Q:

In Greek mythology, what are Aphrodite's responsibilities?

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Quick Answer

Aphrodite was the ancient Greek goddess responsible for love, fertility and beauty. In her ancient Roman form, Venus, she was also the goddess associated with modesty. Her symbols are the dove, apple, scallop shell and mirror.

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Full Answer

Some Greek sources drew a distinction between two different forms of Aphrodite. The older form of Aphrodite was the daughter of Ouranos and governed spiritual love, while the younger form was the daughter of Zeus and was responsible for lust. The latter form of Aphrodite was also associated with heterosexual love, while the former was responsible for homosexual love.

In her older form, Aphrodite was the oldest of the Olympian gods worshipped by the Greeks. Unlike the other Olympians, who were the children of Kronos or Zeus, Aphrodite was the daughter of their predecessor Ouranos. She was born from the foam that formed when Ouranos's blood spilled into the sea.

Aphrodite played a major role in the story of the Trojan War, where she set the war in motion by promising Helen to Paris. She was the mother of the Trojan hero Aeneas, who survived the war and went on to become the mythological founder of the Roman people. She also featured prominently in the well-known myths of Eros and Psyche, Adonis and Pygmalion.

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