* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project
Chapter 4 – Culture Venus and Vulcan APHRODITE, GODDESS OF LOVE, BEAUTY, FERTILITY & DESIRE APHRODITE (Latin - Venus) The irresistible Aphrodite was the ancient Greek goddess of Beauty and Love, Fertility and Desire. There are two accounts of her birth. In the Iliad, the ancient writer Homer said that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. But later myths and poems say that the goddess of Love had risen from the sea foam on a seashell. Her name was thus explained as "foam-risen" coming from the Greek word 'Aphros', which means 'foam'. It is said that "when Aphrodite was born the Horae (also known as the Hours or the Seasons) welcomed her joyously and they clothed her with heavenly garments. They put on her head a crown of gold, and in her pierced ears they hung bejeweled golden ornaments. Then they adorned her with golden necklaces and the kind of jewels which the Horae wear themselves whenever they join the dances of the gods." Both in modern and ancient times, the picture that poets, writers and artists liked to paint of her was of beauty and happiness; The winds flee before her and the storm clouds; sweet flowers embroider the earth; the waves of the sea laugh; she moves in radiant light. Without her there is no joy nor loveliness anywhere. Although the later poems talked about her beauty and sweetness, they usually showed her other side as well, for she was treacherous and malicious, often exerting a destructive and deadly power over men. Through this control she gained quite an influence, both on earth and in heaven. It was said that when she spoke, even Zeus listened...after all, the King of the Olympians was notorious for succumbing to Love's temptations. The lame god of the forge and metalworking, Hephaestus, was her husband, although he was the only god to be physically ugly. It was an arranged marriage - Some say that when Aphrodite first arrived on Mount Olympus, Zeus was struck by her beauty and radiance and he was certain that the other gods would fight for her affections. So he awarded Aphrodite to the most dependable and steady deity, Hephaestus. Her husband did his utmost to please his gorgeous bride, continuously creating and designing new golden jewelry and furniture to please her. In addition to her irresistible looks Aphrodite had a magical golden girdle, made by Hephaestus, that when worn Chapter 4 – Culture Venus and Vulcan compelled anyone she wished to desire her. Up on Mount Olympus, Aphrodite sat on a silver throne, inlaid with beryls and aquamarines, with a back shaped like a scallop shell, soft swan's down covering the seat, and a golden mat for her feet that was embroidered with golden bees, apples and sparrows. Once a year she would visit Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, to swim in the sea for good luck and to rejuvenate herself. Opposite Aphrodite sat the god of War, Ares, and the two had an ongoing notorious love affair that scandalized all of Olympus. Ares and Aphrodite were always holding hands and giggling in the corners of the palace, which made her husband Hephaestus very jealous. He even fashioned an invisible net and captured the two lovebirds one time, but when he assembled the Olympians to render judgment, they wanted nothing to do with punishing them. Zeus even told Hephaestus that he was stupid to make such a golden girdle for his wife, and that he shouldn't be surprised that men could not resist her. Her attendants were the Horae (Hours, Seasons, who are worshipped as the wardens of the sky and of Olympus and are also said to attend to the Sun god, Helios) and the Three Graces (Aglaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, known in Greek as the Charites); Flora and Zephyrus were ready to do her bidding as well. She was the patroness of gardens and gardeners as well as lovers. The myrtle was her tree; the rose, lily, hyacinth, crocus and narcissus were also sacred to her. Her animals were the swan, the dove, the sparrow and the dolphin. The Romans called her Venus. HEPHAESTUS (Roman - Vulcan) Chapter 4 – Culture Venus and Vulcan Hephaestus was the God of Fire and the Forge, the smith, craftsman and weapon maker of the gods. He was the son of Zeus and Hera, although it is sometimes said that Hera conceived him by herself and without any help from Zeus. Hera wanted to get back at Zeus because she was angry at her husband for birthing Athena from his own head without first procreating with her. Of all the gods, Hephaestus was the only one to be physically ugly, and he was also lame. But of all the gods, it was the deformed Hephaestus who created the greatest works of beauty. There are two slightly different accounts of how he became lame. One version is that Hera was so upset at having an ugly child that she flung him off Mount Olympus and into the sea, breaking his legs in the process. Later, Hephaestus took revenge on his mother by building her a golden throne which bound her with invisible fetters when she sat on it, and would not release her until Hera had agreed to all his demands. The other version is that Hephaestus tried to, and almost did, free his mother when Zeus punished her by hanging her on a golden chain between heaven and earth; and Zeus, in anger in at his son’s interference, hurled him off Olympus himself. But most sources claim that Hephaestus landed in the sea near the island of Lemnos, and was washed up by the surf on the shore, where his body lay broken until rescued by the Nereids, Thetis and Eurynome (mother of the Graces). These beautiful Nereids took great care to hide him from his mother who, still ashamed of her deformed son, would have continued to try to harm him. Secretly Hephaestus lived with these goddesses in their underwater caves for nine years, and that was the awakening his creative energy. There, he began to craft beautiful jewelry from the multi-colored underwater coral reefs, and from the variety of precious metals found underwater. To compensate for his lameness, Hephaestus built two golden robots to help him move around, and also the twelve splendid thrones of Olympus. Helped by the Cyclops, who were master craftsmen in their own right, he continued to develop his skills with decorative iron and other metals, creating beautiful gifts for his surrogate mothers, the Nereids. It wasn't long before Hera saw Thetis wearing some of the beautiful jewelry he had created and demanded to know the source of this divine craftwork. She could tell that no mere mortal could create anything resembling such exquisite work. When she learned it was her own son Hephaestus, she realized that although physically deformed, her son was capable of unsurpassed creations. All of a sudden his deformity didn't matter. Chapter 4 – Culture Venus and Vulcan Hera forgave him for not being all she had hoped for, and asked for her husband Zeus to return him to his rightful place up on exalted Mount Olympus. But Hephaestus was quite happy living on Lemnos and was still understandably angry at his mother for her past treatment of him. He refused to comply with the order. Finally, Zeus resorted to trickery. The King of the Olympians sent Dionysus, Hephaestus' brother and the god of wine, to intoxicate him and persuade him to return. Hephaestus had never experienced wine, and was drunk in no time. Thus out of his mind, and agreeable to just about anything, Hephaestus then mounted a donkey and, accompanied by Dionysus, rode back to the palace at Mount Olympus. Hera wisely declared him her son, even though Hephaestus himself claimed to have no mother, and that was how he returned to his rightful place and became one of the Olympians. Many ancient Greek vase painters were fond of depicting Hephaestus' triumphant return to Olympus. Once back among his fellow gods on Mount Olympus, Hephaestus chose to live underground, where he could work as an artisan undisturbed. Hera grew to like her lame son, and felt very guilty for her previous vile conduct towards him. She gave Hephaestus a massive workshop with many bellows, anvils, and helpers; there he continue to create beautiful ornaments, weapons, furniture and jewelry to the endless amusement and delight of the Olympian gods and goddesses. To help him in his workshop, he forged handmaidens out of gold, who were able to move around and help him in his work. In Homer's Iliad his wife is said to be Aglaia (Splendor), one of the Graces; in the Odyssey she is Aphrodite. But the commonly held belief is that Zeus, greatly regretting his previous enmity towards this talented god, and knowing that he could make great use of Hephaestus' skills, gifted Aphrodite to Hephaestus as his wife. Zeus felt that the beautiful goddess of love would arouse the passions of the other Olympians, leading to great hostility and bickering, and decided that the steady and easygoing god of the forge would make a solid partner for her. Aphrodite was not happy to be joined with such an unattractive mate, but knew that it was a marriage only in name and did not refuse. Her numerous extramarital affairs scandalized Olympus and often made poor Hephaestus the butt of many jokes from his fellow Olympians. Hephaestus was a kind and peace-loving god, gentle and introverted and popular both in heaven and on earth. Along with Athena his patronage was very important to life in the city, because they were the patrons of the handicrafts, which along with agriculture were the lifeline and support of civilization. Hephaestus protected the smiths and Athena the weavers, and the people revered and paid homage to these important deities. Physically, Hephaestus was generally represented as a sturdy and muscular man with a thick neck and hairy chest who, because of a shortened, lame leg and club foot, supported himself with the aid of a crutch. Bearded, this blue collar god most often was shown dressed in a ragged sleeveless tunic and woolen hat. Chapter 4 – Culture Venus and Vulcan Most frequently, he was portrayed in art holding the heavy tools of his trade, especially the blacksmith's hammer and tongs. Sometimes in artistic depictions, he was surrounded by the Kabeiroi, the dwarflike blacksmith servants of the Mother Goddess who helped in his subterranean forge, deep below Olympus. He was worshipped by all blacksmiths and artisans, who recognized him as their special patron and venerated him accordingly. Two great festivals, the Vulcanalia (celebrated by the Romans on August 23, the first day of Virgo) and the Hephaestia were celebrated in his honor. Hephaestus was the one who split open the head of Zeus with an axe, when the King of the Olympians was suffering from a terrible headache. From the gaping head of Zeus emerged Athena. At the request of Zeus, and against his wishes, he also created the first woman, Pandora, who eventually unleashed a slew of evils upon the world. Hephaestus was the only Olympian god who actually did physical work and he is worshipped for demonstrating that labor can be noble. He showed that it's not only important to do work, but to do so in an excellent and efficient fashion, and his skill was matchless. It's easy to see why he became the patron god of artists and craftsmen of all kinds, including weavers, painters, metalworkers, blacksmiths, leatherworkers, potters and builders. Chapter 4 – Culture Venus and Vulcan Venus and Vulcan Graphic Organizer Birth Characteristics Deity of: Patron of: Things associated Other information Venus Vulcan I. In 2-3 sentences, explain who Venus & Vulcan were and what their domains, powers & functions were. Give their Greek names and explain two major weaknesses or character flaws you perceive in each of them.