Why Is Cupid a Symbol of Valentine's Day?

cupid-symbol-valentine-s-day Credit: Robert Mora/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Cupid is part of the Valentine's Day iconography thanks to his historical association with classical Greek and Roman love stories. The Roman love god Cupid, known as Eros in the ancient Greek religious tradition, was the son of the Roman goddess of love, Venus, or Aphrodite in Greek stories.

Images of the winged Cupid carrying his bow and quiver of golden love arrows date back to classical antiquity and are an enduring symbol of love. Though modern iterations are somewhat cartoonish, chubby cherubs with heart-tipped arrows, Cupid was something of a trickster god, and was occasionally depicted as a mature adult male.