Aphrodite - The Louvre Museum, Paris, 5th Century B.C.
Aphrodite was the symbol of female beauty and Goddess of Love, identified in Rome with Venus. Although Homer describes Aphrodite as the daughter of Zeus and Dion, the more popular view was that she was conceived in the foam of the ocean from the seed of Uranus. Dropped there when he was castrated, her name meaning "foam-born". Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus, but she loved Ares and she was known for her many love affairs, notably with Adonis and Anchises. Aphrodite the most beautiful woman in the world, inspired lust in all the humans and other creatures of the planet. No one could escape the traps that she set to amuse herself with the doings of love-crazed men and women. The passion which she planted in the human soul was the force that propelled fertilization and reproduction (Venus Genetrix). Her symbols were the laurel, the pomegranate, the dove, the swan, the hare and the ram, all of them connected with physical love and reproduction.
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