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Aphrodite, 2009, mixed media and acrylic on canvas.
Aphrodite (Greek: Ἀφροδίτη; Roman: Venus) (pronounced /ˌæfrɵˈdaɪtiː/; Ancient Greek: IPA: [apʰɾodíːtɛː]) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty and raw sexuality. According to Greek poet Hesiod, she was born when Cronus cut off Ouranos' genitals and threw them into the sea, and from the aphros (sea foam) arose Aphrodite.
Because of her beauty other gods feared that jealousy would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, and so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who was not viewed as a threat. However, Aphrodite became instrumental in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis' lover and his surrogate mother.
Aphrodite is also known as Kypris (Lady of Cyprus) and Cytherea after the two places, Cyprus and Kythira, which claim her birth. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. Myrtles, doves, sparrows, and swans are sacred to her. The Greeks identified the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor with Aphrodite.