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Aphrodite Epithets


Acidalia- “of the Well of Acidalius”, “of the Troubles”. Aphrodite bathed in the Well of Acidalius with the Graces. The Well was near Orchomenos. The second interpretation connects Aphrodite with troubles- either bringing them or soothing them as she sees fit.

Acraea- “of the Heights”. This epithet is shared by many deities whose temples were situated upon hills including Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena.

Alitta- This epithet combines Aphrodite with the Arabian Goddess Al-lat. Al-lat may have been considered the Great Goddess of Pre-Islamic Arabia, whose domain covered everything from the stars to the Underworld.

Amathusia- “of Amathus”. This was an epithet common in Amathus, a city in Cyprus. This city was one of Aphrodite’s most ancient centers of worship.

Ambologera- “Postponer of Old Age”. This epithet was common in Sparta and statues were dedicated to this aspect of the Goddess there.

Amyclaeus- “of Amyklai”.

Anadyomene- “Risen from the Sea”. This epithets relates to Aphrodite’s birth from the sea. This epithet did not gain popularity until Apelles made a painting showing Aphrodite drying her hair after leaving the ocean. The specific painting was placed in Asclepius’ temple on Cos Island. (Augustus removed the painting for himself in exchange for reducing the taxes on Cos. By the time Nero was emperor, the painting was in bad shape and was replaced.)

Antheia- “the Blooming”, “Friend of Flowers”. This epithet was common in Cnossus.

Apaturus- “Deceptive One”. This epithet was common in Phanagoria and Chersonesus (Tauros). The epithet originated in Tauros, where Aphrodite was supposedly attacked by giants. She asked Heracles for assistance. They both hid in a cavern. Aphrodite then seduced each giant into entering the cavern where they would then be slaughtered by Heracles.

Aphacitis- “of Aphace”. This epithet was common in Aphace, a city in Coele-Syria. There was a temple and oracle dedicated to Aphrodite in the city. Both were destroyed by Emperor Constantine.

Aphrogenea- “Foam-Born”.

Apostrophia- “Averter of Unlawful Desires”. This epithet was commonly used in Thebes. Aphrodite was said to remove lust and sinful desire from people’s hearts. It is said Harmonia, as well as Aphrodite the Heavenly and Aphrodite, Common to All the People, instituted the worship of this new aspect of Aphrodite in Thebes. Historically, it may be that worship of Harmonia and the first two aspects of Aphrodite began in Thebes first, eventually generating a new form of worship.

Aracynthias- “of Mt Aracynthus”. It is believed there was a temple to Aphrodite on Mt Aracynthus. However, the location of the actual mountain has never been confirmed.

Area- “of Ares”, “Warlike”. This epithet was most commonly used at Sparta. She was often shown as being fully dressed in armor when called by this name.

Argennis- “Mentor of Argennus”. Argennus was a favorite of Agamemnon. Agamemnon tried to seduce him, but Argennus fled. He jumped into the Cephissus River and died. Agamemnon built a temple to this aspect of Aphrodite in honor of his love.

Berbia- This is a poorly understood epithet. Any suggestions on the meaning would be appreciated.

Callipygos- “of the Well-Shaped Buttocks”. Statues of this aspect of Aphrodite are known for being soft, luxuriant, and round.

Castinia- “of Mt Kastion”.

Castnietis- This is a poorly understood epithet. I believe it may mean “Wisest of All the Sisters”. Any suggestions on the meaning would be appreciated.

Catascopia- “Spying”, “Peeping”

Cepois- “of the Gardens”.

Chrysia- “Golden”.

Cnidia- “of Knidos”. This epithet was common in Knidos, a city in Caria. This city held the famed statue of Aphrodite made by Praxiteles.

Colias- “of Kolios”. The epithet was common in Kolios, a city in Attica. A famous statue of Aphrodite once resided in the neighborhood of Anaphlystus.

Cypria- “of Cyprus”. In some versions of the theology, Aphrodite is born on Cyprus. The island is one of her most ancient areas of worship.

Cyprogenes- “Born in Cyprus”. In some versions of the theology, Aphrodite is born on Cyprus. The island is one of her most ancient areas of worship.

Cytherea- “of Kythereia”. Kythereia is the name of a city in Crete, as well as an island. Both of these places were said to be where Aphrodite made her first landfall. It is unknown which is which, but a temple was dedicated to this aspect of the Goddess.

Despoena- “the Ruler”, “the Mistress”. The epithet was shared by many Goddesses including Aphrodite, Demeter, and Persephone.

Dia- “Divine”, “Shining”, “Daughter of Zeus”.

Dionaea- “of Dione”, “of Zeus”. This name combined the Titaness Dione with Aphrodite. Dione’s domain included the bright sky and water, which can be considered also domains of Aphrodite. Dione’s parents were Oceanus and Tethys, making her a water nymph. Some sources have her father as Uranus or Aether and her mother as Gaia. She was one of the wives of Zeus and witnessed the birth of Apollo. Sometimes Dione and Zeus are named as the parents of Aphrodite. This epithet can also be applied to all symbols associated with either Dione or Aphrodite, such as the dove.

Doritis- “Bountiful”.

Epistrophia- “She Who Turns to Love”.

Erykina- “of Eryx”. The epithet was common on Mt Eryx in Sicily, where a famous temple was dedicated to the Goddess. The temple was built by Eryx, son of Aphrodite and Butes, King of Sicily. Although, it is also said Aeneias built the temple. Eryx’s daughter, Psophis, dedicated a temple to this aspect of the Goddess in Psophis, a city in Arcadia. At the beginning of the Second Punic War, this aspect of Aphrodite was introduced into Rome. Her first Roman temple was built in 181 BC at Porta Collatina.

Euploea- “Fair Voyage”.

Eustephanus- “Richly Crowned”, “Well-Girdled”.

Gamelii- “Protectress of Marriage”. This was an epithet for all deities who worked to protect marriage and/or presided over marital rites. The deities who shared this epithet were Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Peitho, and Artemis. It was believed these five deities must be invoked in order to have a successful wedding and marriage. The Moirai also shared this epithet. However, it can be said any deity may be invoked under the epithet as all deities protect marriage. The month of Gamelion honors this aspect of the Gods. It was also celebrated during the festival of Gamelia.

Genetyllis- “Protectress of Births”. This epithet was shared by Aphrodite and Artemis. It was also the name of a distinct Goddess who worked with Aphrodite. Deities who deal with generation and birth may also share this epithet, and were considered to be companions of Aphrodite of Kolias.

Hekaerge- “Far-Working”, “Worker from Afar”, “Mentor of Hekaerge”. This epithet was shared by Artemis and Aphrodite. The first two interpretations related to Aphrodite. It was most commonly used in Iulus, a city on Cos Island.

Hera- “of Hera”. This epithet combined Hera and Aphrodite. It specifically relates to Aphrodite as a Goddess of Marriage.

Hoplismena- “Armed”.

Idalia- “of Idalion”. This epithet was common in Idalion, a city in Crete.

Limenia- “of the Harbor”. This epithet is shared by many deities including Zeus, Aphrodite, Artemis, Priapus, and Pan.

Machanitis- “Deviser”, “Contriver”. This epithet was shared by Zeus, Aphrodite, and Athena. This epithet was commonly used in Megalopolis.

Melaenis- “Black”. This epithet was common in Corinth. It referred to Aphrodite’s power to work in the night.

Melinaea- “of Meline”. This epithet was common in the Argive city of Meline.

Migonitis- “of Migonium”. This epithet was used at the Goddess’ temple on Cranne Island in Laconia.

Migontis- “Union” This epithet refers to Aphrodite’s domain over marriage.

Morpho- “of Shapely Form”. This epithet was common in Sparta. She was often represented sitting and veiled, with her feet bound.

Nicephorus- “Bringer of Victory”. This epithet was common among the deities.

Nymphia- “Bridal”.

Pandemos- “Common to All the People”. This epithet is shared by Aphrodite and Eros. This epithet had a double meaning and strongly tied into Aphrodite’s role as a Love Goddess. Firstly, this epithet was used to refer to Aphrodite as a Goddess of Sex and other Sensual Pleasures. (Compare to this to Aphrodite of the Heavens.) Scopas built a statue to this aspect of the Goddess in the city of Elis where she rode as a ram. Secondly, this epithet refers to Aphrodite’s to unite people into a social and/or political body. This second aspect was worshiped in Athens alongside Peitho. It was instituted by Theseus when he united the scattered townships into the city-state of Athens. It is believed by some that Solon actually called for the erection of a sanctuary to the Goddess in Athens, either because her statue already stood in the agora or because courtesans were required to pay taxes to fund the project. This epithet was also common at Megalopolis in Arcadia and Thebes. Festivals to Aphrodite of this name consisted of the sacrifice of white goats.

Paphia- “of Paphos”. A well-known temple was dedicated to Aphrodite at Paphos in Cyprus. This epithet was also common in Ino. A statue was dedicated to this aspect of the Goddess in the local sanctuary, between Oetylus and Thalamae in Laconia.

Peitho- “Persuasive”. This epithet was shared by many deities including Artemis and Aphrodite. It also referred to the Goddess Peitho, who ruled over persuasion.

Philommides- “Laughter-Loving”.

Philommedes- “Genital-Loving”.

Pontia- “of the Sea”.

Pothon Mater- “Mother of Desire”.

Praxis- “Action”. This epithet refers to Aphrodite’s role as a Goddess of Sex.

Psithyristes- “Whispering”.

Pyrenaea- “of the Pyrenes Mts”.

Symmachia- “Ally”. This epithet refers to Aphrodite’s role as a Goddess of Love.

Syria- “of Syria”, “the Syrian”. This epithet combined Astarte and Aphrodite. Astarte was a Middle Eastern Goddess of Fertility, Love, War, and Sex. It is possible Astarte and Aphrodite were originally the same Goddess since Aphrodite’s spread west into Cyprus and then into Greece. An alternative of this epithet is Syria Dea.

Urania- “Heavenly”, “Divine”, “Daughter of Uranus”. This aspect of the Goddess was specific to her role as Goddess of Love. It was usually contrasted with Aphrodite, Common to All the People. It also refers to the possibility of Aphrodite being Uranus’ daughter without a mother. Wine would not be an acceptable offering to this aspect of the Goddess.

Xenia- “of the Foreigner”.

Zephyritis- “of Zephyrium”. This epithet was common in Zephyrium, a city in Egypt.

Zerynthia- “of Zerynthus”. This is a poorly understood epithet. This epithet was common in the Thracian city of Zerynthus. The local sanctuary was built by Phaedra.

I hope this is a helpful list for anyone interested in worshiping Aphrodite. These are her main epithets. I took out alternate spellings and epithets which had the same meanings but were less widely known than the ones shown here. I left similarly spelt epithets with very different meanings. Some epithets whose meanings are unknown appear in the list. Any help identifying these epithets would be awesome. If you are interested in ideas on when to use these epithets or inspiration based on them, shoot me an ask!

(Source: theoi.com- Titles of Aphrodite: Ancient Greek Religion)

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