Aphrodite

Hesiod writes that she was born from the foam when Uranus' penis fell into the sea, while Homer claims that she is the daughter of Zeus and the goddess(?) Dione.

Typically portrayed as scantily clad, Aphrodite was the goddess of love.  Homer writes that she was married to Hephaestus, the crippled god of the forge.  Despite this marriage, Aphrodite had a multitude of lovers, both god and mortal.  From Anchises, Aphrodite gives birth to the Trojan Aeneas, the great ancestor of the Romans.  Later poets write that Eros was a son of hers with Ares, and that he carried out her will on earth using his bow and arrows.

During the Trojan War, Aphrodite helped the Trojans time and again.  She aided her Aeneas as he fought in the war, and helped him to flee as Troy burned.  She was also indebted to the Trojan prince Paris, who had chosen her to win the golden apple.  During his fight with Menelaus, she rescues Paris from death, which unfortunately prolonged the war and the slaughter.

Aphrodite's symbols include the dove and the dolphin.  The Romans associated her with the goddess Venus.

Source(s):

  1. HesiodTheogeny.

  2. HomerOdyssey.

  3. VirgilAeneid.

  4. Ovid Metamorphoses.

  5. HomerIliad.