The Children of Zeus: Aphrodite (page 101)

Chapter 2: The Olympians

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Homer, Iliad 14.188-223

But when she had decked her body with all adornment, she went forth from her chamber, and calling to her Aphrodite, apart from the other gods, she spake to her, saying: “Wilt thou now hearken to me, dear child, in what I shall say? or wilt thou refuse me, being angered at heart for that I give aid to the Danaans and thou to the Trojans?” Continue Reading  Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 21.416-33

Him then the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, took by the hand, and sought to lead away, as he uttered many a moan, and hardly could he gather back to him his spirit. But when the goddess, white-armed Hera, was ware of her, forthwith she spake winged words to Athene: “Out upon it, thou child of Zeus that beareth the aegis, unwearied one, lo, there again the dog-fly is leading Ares, the bane of mortals, forth from the fury of war amid the throng; nay, have after her.” So spake she, and Athene sped in pursuit, glad at heart, and rushing upon her she smote Aphrodite on the breast with her stout hand; and her knees were loosened where she stood, and her heart melted. So the twain lay upon the bounteous earth, and vaunting over them Athene spake winged words: “In such plight let all now be that are aiders of the Trojans when they fight against the mail-clad Argives, and on this wise bold and stalwart, even as Aphrodite came to bear aid to Ares, and braved my might. Then long ere this should we have ceased from war, having sacked Ilios, that well-peopled city.” Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 23.184-87

So spake he threatening, but with Hector might no dogs deal; nay, the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, kept dogs from him by day alike and by night, and with oil anointed she him, rose-sweet, ambrosial, to the end that Achilles might not tear him as he dragged him. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 22.468-72

Far from off her head she cast the bright attiring thereof, the frontlet and coif and kerchief and woven band, and the veil that golden Aphrodite had given her on the day when Hector of the flashing helm hed her as his bride forth from the house of Eetion, after he had brought bride-gifts past counting. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 8.266-364

But the minstrel struck the chords in prelude to his sweet lay and sang of the love of Ares and Aphrodite of the fair crown, how first they lay together in the house of Hephaestus secretly; and Ares gave her many gifts, and shamed the bed of the lord Hephaestus. But straightway one came to him with tidings, even Helius, who had marked them as they lay together in love. And when Hephaestus heard the grievous tale, he went his way to his smithy, pondering evil in the deep of his heart, and set on the anvil block the great anvil and forged bonds which might not be broken or loosed, that the lovers might bide fast where they were. But when he had fashioned the snare in his wrath against Ares, he went to his chamber where lay his bed, and everywhere round about the bed-posts he spread the bonds, and many too were hung from above, from the roof-beams, fine as spiders’ webs, so that no one even of the blessed gods could see them, so exceeding craftily were they fashioned. But when he had spread all his snare about the couch, he made as though he would go to Lemnos, that well-built citadel, which is in his eyes far the dearest of all lands. And no blind watch did Ares of the golden rein keep, when he saw Hephaestus, famed for his handicraft, departing, but he went his way to the house of famous Hephaestus, eager for the love of Cytherea of the fair crown. Now she had but newly come from the presence of her father, the mighty son of Cronos, and had sat her down. And Ares came into the house and clasped her hand and spoke and addressed her: “Come, love, let us to bed and take our joy, couched together. For Hephaestus is no longer here in the land, but has now gone, I ween, to Lemnos, to visit the Sintians of savage speech.” Continue Reading  Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey 20.67-78

Their parents the gods had slain, and they were left orphans in the halls, and fair Aphrodite tended them with cheese, and sweet honey, and pleasant wine, and Here gave them beauty and wisdom above all women, and chaste Artemis gave them stature, and Athena taught them skill in famous handiwork. But while beautiful Aphrodite was going to high Olympus to ask for the maidens the accomplishment of gladsome marriage—going to Zeus who hurls the thunderbolt, for well he knows all things, both the happiness and the haplessness of mortal men—meanwhile the spirits of the storm snatched away the maidens and gave them to the hateful Erinyes to deal with. Greek Text

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, February 2021

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