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Aphrodite is the Olympian goddess of love, beauty and pleasure. She is the equivalent of the Roman goddess Venus. Aphrodite’s major symbols include myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows and swans. She wears a girdle-like belt called a cestus as her weapon to increase her female attraction. It is capable of making others fall in love with whoever wears it and Hera is known to borrow the belt on occasion.
See the fact file below for more information on Aphrodite or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Aphrodite worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Aphrodite’s mode of transportation is a flying chariot pulled by sparrows.
- Aphrodite has been featured in western art as a symbol of female beauty and has appeared in numerous works of western literature.
- Early Greek art depicted the goddess as nude and as a symmetrically perfect maiden. She was the model for the famous sculpture Venus de Milo by Alexandros of Antioch.
- As with so many Greek deities, there are many stories about the origins of the gods. Homer and Hesiod tell two different stories about the origin of Aphrodite.
- According to Homer’s Iliad, Aphrodite is the daughter of Zeus and Dione, making her a second-generation goddess.
- However, according to the Greek poet Hesiod’s Theogony, Aphrodite was born from the foam produced by Uranus’ genitals on the coast of Cythera, after his son Cronus has castrated him and thrown it into the sea. Where Aphrodite supposedly arose is called “The one who rises from the sea.”
- Aphrodite’s name is derived from the ancient Greek word “aphros”, meaning sea-foam, which fits with the story of her birth.
- In Plato’s Symposium, he suggests that they are two different entities: Aphrodite Ourania, signifying “heavenly” or “spiritual”, and Aphrodite Pandemos, meaning “Aphrodite of the people” or “common Aphrodite”, the goddess of sensual pleasures.
- Aphrodite is also referred to as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) or Cypris (Lady of Cyprus). In ancient Greece, they held an annual festival called Aphrodisia Festival to honor the goddess of love and beauty.
- Aphrodite’s beauty was believed to spark a war of the gods because of their rivalry over her.
- In Greek mythology, Zeus married Aphrodite to Hephaestus because he feared that her beauty would cause a war between the gods for her affection. Hephaestus is the god of fire and blacksmiths and the ugliest among the Olympians. However, Aphrodite was known to be unfaithful to him and had many affairs. Her lovers included both gods and men.
- In the poem Odyssey by Homer, she is caught in the act of adultery with Ares, the god of war. Hephaestus calls the other gods for them to see the adulterers.
- The god of the sea, Poseidon, then sees the goddess naked and falls in love with Aphrodite. They have a daughter named Rhode, protector goddess of the island of Rhodes in Greek mythology.
- Ares and Aphrodite conceived as many as eight children: Deimos, Phobos, Harmonia, Adrestia and the four Erotes (Eros, Anteros, Pothos and Himeros).
- She also had an affair with the mortal Anchises, a Trojan. She seduced him and slept with him and the two of them conceived Aeneas.
- Aphrodite, Hera and Athena joined a contest called, “For the Fairest.” They asked the son of the King of Troy, Paris, to judge the contest. All three of them bribed the judge to win the contest. Aphrodite promised Paris the most beautiful girl in the world if he chose her, so, naturally, he did.
- Aphrodite made sure that Paris got Helen, which was considered to be the reason behind the decade-long Trojan War.
Myth of Myrrha
- Aphrodite’s weakness is her vanity, in that when someone is more beautiful than her she curses or kills them. Myrrha was the daughter of King Cinyras of Cyprus. She was cursed by Aphrodite with an incurable lust for her father after Myrrha’s mother boasted that her daughter’s beauty was a match to the goddess of love. Myrhha tricked and seduced her own father and they conceived Adonis. When the king found out it was his own daughter he was enraged and tried to kill Myrrha. She fled from her father and asked the gods to punish her. Aphrodite pitied the princess and turned her into a myrrh tree.
- Aphrodite saw Adonis when he was born and determined that he should be hers. Later, Aphrodite became Adonis’ lover. Persephone, goddess of the underworld and Adonis’ caretaker fell in love with him too and would not give him back, leading to a feud with Aphrodite. Zeus mediated and decided that Adonis should spend half the year with each to settle the quarrel. Adonis and Aphrodite had two children: Beroe and Golgos.
The Tale of Psyche and Eros
- Psyche was a mortal princess whose extraordinary beauty earned the ire of Aphrodite when men began to admire and worship her. Aphrodite was jealous of all the attention people paid to Psyche. As a goddess, she could not accept it and sought help from her son, Eros, the god of Love.
- Aphrodite asked him to use his power to make Psyche fall in love with the vilest creature on Earth, but he instead fell in love and carried her off to his hidden palace. Eros told Psyche she must never gaze upon his face, but she was tricked by her jealous sisters into disobeying.
- It angered Eros so he flew away. Psyche tried to look for her lost love and sought help from Aphrodite where she underwent impossible tasks to win Eros back.
- Eros couldn’t bear to see Psyche suffering and admitted that he couldn’t live without her.
- Psyche reunited with Eros and the lovers were married in a ceremony attended by all the gods.
- Aphrodite is said to be very beautiful and charming and, in some stories, is described as being jealous, mischievous and vain. In pop culture, we see her in many books, movies, and plays, particularly in Rick Riordan’s book series Percy Jackson and The Heroes of Olympus. She is also seen in animated children’s series such as Hercules where she makes a number of appearances.
- As the goddess of love, she has absolute control over the emotions of love and desire. She is responsible for creating love between mortals. People believe Aphrodite helps them find true love.
- Aphrodite takes the form of a young, slender, beautiful woman. In marketing and advertising, products are often named after Aphrodite to entice consumers into believing the products will make them more beautiful and desirable.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Aphrodite across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Aphrodite worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Aphrodite who is the Olympian goddess of love, beauty and pleasure. She is the equivalent of the Roman goddess Venus. Aphrodite’s major symbols include myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows and swans. She wears a girdle-like belt called a cestus as her weapon to increase her female attraction. It is capable of making others fall in love with whoever wears it and Hera is known to borrow the belt on occasion.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Aphrodite Facts
- The Goddess’ Origin
- Traits of a Goddess
- Sacred Symbols
- Almighty Word Hunt
- Aphrodite’s Truth
- Fairest of Them All
- Goddess’ Choice
- Work of Art
- Aphrodite’s Connection
- Fill in the Box
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.