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Eros and Psyche
EROS, GOD OF LOVE
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
Psyche Page is Here!
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