Venus was one of the first planets to be noticed by our ancestors since it can be observed with the naked eye at dawn and dusk. Because of this, the ancient Greeks had two names for Venus: Phosphorus in the morning and Hesperus in the evening.
When it was discovered that both were the same object in the sky, they named it Aphrodite in honor of their most beautiful goddess. The major symbols associated with her are the rose, the dove, and the swan.
Aphrodite’s birth is described in Theogony: A work composed by the Greek poet Hesiod around 700 BC. According to Hesiod, Cronus, leader of the Titans, castrated his father, God Uranus’s primal sky, and threw his genitals into the sea.
The lovely Aphrodite was said to be born from the sea foam produced by his dismembered parts. Hesiod interpreted Aphrodite’s name as risen from the foam. But her name is also thought to stem from a word meaning shining, wanderer, and bright. Hesiod mentions two islands in his story about Aphrodite’s origins.
So, Aphrodite is an important figure in ancient Greek mythology and has been revered and celebrated by cultures throughout history. By reading books about Aphrodite, you can explore the many different ways in which this goddess has been understood and represented, as well as her ongoing cultural influence.
10 Books About Aphrodite
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite is one of the leading characters who fight for women’s respect. The ancient Greek civilization was very cruel to women in their mythological stories. Some gods treat goddesses like pampers. Aphrodite is one of the goddesses who raised her voice against them and became a role model of feminism.
Books about Aphrodite can offer insights into the mythology and symbolism surrounding this vital figure and her cultural and historical significance. If you are curious about Greek mythology or the role of goddesses in ancient cultures, reading these books can be a rewarding experience.
Here are ten books you’ll enjoy:
1. Aphrodite Made Me Do It
Aphrodite Made Me Do It is told from dual perspectives and split into many sections from Aphrodite’s perspective and the poet herself. It is full of photos, doodles, drawings, and amazing things that accompany the poems and make the words pop. They’re all beautiful and colorful, and it adds an extra something to them that makes them stand out.
The subject matter also differs quite from the author’s previous works. Aphrodite’s feelings are spread within the book. But we also have Trista’s personal feelings being explored differently. Trista wants to take a step back because it can be difficult to tell yourself apart from the art all the time.
So this book focuses more on positive feelings about friendship and self-growth and not destroying yourself to make good art. It’s interesting to see how she’s developing into a simplistic style and how that will work out for her.
Author: Trista Mateer
Average Rating: 4.8/5
Category: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology Literary Criticism
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Kindle
2. Venus and Aphrodite: A Biography of Desire
Venus and Aphrodite is historically accurate and an academic book. It teaches us many things that many books on Aphrodite do regarding her story, where her idea came from, and how she was approached. The author touches on many aspects of feminism, whether self-love, body image, and sexuality. It talks about the political standpoint. As time moved, how Aphrodite was changed and portrayed became different.
You get to see how she went from being celebrated for being this diverse, multifaceted deity to different times throughout history, depending on the political slash, religious agenda, etc. How she was often, what people seem to do to fit in with political or religious agenda would be to focus on one specific aspect of Aphrodite’s character and remove that harmonious balance of everything that she was.
If you are somebody that has an interest in feminist literature, this is an essential read. You get to see how the role of powerful women could be changed even so early on throughout history. Even the role of a deity could be changed so drastically to fit whatever was considered appropriate at the time.
This is undoubtedly an exciting book for that as well. It’s coming from the perspective of talking specifically about Aphrodite. The way that it’s written, the author’s very clever. She does put her points of view across, but it’s done so subtly that it doesn’t feel like she’s trying to influence you. I would highly recommend this book on Aphrodite.
Author: Bettany Hughes
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Historical Greece Biographies
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
3. Lovely War
Lovely War is a heavy romance set in World War One and based on the character of Aphrodite. You will see the Greek god, goddess, and Aphrodite here. It is like the framework of the story that is fascinating as well. Most people that have read this book adore it and love it.
This book is well done and well written. Julie Barry is a fantastic writer. You can tell that she thought this through and educated herself on many aspects of this novel. It comes across as very simple, but there are profound elements without pretentious.
Aphrodite is a very complex and unique character. She is intelligent and strong, but she also has a side of softness. The best thing I noticed is how the author wrote every character in this book. She was good at creating every character to be unique in their way. I never felt like she made them one-dimensional. Because of this, you will feel each relationship is unique. There’s no actual plot, and it’s about love during wartime.
Author: Julie Berry
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Teen & Young Adult Greek & Roman Myths
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
4. Aphrodite and the Rabbis: How the Jews Adapted Roman Culture to Create Judaism as We Know It
This book provides a fascinating exploration of how Jewish culture was influenced by the dominant Roman culture of the time, including the incorporation of the goddess Aphrodite into Jewish mythology. Visotzky’s writing is engaging, and he offers a wealth of historical and cultural context that makes it both informative and enjoyable to read.
Author: Burton L. Visotzky
5. The Aphrodite of Knidos and Her Successors
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the art and mythology of ancient Greece. Havelock provides a comprehensive analysis of the famous sculpture of Aphrodite of Knidos, exploring its historical and cultural significance and its impact on the depiction of the female form in Greek art.
Author: Christine Mitchell Havelock
6. Aphrodite: Goddess of Love
This graphic novel retells the story of Aphrodite in a visually stunning and engaging way. O’Connor’s illustrations are beautiful and evocative. His storytelling is faithful to the original myths and accessible to a modern audience. This book is an excellent introduction to the world of Greek mythology and will appeal to readers of all ages.
Author: George O’Connor
7. Aphrodite: A Memoir of the Senses
Allende’s book is a unique and sensual exploration of the role of pleasure in human experience, with Aphrodite serving as a guiding metaphor. She weaves personal anecdotes, mythology, and historical context to create a rich tapestry of human experience. This book will inspire you to embrace the sensual pleasures of life.
Author: Isabel Allende
8. Aphrodite’s Daughters: Three Modernist Poets of the Harlem Renaissance
This book explores the intersection of race, gender, and mythology in the poetry of three African American women writers from the Harlem Renaissance. Honey’s writing is insightful and engaging, providing a wealth of historical and cultural context that deepens your understanding of the poems. This book is an excellent introduction to the rich legacy of African American women writers, and it will inspire you to explore their work further.
Author: Maureen Honey
9. Aphrodite: A Novel
This novel is a fast-paced and thrilling adventure story that revolves around a mysterious artifact related to Aphrodite. Andrews’ writing is engaging and suspenseful. He weaves elements of mythology, archaeology, and mystery to create a compelling and entertaining read.
Author: Russell Andrews
10. Aphrodite’s Mirror
This collection of short stories retells various myths and legends featuring Aphrodite and her many lovers. The stories are beautifully written and offer a fresh perspective on familiar tales.
Author: Theodora Goss
Where can You read about Aphrodite?
There are many places where you can read about Aphrodite and her mythology. Here are some suggestions:
Books: As I mentioned earlier, many books cover the topic of Aphrodite. You can find books at your local library or bookstore or purchase them online from websites.
Online resources: Many websites provide information about Greek mythology and its various characters, including Aphrodite. Some popular websites include Theoi Project, Greek Mythology Link, and Mythopedia.
Museums: Museums provide informative displays and descriptions of the artifacts they have on display.
Academic resources: If you seek more in-depth information about Aphrodite, consider consulting academic sources such as scholarly journals or university libraries. These resources can provide a more detailed understanding of Aphrodite’s mythology and cultural significance.
These books provide a wealth of information and insights into Aphrodite’s myths and her ongoing cultural significance. You can understand how feminine power and agency have been represented and valued in different cultures and periods.
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