Greek - Goddess of beauty and love, one of the Olympians. Patron of prostitutes. Daughter of Uranus and Hemera, some say. Wife of Hephaestus. There are conflicting versions of her birth. In one, she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione; in another she was born from the foam where the phallus of Uranus was thrown into the sea by Cronus who had cut it off; other stories thought she developed inside a cockle shell or regard her as one of the Fates. It was she who gave the golden apples to Melanion enabling him to win the foot-race against Atalanta. She saved Butes from the sea when he was seduced by the song of the Sirens and jumped overboard from the Argo. She made him her lover. She seems to have had many other lovers and a number of children including: Aeneas by Anchises; Anteros by Ares, some say; Eros by Ares, Hermes or Zeus; Deimus, Harmonia and Phobus by Ares; Eros by Ares, some say; Hermaphroditus by Hermes; Herophilus and Rhodis by Poseidon; and Priapus by Dionysus, Hermes, Pan or Zeus. In one such affair she was caught in flagrante with Ares by Hephaestus, who trapped them both in a finemeshed net of metal for all to see. She had an affair with Achises and protected their son Aeneas during the battle of Troy. She also fell in love with Adonis and her tears when he was killed by a wild boar turned into anemones. At the wedding feast of Peleus and Thetis she was a contender, with Athena and Hera, for the golden apple tossed into the assembly by Eris. She won by bribing Paris, who was asked to be the judge, by promising him access to Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. As a result she supported the Trojans against the Greeks during the Trojan War. In some versions she appears as an androgynous deity with a beard, a combination of Hermes and Aphrodite (hermaphrodite). Her birds were the dove, the sparrow and the swan; her tree was the myrtle and her symbol a shell. Her chariot was drawn by eight unicorns. Sometimes known as Aphrodite, Anadyomene, Anadyomene, Cyprian, Cyprian, Paphian, Cytherea, Cytherea, Daeira, Daeira, Dove Goddess, Dove Goddess, Epitragia, Epitragia, Idalia, Idalia, Ambologera, Ambologera, Androphonos, Androphonos, Anosia, Anosia, Apostrophia, Apostrophia, Ar(e)ia, Ar(e)ia, Argynnis, Argynnis, Cypris, Cypris, Kypris, Dione, Dione, Diana, Diana, Venus, Epitymbidia, Epitymbidia, Kallipyges, Kallipyges, Callipyges, Venus Callipyges, Morpho, Morpho, Myrtea, Myrtea, Myrto, Myrto(essa), Myrto(essa), Pandemos, Pandemos, Pasaphaessa, Pasaphaessa, Pasiphaessa, Peitho, Peitho, Peitha, Queen of Love, Queen of Love, Astarte, Benten, Sarasvati, Tymborychos, Tymborychos, Urania, Urania, Ourania, Arab Alilat, Arab Alilat, Armenian Anahit, Armenian Anahit, Anahita, Anaitis, Astarte, Babylonian Ishtar, Babylonian Ishtar, Anat, Ashtoreth, Astarte, Mylitta, Mylitta, Ishtar, Mulitta, Mulliltu, Greek Aphrodite, Sumerian Ninlil, Canaanite Anaitis, Canaanite Anaitis, Anahit, Italic Aprodita, Italic Aprodita, Persian Anahita, Persian Anahita, Anaitis, Athena, Core, PhoenicianAstarte, PhoenicianAstarte, Phrygian Cybele, Phrygian Cybele, Astarte, Bona Dea, Demeter, Inanna, Kubaba, Magna Mater, Mater Turrita, Rhea, Roman Venus, Roman Venus, Rati, Turan, Scythian Argimpasa, Scythian Argimpasa, Sumerian Inanna, Sumerian Inanna or Cybele.

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