By Barbara Breitenberger
An interdisciplinary research of the Archaic period--using literary, iconographical, and cultic evidence--shows the particular idea in the back of the 2 deities of affection. Aphrodite's personality, sphere of impression, and serve as characteristic in her conventional myths and are good mirrored in cult.
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Extra resources for Aphrodite & Eros: The Development of Erotic Mythology in Early Greek Poetry and Culture (Studies in Classics)
This function is implied when she is called ἡγεμόνη τοῦ δήμου or ΠάνδημοϚ. In this context it is interesting that in a myth Apollo admonished Theseus in Delphi to take Aphrodite as his leader (καθηγεμόνα) on his way to Crete and to invoke her to be with him (Plut. Thes. 18). 124 The unifying aspect of the goddess suggested by her epithet ΠάνδημοϚ is presumably a political interpretation of her function of bringing lovers together: she makes the people cherish their common love for the polis. 6 Aphrodite ΠάνδημοϚ and the magistrates The role of Aphrodite ΠάνδημοϚ as protectress of the civic body and its harmony embodies just one aspect of her political and administrative function.
New interest in the goddess in this specific function emerges during and after the liberation of Athens from the rule of Cassander and Demetrius of Phaleron and the restoration of democracy in the 2nd decade of the 3rd century BC. 119 Thus it is not surprising that Aphrodite comes to the fore again when, in 229 BC, the Athenians established their freedom from Macedonian domination. 120 This document is interesting in two respects. Firstly, the epithet can be considered as a specification of Aphrodite’s epithet ΠάνδημοϚ, making her the “leader of the demos”; secondly, it explains why magistrates worship her.
87 The civic aspect of his deeds is contrasted with the depiction of Heracles’ exploits: the latter fights against wild animals and foreign monsters. Literature also shows an increasing interest in myths about Theseus. Since poetry tends to inspire artistic representation, the emergence of vase paintings showing Theseus as a civilizer has often been interpreted as illustrating an epic, the Theseid, intended to present a national hero to the Athenians. 89 In the works of Bacchylides and Pherecydes, contemporary politics under Cimon are brought into a relationship with Theseus.
Aphrodite & Eros: The Development of Erotic Mythology in Early Greek Poetry and Culture (Studies in Classics) by Barbara Breitenberger