Aphrodite (/æfrəˈdaɪti/ af-rə-DY-tee; Greek: Αφροδίτη (Afrodíti)) is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus, and her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus.
As with many ancient Greek deities, there is more than one story about her origins. According to Hesiod's Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus's genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros). According to Homer's Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. In Plato (Symposium, 180e), these two origins are said to be of hitherto separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos.
Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry for her favours might lead to conflict and war; Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat. Aphrodite had many lovers—both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises. She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and was both lover and surrogate mother of Adonis. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.
Aphrodite is also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two cult sites, Cythera and Cyprus, which claimed to be her place of birth. Myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows and swans were sacred to her. The ancient Greeks identified her with the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor.
Aphrodite had many other names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea, and Cerigo, each used by a different local cult of the goddess in Greece. The Greeks recognized all of these names as referring to the single goddess Aphrodite, despite the slight differences in what these local cults believed the goddess demanded of them. The Attic philosophers of the 4th century, however, drew a distinction between a celestial Aphrodite (Aphrodite Urania) of transcendent principles, and a separate, "common" Aphrodite who was the goddess of the people (Aphrodite Pandemos)....LESS