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Aphrodite (Greek: Ἀφροδίτη; Latin: Venus) (pronounced /ˌæfrəˈdaɪti/; Ancient Greek: IPA: [apʰɾoˈdiːtɛː], Modern Greek: [afɾoˈðiti]) is the classical Greek goddess of love and beauty. According to Greek oral poet Hesiod, she was born when Uranus was castrated by his son Cronus. Cronus threw his severed genitals into the sea, and from the aphros (sea foam) arose Aphrodite.
Because of her beauty, other gods feared that jealousy would interrupt the peace between 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 a surrogate mother.
Aphrodite is also known as Kypris and Cytherea after the two places, Cyprus and Kythira, which claim her birth. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. Myrtle, dove, sparrow, and swan are sacred to her.
Aphrodite was said to be a Greek version of an ancient East Asian/Oriental mother-goddess. She had also originated from a region in Asia Minor called 'Phrygia', bearing the name 'Cybele', also as an earth-mother. Aphrodite has numerous equivalents: Inanna (Sumerian counterpart), Astarte (Phoenician), Turan (Etruscan), and Venus (Roman). She has parallels to Indo-European dawn goddesses such as Ushas or Aurora. According to Pausanias, the first men to establish her cult were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians the Paphians of Cyprus and the Phoenicians who live at Ascalon in Palestine; the Phoenicians taught her worship to the people of Cythera. It is said Aphrodite could make any man fall in love with her by them just laying eyes on her.
It is from there that Isabel has taken off with her sensuous and erotic cookbook. More to come soon.