.
Aphrodite is known as the Greek Goddess (Roman Venus) of love, desire, beauty, fertility, the sea, and vegetation. It is said that when Cronus was castrated by Uranus, and his part was thrown into the sea, Aphrodite was thus born and arose on a large shell, which was then carried to land, thus her name being translated "foam-risen". The sea nymphs dressed her and adorned her with flowers and gold. She now represents Erotic Love as a form of Divine influence, which has resulted in many men becoming capable of falling in love with her. There are many other tales of Aphrodite, as her Roman name is Venus, she is also known as the daughter of Zeus and Dione.