Greek Mythology is one of the most interesting subjects of study for many people around the world today. Even though men were also included in many of the stories, the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece were particularly an integral part of Greek mythology. While the majority of these divine beings came into existence in locations that can be characterized as divine or far from the physical world, some came into existence in physical locations. Aphrodite - one of the most popular Greek goddesses, was one of such deities said to have been born in a place on earth. This offers an opportunity for mythology lovers to visit and ponder on the divine occurrence that took place here and allegedly led to the birth of the goddess whose charm was irresistible even to the most powerful Greek gods.

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About Aphrodite

Aphrodite - the Greek goddess of beauty, love, and intamacy is a popular character in Greek mythology having appeared in many ancient Greek writings including Homer’s Iliad. The goddess was married to Hephaestus although she is known for her infidelity and numerous affairs with both men and gods. She is the mother of several children some of which included - Eros, Harmonia, and Aeneas among others.

One of the most popular myths that had Aphrodite as a key character was the Trojan war which took place in the ancient city of Troy and lasted for 10 years resulting in the death of some of the finest warriors in both Greece and Troy. According to Homer’s Iliad, it all started at a wedding where all the Greek gods and goddesses had been invited except Eris - the goddess of discord. To get her revenge for being uninvited, the goddess interrupted the party with the gift of a golden apple which was inscribed - “ To the fairest.” This immediately sparked a quarrel between Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera who thought they were the fairest. It was then decided by Zeus - the god of thunder that a mortal named Paris should decide who deserved the prestigious title.

When Paris could not decide the winner after they displayed their entire beauty, each of the goddesses offered bribes to entice Paris into picking one of them. While Hera promised the young judge political power, Athena promised him wisdom but it was Aphrodite who promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world that was eventually awarded the title. This, therefore earned Aphrodite the title of the fairest although that achievement came with one of the greatest wars in Greek Mythology.

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The Birth Of Aphrodite

Two stories relate to the birth of Aphrodite; one was told by Hesiod while the other by Homer. In Homer’s account, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus and Diona - a Titaness. However, the most popular story relating to Aphrodite’s birth was told by the Greek poet Hesiod in his poem - Theogony. According to the theogony, Aphrodite was born after the genital of Uranus - the Titan ruler of the cosmos was severed and cast into the sea by Cronus - his son who sought to overthrow him. Out of the foam coming from the severed part of Uranus in the ocean then emerged Aphrodite nude and endowed with beauty.

The Birthplace - A Physical Place On Earth

Like many other locations in Greek myth, the location of Aphrodite’s birth is a physical place on earth on a beautiful shore located near the city of Paphos, Cyprus. According to Theogony by Hesiod, after Aphrodite has emerged out of the foam coming from Uranus’s severed part in the sea, the waves of the sea had begun transporting her to the island of Kythera but the western wind intervened and blew the newly-born goddess to the shores of Paphos, Cyprus.

On the shore is a giant rock and several other tiny rocks and the largest is now known as Aphrodite’s rock mainly because of the stories relating to the site and also because the rock is constantly surrounded by foaming waters. The rock is also known as Petra Tou Romiou in Greek and it translates to - Rock of the Greek.

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What To Enjoy At Aphrodite’s Rock

Aphrodite’s Rock is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Cyprus and the scenery characterizing the beach is one thing that makes it worth visiting besides the sunsets here are amazing. Although beside the scenery, swimming is a popular thing to do here and visitors also have the opportunity to explore the enormous rock which is now associated with one of Ancient Greece’s most popular deities. A local story even has it that those who swim around Aphrodite's rock will be blessed with eternal beauty so this is one thing to have in mind when visiting the beautiful beach. While swimming is a fun thing to do here, the waves can get rough and dangerous sometimes so tourists should avoid the water during such times.

Next: Visit Mount Olympus: Home Of The Greek Olympian Gods