Aphrodite, the goddess of love, combined qualities of beauty and nobility with coarseness, decadence and corruption. She is the patroness of prostitutes. Some accounts identify Zeus and Dione as her parents while other say she is the daughter of Uranus born from the foam of the sea. After refusing to marry Zeus, she was forced to marry Hephaestus who was lame and unattractive. She quarreled with Persephone for custody of the handsome Adonis. He was later killed in a hunting accident by either Hephaestes or Ares (Aphrodite's lover) disguised as a wild boar. Aphrodite's son, Eros, is also known as Cupid. The Romans called her Venus.The image on the left is a Greek postage stamp issued on September 15, 1958 depicting Aphrodite with her lover, Adonis, in the form of a hibiscus.
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