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The Myth of Aphrodite and Adonis

The Myth of Aphrodite and Adonis


How beautiful is that the mythology extends to a wide past with its stories of all kinds while it also becomes a common imagination source to all. As each myth transforms into each other in time in different geographies, we would like to invite you to a mini journey: A journey in the pursuit of the beautiful Aphrodite and myth that belongs to Cyprus.

Land of love: Cyprus

All myths that reached today with the winds of the Mediterranean tell the same thing… Cyprus takes its place in mythology as the birthplace of Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty. We have two separate sources on the birth of Aphrodite: One is the Hesiod, known as the father of Greek didactic poetry; and the other one is Homer, the poet, who gave us the Iliad and Odyssey.

Hesiod tells that Aphrodite was born from the sparkling waves of the sea in his work Theogony, which is about the origins and genealogy of the gods, goddesses, and Greek legends.

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Considering that the word "Aphros" in Greek means foam, this beautiful story falls into place.

“Mother Earth swells and suffers with terrible pain because Uranus keeps his children born of Gaea locked in the depths of earth. Gaea suffers too and gets angry with her husband Uranus. She persuades her last-born child, Cronos, to rebel. Cronos cuts off his father's genitals and throws them to the sea. From Uranus's genitals Aphrodite is born. She is the Goddess of love and beauty. She is also related with water due to her unusual birth.

According to Homer and his Homeric hymn to Aphrodite, she was born from Zeus and Okeanos’ daughter Dione. Her mother Dione takes Aphrodite, who was injured after fighting with the valiant Diomedes in the Iliad, in her arms, loves, caresses, and wipes the essence flowing from her wrist, healing her wound and relieves her pain. [1]

“The breath of the west wind bore her

Over the sounding sea,

Up from the delicate foam,

To wave-ringed Cyprus, her isle.

And the Hours golden-wreathed

Welcomed her joyously.

They clad her in raiment immortal,

And brought her to the gods.

Wonder seized them all as they saw

Violet-crowned Aphrodite.” [2]

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Always young, beautiful, and full of love…

The goddess Aphrodite, whose name is traveling with different symbols, can take on the body of a dove, swan, seashell, myrtle plant or rose ... In her love with Adonis, she becomes a brave goddess who fights for her love at the expense of losing her beauty.

“Adonis is the mortal that Aphrodite fell in love with, according to Greek mythology. Myrrha, the daughter of the Syrian king, is punished by Aphrodite for not showing enough respect to Aphrodite and gives the girl a fatherly desire she can never handle. With the help of his nanny, he and his father sleep together for 7 days and 7 nights (40 days 40 nights in some sources). His father realizes that the person he was with the other night is his daughter and wants to kill her. The gods pity the girl and turn her into a myrtle tree. After 9 months, from the trunk of the tree, Adonis, the most beautiful of the mortals, was born.

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As soon as Aphrodite sees Adonis, she falls in love with him and gives Adonis to Persephone, the daughter of her father Zeus and goddess Demeter. Persephone, the stepsister of Aphrodite, also falls in love with the young man and does not want to give him back. A fight breaks out between the two goddesses. Zeus intervenes and decides that Adonis will stay with Aphrodite and Persephone for 6 months, respectively. When Adonis goes underground with Persephone, summer ends and winter begins; When he comes back to the earth to meet Aphrodite, the fertility of the land comes again, and the spring comes. The story changes its course and while hunting, Adonis is attacked by a wild boar and dies. Aphrodite, who takes credit for his death, asks Zeus to bring him back. When Aphrodite begins to lose its beauty from sorrow, the gods gather at the summit of Mount Olympus and give Adonis back to life. When Adonis got his life back again, the weather got warmer and the flowers began to bloom. For this reason, Adonis represents the flowery and beautiful spring…”

Aphrodite, whom the Aegean female poet Sappho also calls "Cypriot", is one of the golden myths of the Mediterranean sun, shining even more with her love for Adonis... Considering that one of the attributes of Aphrodite, who is always inclined to conquer the hearts, is gold; we can say that Cyprus is home to a story that will never lose its charm….

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“…Wonder seized them all as they saw Violet-crowned Aphrodite.”

Following the footsteps of a goddess…

What makes the place we live in so magical and drives us to a childish enthusiasm is precisely this deep realm of mythology ... As Hesiod told centuries ago, this myth starts on the coast of the town of Paphos, and the exact place Aphrodite was born was named "Petra tou Romiou, also known as Aphrodite's Rock. The story that begins with her birth among the foams has been living as a legend for at least 3000 years; Aphrodite's baths and statues are still visited as well as her birthplace…

Every moment in Cyprus is perfect to track down the goddess Aphrodite and its mythological beauty. Who knows, maybe Cyprus owes its fertile nature, warm human relations, and fertile energy to Aphrodite ...

Following the footsteps of a goddess of beauty and love is a unique experience… To us, many new beauties like the first violet crowned Aphrodite await us to be discovered every day in Cyprus. We are glad to be the part of the never-ending wondrous journey which follows the true Beauty:

“…Wonder seized them all as they saw Violet-crowned Aphrodite.”

[1] Azra Erhat – Mythology Dictionary [Remzi Publishing House]

[2] Homeric Hymns


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