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The Ineffable Aphrodite The Olympian goddess Aphrodite was the Greeks epitome of love beauty and fertility Unlike her Roman counterpart Venus Aphrodite was not only the goddess of sexual love but also the social emotion between a man and woman According to the poet Homer she was the simply the daughter of Zeus and Dione The poet Hesiods account is more elaborate and considerably more gruesome Life first began when Gaia the Earth and mother goddess emerged from chaos She gave birth to Ouranos the sky god and began to conceive children The sky embraced her so powerfully however that she was unable to give birth to any of her children In her anger she created a sickle within her She instructed her son Cronos to use it to drive Ouranos away While Ouranos lay with Gaia one evening Cronos took the sickle and severed his fathers penis Ouranos fled relinquishing his power and Cronos cast the penis out into the sea Years later Cronos was defeated by Zeus and the age of the Olympians was born Ouranos penis floated amid the white foam of the oceans and eventually that combination created Aphrodite Hesiod said that the word Aphrodite is derived from aphros an ancient greek word for foam She soon washed up on the shore of the island of Cyprus Her beauty was unsurpassed and every god wanted to marry her Zeus fearing a war among his pantheon gave her to his trustworthy son Haphaistos Hephaistos was the god of fire and blacksmiths He kept his wife happy by making exquisite jewelry for her to wear Unfortunately his craftsmanship wasnt enough to keep Aphrodite faithful to the him the homeliest of the gods She slept with any and everybody she wanted to She bore the children of many different gods including Ares and Dionysus Her companion was the young god Eros a mischievous scamp who indiscriminately shot his arrows of love
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