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Roman fresco depicting Amores playing hide and seek
Roman fresco depicting Amores playing hide and seek

Amor (“love”), also known as Cupid (Cupido – “thirst”) was a Roman god and the embodiment of love.
He was considered the son of the goddess Venus and Mars. He was identified with the Greek Eros who fell in love with Psyche.

Originally, Cupid was a god who embodied lust and had no temples or religious cult practices. He was usually shown in the company of other gods, like the goddess Venus. Cupid was shown on sculptures at home, but it is not sure if it was a form of worship or an element of decoration.

In art, he is depicted as a young man or naked boy with wings at his shoulders, with a bow and quiver full of arrows.
Amor has appeared more often in Roman art since Octavian Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. After the battle of Actium in 31 BCE, when Cleopatra and Marc Antony were defeated, the symbol became Cupid who handed over the weapon of the god Mars to his mother – Venus.

  • Kempiński Andrzej, Encyklopedia mitologii ludów indoeuropejskich, Warszawa 2001
  • Schmidt Joël, Słownik mitologii greckiej i rzymskiej, Katowice 1996

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