Aphrodite & Eros: The Development of Erotic Mythology in by Barbara Breitenberger

By Barbara Breitenberger

An interdisciplinary research of the Archaic period--using literary, iconographical, and cultic evidence--shows the certain notion in the back of the 2 deities of affection. Aphrodite's personality, sphere of impression, and serve as function in her conventional myths and are good mirrored in cult.

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Extra info for Aphrodite & Eros: The Development of Erotic Mythology in Early Greek Poetry and Culture (Studies in Classics)

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We have seen earlier that this role is already indicated in the myth about Theseus. The coins that were minted when Cleisthenes restructured Attica in the last decade of the 6th century BC commemorate Aphrodite ΠάνδημοϚ and her link with Theseus’ synoecism of the demes. New interest in the goddess in this specific function emerges during and after the liberation of Athens from the rule of Cassander and Demetrius of Phaleron and the restoration of democracy in the 2nd decade of the 3rd century BC.

There is no explicit evidence to confirm that Aphrodite in a political context as ΠάνδημοϚ was chiefly linked with the concepts of concord and civic harmony and was responsible for them. One would, however, infer from the meaning of the epithet that she was considered as bringing and keeping the whole people together. This function could be interpreted as the public or political dimension of her role as a goddess of love (as such she brings lovers together). indb 36 4/25/07 10:38:26 AM Some Aspects of Mythmaking and Cults of Aphrodite 37 women made these dedications to Aphrodite after marriage is, as in the case of the offerings made to Aphrodite Οὐρανία in Athens, to be associated with her function as goddess of reproduction and therefore with children.

We know of sacrifices and offerings that were made to the xoanon of Aphrodite Hera by mothers on the occasion of their daughters’ wedding in Sparta. 51 We have already seen that the premarital offerings, προτέλεια γάμο found in the sanctuary of Aphrodite Οὐρανία at Athens provide clear evidence that she was venerated as a deity related to marriage at least as early as the 4th century BC. 52 At first sight it may appear surprising that Aphrodite ΠάνδημοϚ, who, as we shall see below, is mainly concerned with civic unity and harmony, can also be associated with marriage.

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