Mythman's Major Olympian Gods




Eros and Psyche


Eros was the Greek god of love and sexual desire. Some claim that he was one of the first gods to emerge from primeval Chaos, hatched from the world-egg, and thus is considered to be one of the eldest gods.

They reason that none of the other gods could have been born without Eros.

There are other theories as to his parentage: He is held to be the son of Aphrodite and Hermes, or Aphrodite and Ares, or even Aphrodite and Zeus. A lyrical fancy even holds that he was the son of Iris, goddess of the Rainbow, and Zephyrus, the West Wind.

Here is a fragment from Robert Graves' The Greek Myths:

"But the Orphics say that black-winged Night, a goddess of whom even Zeus stands in awe, was courted by the Wind and laid a silver egg in the womb of Darkness; and that Eros, whom some call Phanes, was hatched from this egg and set the Universe in motion.

Eros was double-sexed and golden-winged and, having four heads, sometimes roared like a bull or a lion, sometimes hissed like a serpent or bleated like a ram. Night, who named him Ericepaius and Protogenus Phaethon, lived in a cave with him, displaying herself in triad: Night, Order and Justice.

Before this cave sat inescapable mother Rhea, playing on a brazen drum, and compelling man's attention to the oracles of the goddess. Phanes created earth, sky, sun, and moon, but the triple-goddess ruled the universe, until her scepter passed to Uranus."

In more recent mythology, Eros is portrayed as the son of Aphrodite and Ares, and one of the younger deities. He is represented as a playful, winged boy with a bow and arrows. He wounds both gods and men with his unerring and irresistible arrows of desire.

His arrows come in two sets: golden arrows with dove feathers for love, and leaden arrows with owl feathers for indifference.

Eros' brother is Anteros ("returner of love") and his wife is the mortal Psyche. The story of Psyche and Eros is found here.

In the Dionysian Mysteries, Eros is the most ancient deity and referred to as protagonus ("the first-born") who emerged from the cosmic egg of Nyx, the goddess of night. According to the philosopher Plato, Eros is the striving of mankind to the pure, the good, the beautiful.

Eros' Roman counterpart is Amour/Cupid. His name means "Desire".

One time, a gang of huge and terrible Giants attacked Mount Olympus, hurling rocks and fire-brands at the palace of the gods from their mountain tops. There were 24 of these Giants, sons of Gaea, Mother Earth.

When one of these Giants, Porphyrion, broke through the Olympians' defenses and tried to strangle Hera, Eros shot a timely arrow at the monster and wounded him in the liver.

His anger turned to lust and he then attempted to violate the Queen of the Olympians. This so enraged Zeus, seeing his wife about to be molested, that he raced up to Porphyrion and struck him down with a thunderbolt.

When Hera and Athena were trying to figure out how best to assist Jason and the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece, they approached Aphrodite for help. The goddess of Love located her mischievous son, who was playing dice with the boy Ganymede, and cheating at that, and instructed him to go to the palace at Colchis.

There, Eros let fly an arrow at the heart of the witch, princess Medea, causing her to fall in love with the hero Jason, and consequently leading to the recovery of the precious Golden Fleece by the Argonauts.

It was also Eros who shot an arrow of love into the heart of the most beautiful mortal woman, Helen, making her instantly fall in love with the Trojan prince Paris. This infatuation led to Paris and Helen running away to Troy, which prompted the infuriated Greeks to begin the Trojan War in retaliation.

Eros and Psyche
Eros & Psyche Page is Here!


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