►Greek Mythology: “Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Ares and her Other Lovers”:
Hephaestus (Roman equivalent: Vulcan), the smith and craftsman of the gods, was married to Aphrodite (Roman equivalent: Venus), the goddess of love and beauty.
It was not a good marriage because Aphrodite was as an unfaithful wife.
But Hephaestus also cheated her, for example with Athena, the Greek goddess of reason, intelligent activity, arts and literature.
Aphrodite most notable lovers were the gods Ares (God of War. Roman equivalent: Mars), Dionysius, Greek God of Wine and Fertility, Hermes, (Greek God of herds and herald of the gods. Roman equivalent: Mercury), Zeus (King of Gods. Roman equivalent: Jupiter), Nerites (A young Sea-God who was the very first love of Aphrodite). Poseidon (Greek God of the Sea. Roman equivalent: Neptune), and the mortal, Adonis, who was Myhrra’son.
Except for a few occasions when he was overwhelmed with jealousy or resentment, Hephaestus seemed to accept this arrangement.
Aphrodite had a long love affair with Ares (Roman equivalent), the god of war and strife. Eros, god of Love, would become their son.
Ares was the great Olympian God of War, Battlelust and Manly Courage.
In Greek art he was depicted as either a mature, bearded warrior dressed in battle arms, or a nude beardless youth with helm and spear.
Some of the more famous myths featuring the god include his adulterous affair with Aphrodite whislt she was married to Hephaestus and the slaying of Adonis, his rival for the love of Aphrodite, in the guise of a boar.
Helius, the Sun God was able to see most things during the day, as he drove his sun chariot across the sky. It was one of those days that Helius witnessed Aphrodite taking her lover in her bed, while Hephaestus was absent. Helius easily recognised Ares.
So, he told everything to Hephaestus.
Hephaestus decided to take revenge on the lovers. Thus using his wit and his crafting skills he fashioned an unbreakable net and trapped the two lovers while they were in bed Hephaestus immediately walked back to his bedchamber with a host of other gods to witness the disgraced pair. Only the male Olympians appeared, while the goddesses stayed in Olympus
Poseidon tried to persuade Hephaestus to release the adulterous pair. At first, Hephaestus refused the request, because he wanted to extract the most out of his revenge, but at the end he released his wife and her love. Ares immediately fled to Thrace, while Aphrodite went to Paphos at the island of Cyprus.
According to the roman poet Ovid, Aphrodite made sure to punish the informer, the sun god Helius.
As Helius loved a nymph, named Clytie. Aphrodite made him fall in love with another young woman, named Leucothoe, who was daughter of Orchamus (king of Persia).
Clytie became jealous of her rival, so she spread a rumour saying that she was seduced by a mortal lover. Leucothoe’s father, King Orchamus buried her alive.
Thus, finally, Helius abandoned Clytie, and flew through the sky, driving his chariot for nine days.
“Mars and Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1483).
►Description: In the painting Venus watches Mars sleeps while two infant satyrs play carrying his armor as another rests under his arm. A fourth blows a small conch shell in his ear in an effort to wake him. Mars is sleeping the ‘little death’ which comes after making love, and not even a trumpet in his ear will wake him. The little satyrs have stolen his lance – a joke to show that he is now disarmed. The scene is set in a haunted forest, and the sense of perspective and horizon extremely tight and compact. In the foreground, a swarm of wasps hovers around Mars’ head, possibly as a symbol that love is often accompanied by pain.
►Aphrodite (Venus), her husband Hephaetus (Vulcan) and her lover Ares (Mars):
►Aphrodite (Venus) and her other Lovers: