Do you know about the link between Aphrodite and Cyprus?

You will all have heard of the goddess Aphrodite but here is a little piece about her and her relationship with Cyprus….

 

It is said that wherever Aphrodite wandered, sweet-smelling roses grew at her feet. Many ancient myths have been woven about the birth of this goddess. Cronos, ruler of the Titans, is said to have cut off the genitals of Uranus with a mighty blow of his sickle, whereupon they fell into the sea and were shrouded in white foam. From this foam emerged the most beautiful female figure ever born: Aphrodite. Then, from the depths of the sea arose a huge scallop shell, into which Aphrodite climbed and drifted over the water for many days. She was first sighted from Kithira, a small island between the Peleponnese and Crete. Since then, the island’s inhabitants have venerated her and given her the name of “Kythereia”.

She first set foot on land on Cyprus, however, where she was awaited by the three Graces. These three daughters of Zeus remained with Aphrodite until she was grown up and received by the gods on Mount Olympus. She was accompanied by nereids and two of her children.

There was scarcely a god who did not propose marriage to Aphrodite! In the end she had to offer her hand to Hephaestus, the ugliest of all the gods on Olympus. She did not remain faithful to him for long however. The most famous of all her numerous love affairs with mortals began on Cyprus. Even as a child, she had developed a penchant for the young Adonis: because of his great beauty, she placed him in Persephone’s care when his mother died. Persephone also came to love Adonis and was later reluctant to give him his freedom. Adonis became a hunter and was killed on day by a great wild boar. Since then, Adonis as well as Aphrodite have been venerated on Cyprus. Jealousy on the part of Hera and Athena led to a beauty contest from which Aphrodite emerged the winner. It was the contest which eventually led to the Trojan War.

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