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Venus (Roman Goddess)

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Sandro Botticelli, The Birth of Venus

Venus was a Roman goddess of love, identified with the Greek Aphrodite. Originally, Venus was the Italian goddess of spring, vegetation, and vegetables. She was the mother of Cupid, the god of love who shot hearts with an arrow of love. Just before the founding of Rome, she had a sanctuary near Ardea.

The main attributes of this goddess were fruits and flowers. In turn, the animals that accompanied her were pigeons. In art, she was most often shown naked or half-exposed, but also beautiful and young, riding a chariot drawn by pigeons.

She was considered the great mother of the Julian House, especially during the time of Julius Caesar. According to the myth, she handed Aeneas a spear that had stuck in a tree trunk during his fight with the Italian hero, Turnus. In some versions of the myth of Aeneas is considered the son of Venus.

The oldest temple of Venus was in the Capitol.

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

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