Unconventional Methods

I happened upon this painting while running around the Metropolitan Museum of Art gathering photos for our final project. This photo is Gustave Courbet’s, “Woman with a Parrot” which seemed oddly reminiscent of another work  we had studied Édouard Manets, “Olympia”. This painting was done only three years after the Olympia in 1866 and though it was done to appease Academic critics with its detailed idolized body and the shape of the woman’s physique like the Olympia, it was disjointed from Academic works in the way the nude woman was lounging around with messy hair in a messy environment from the untidy bed and the dark shadowy room. We can see that if not entirely Courbet did have some kind of effect on other artist even though he was initially criticize by others for his controversial work.

Bedirhan Gonul- Team Aphrodite

See Aphrodite From Another Class

This is a painting of Venus, the Roman version Aphrodite. We learned this painting from our ART 1010 class. It is called “Venus of Urbino”, painted by Titian in 1538. We know about Aphrodite form our first Clas 1110 class. “Archer, bind me down with triple those endless chains! Let all you goddess too how I’d love to bed that golden Aphrodite!” This is the quote that I chose from “Song of Demodocus”. Apollo asked Quicksilver that does he want to sleep with Aphrodite and this quote was the answer that Quicksilver gave. He is obsessed with the golden Aphrodite’s beauty. She is golden, she is attractive, and he cannot control his wild thinking of sleeping with her despite the fact that she is married already. From the painting, we can see that Venus is golden too. Look at the painting, Venus has an attractive face, it is just perfectly symmetrical. Look at her sensual body, isn’t it is perfectly in proportion? Look at her beautiful golden hair, her silky smooth skin. She is just perfectly beautiful. From the poem and the painting, both depict Aphrodite’s beauty. In the poem, there is a sense when she is wearing a flower crown when she went back home from her father, Zeus’ palace. In Titian’s painting, Venus is holding a bouquet of flower with her right hand too. However, even these two pieces of art are about the goodness of love, but they are from different culture, the poem is from Greek and the painting is from Roman. However, Roman culture art had been strongly influenced by Greek culture. Therefore, Venus is the Aphrodite goodness in Roman culture.


#Qiyi, Team Vesta



This statue is from the New York City Metropolitan Museum, and it was made in ca. 4500-4000 B.C. The statue is called Marble female figure. This statue is not Aphrodite because it was created from a different culture, which most likely have different religion, but in a way she is because they both have similar statuses. Such as, Aphrodite is the goddess of fertility, love, and beauty. This statue has full legs and buttocks, which also indicates fertility. They both have similarities when it comes to child making. However, in the terms of their physical appearance, it is quite different because according to pictures from google Aphrodite looks slim, and ethereal. The statue mainly have curves around on its buttocks, breasts, and waist. Honestly, the statue looks like it would do a better job bearing a child. In the translated version of Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite by William Blake Tyrrell, Aphrodite loves to get gods and goddess involved with mortal women and men, and in a way it shows her power in fertility because it is getting goddesses and female mortals pregnant.

  • “…she mingled gods with mortal women who bore mortal sons to immortals and that she mixed goddesses with mortal men…” (lines 50-53). Aphrodite’s sneaky behavior gets god and goddess involved with mortals, and most of the time demi gods (half human, half god) are created because of her influence. She eventually get into trouble because of these tactics. Zeus messes with her, then she ended up having intercourse with a mortal and giving birth to Aeneas.

Becky, Team Hera

Are they American?

This week I interviewed three of my friends asking them about their ethnicity and story behind that.

  1. Last Thursday, I interviewed my friend Joanna L. after our business class in Ingersoll Hall building at Brooklyn College. She said that she is okay with answering the questions about her ethnicity and me posting it on my blog post. She identifies herself as American, however, she was born in Greece, Europe and lived there only 3 years, so she did not study much about the history of the country. She came to the United States when she was 3, and started school here and studied about American history. She said that her hero will be always Barack Obama as he made a lot of great changes in this country, and also because the role of the president is such a responsibility which not many can handle. She also said that the story behind it is when she met him personally. She had the chance to meet him because one of her teachers from high school knew him privately, and because she was one of the best in her senior year, her teacher took her and 2 other people for short meeting. I was really surprised when I heard the story.
  2.  On Tuesday after my English class on our way to the train station, I interviewed my friend Kathy B. She said that she is okay with answering the questions about her ethnicity and me posting it on my blog post. She identifies herself as Spanish because she was born in Spain, Europe and spent there 10 years of her life. She said that she does not remember much about the history of Spain, however, she the person that she would value would be definitely a president, which was very surprising for me because the girl I interviewed first said the same thing. Kathy also explained to me that in her opinion president is a person who carries many responsibilities, and people against him.
  3. On Wednesday morning, before my INDS class, I met one of my friends, Olivia S., and interviewed her on our way to classes in Roosevelt Hall building. She said that she is okay with answering the questions about her ethnicity and me posting it on my blog post.She was born and raise in New York City, so she identifies herself with American. However, her parents are from Columbia. She said she does not know the history of Columbia, only a few facts that her parents used to tell her, but she only learns the American history. Olivia said that for her, heroes are her parents. She said that is for many reasons, and one of them and the most important is that when they were young they came to the NYC by themselves without much money or ability to speak English. However, they did all they could to build a great family and raise her for a good person. She said that there are thousands of reasons why she treats them as heroes, sometimes little for others, but big for her.

All of these 3 interviews from Brooklyn College are interesting and each of them is different in its own way. I think that the first 2 people who said that president is definitely the hero for them can identify with Rome’s origins because the hero there was a ruler. Quote that I found:
” This was Juno’s goal from the start, and so she nursed her city’s strength” (Vergil’s Aeneid)
I think it can be connected all of my interviews because it emphasizes how did goddess care about the city and people. The same it’s with people who chose the president as their hero, he is the one who takes care of the city. It also connects to Olivia for whom parents are the hero because they had to take care of themselves and prepare to take care of her.

Edyta, Team Aphrodite

Goddess Isis


The main subject of this picture is a gold bracelet with snakes which is on my wrist that is associated with Isis. She was the Egyptian goddess of magic, fertility and motherhood, and death, healing and rebirth. Isis was born on the first day of the first years of creation. This goddess is associated with cobra snake because, in Egyptian iconography, cobras are commonly found on Isis’ headdress, while in Greece and Italy, Isis could be shown holding a cobra, or with a cobra wrapped about her arm. I took this picture at the place where I work, which is called Awakening. It’s an amazing place filled out with crystals, and different object connected to gods and goddesses. I think that this is connected to our classics class because even though we did not talk about goddess Isis, we talk about others. I found it interesting because I didn’t know much about her, and lately, I found this bracelet, and one of my friends working with me told me the story behind it, which interested me.

Edyta, Team Aphrodite

The Origin of April

I always knew that August is the month of Augustus Caesar and July is the month of Julius Caesar. But I never know the meaning and symbolism of other months, so I start to search for their history. Something very surprise me was April is taken from Aphrodite. April in Greek is Aphro, which is the short for Aphrodite. We learn about Aphrodite in Unit 1, we know she is the goodness of love and beauty, we learned from the first class that she is godly. Reflect on how beautiful is she that people say she is goldly. We can see countless paintings and sculptures of her in museums. Also, we learned that Roman people call her Venus and name the planet Venus after her. This is very surprised for me that April is named after Aphrodite. Now I can tell people that April is not only special of the April Fool’s day but it is beautiful because of its meaning and origin.

Qiyi, Team Vesta



💗Aphrodite & Etude House💗

It is that time of the year when nearly all of us look tired, worn out and dull. Yes, winter is approaching and our skin needs more care than usual as the dry coldness with harsh winds blows the moisture out of it. Have you seen people who look radiant and bright even during winter? I personally, have not, and if I ever did pardon my French but they must be blessed by Aphrodite herself 😉

Aphrodite was known to be extremely beautiful, her beauty was extraordinary. Her looks charmed everyone, and with that she could make anyone do as she pleased. “-And beauty shone from her cheeks – an immortal beauty, the kind that marks the one with the beautiful garlands, the goddess from Kythera” (Hymn to Aphrodite.) Although there is nothing we can do to become gods, we can try to make our skin look fresh and bright. “Why skin?”- you may be wondering. Well that is because everything starts with skin, skin is an indicator of your health, and you can tell a lot by the person’s skin condition. When you apply make up, it most certainly lays smoothly if your skin is moisturized and plump compared to it being dry and flaky~

Additionally, Aphrodite seems soft, gentle as she refers to her as the virgin. So the colors I envision when I think of her are shades of pink. Hence, here is my small pink collection from Etude House that can provide some care for your skin and finish your look!


Items: 1) Play Color Eyes #Cherry Blossom ; 2) [BERRY DELICIOUS] Color in Liquid Lips_Juicy #37 OR210 3)[SET] Bubble Tea Sleeping Pack 3-in-1 Kit [Strawberry]

Using this Bubble Tea Sleeping pack will make your skin look and feel very moisturized the next morning, it is a great solution for dry skin. Additionally, as it is a strawberry pack, it helps to brighten your skin as well.. So if you, like me, look very dull in winter time, this mask will be your savior. Now, the lipstick included is honestly one of my favorites, the shade is really pretty and it feels good on your lips. It does not transfer as much, and lasts pretty long too. Also, the packaging is extremely cute. The eye-shadow pallet has a variety of colors, with which you can complete your look and make yourself look really fresh. The colors are Spring themed, however, I personally think it is really nice to wear something like that to brighten your dull days in winter time. Bless Etude House for these wonderful products that let us look, maybe not exactly like Aphrodite but relatively close 😉 . “On her lovely face, ever smiling, an alluring bloom shimmers” (Hymn to Aphrodite(The Cyprian). Gotta brighten our days with colorful make up, and bright smiles. #winteriscoming.

-Diana, Team Mercury.

I met Aphrodite! OMG


Yesterday I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art to do my paper for Art class. I was so excited and shocked to see all the paintings and statues that we have discussed in class. It almost felt unreal. As I was walking by this statue, I realized it was Aphrodite!!!! We have learned about her in both art and classics. she is a beautiful goddess known for her incredible beauty. And we also have heard her stories in classics. Meeting her was like a dream. She stands alone in the hallways with her own spark and value. I could see people stopping by her and viewing this beautiful body. It looked extremely gorgeous even though its not in well condition anymore. Somethings are just priceless and seem unreal. Fizza saeed, Team Hermes


The Modern Day Struggles of Being Cupid

“Give Me Love” – Ed Sheeran (Music Video)

Screenshot_20171111-173758   Screenshot (74)


Red Line = Orthogonals.    Yellow line = Horizontal Line,    Green Dot = Vanishing Point

While listening to one of Ed Sheeran’s popular song, “Give Me Love,” I noticed that the song’s music video incorporates many elements from our Art and Classics course.

One incredible development during the Renaissance was Brunelleschi’s system of linear perspective. His formation of lines and diagonals enabled artists and architects to manipulate images into the illusion of reality. Space, shape, and size furthered Brunelleschi’s success of recreating life’s visual experiences into a still image. When looking from any individual’s eyes, our surroundings are examples of linear perspective itself.

In the screenshot above, there are qualities of linear perspective that can be identified with the understanding of how the objects and subjects of the video are seen. At a close observation, the overhead lights form orthogonal lines (red lines) of the image. The light beams move towards the middle of the photo, and direct the viewer’s eyes to the vanishing point (green dot) of the picture. The tunnel walls also acts as orthogonal lines. As the bricks of the walls move towards down the tunnel, the lines become more condensed, and create the illusion of space and depth. The light’s reflections and shadows also add a subtle sense of distance, because the light and shadows seem to merge together when approaching the vanishing point. The outline of the concrete ground also acts as an orthogonal line that points to the vanishing point. Though the horizon line (yellow line) is not obvious to the eye, it meets the middle of the image as the plane where it meets the viewer’s eye level. Touching back onto how the still image depicts distance, the figure in the foreground is proportionally smaller in scale due to the distance between the camera and the subject.

Screenshot_20171111-174127      Screenshot_20171111-173907

When directing your focus to the subject, the woman has a pair of cupid wings that is explored through the music video’s plot. The story unravels references to Aphrodite in which we have discussed in Classics class.

In the music video, the main subject is dressed with a pair of wings and holds a bow and arrow. The video’s plot reveals how she takes on the roll as a cupid and shoots others to fall in love with each other. The subject’s act as a cupid relates to Aphrodite’s abilities to cause people to fall in love due to her title of being the Goddess of Love and procreation. The video’s subject’s actions can be compared to the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite where William Blake Tyrrell translates that Aphrodite’s:

clothed in a dress more gleaming than bright fire. Like the moon, it shimmered around her soft breasts, a wonder to behold. She wore coiled bracelets and shining earrings, and beautiful necklaces were about her tender neck, beautiful, golden, glittering (86-90).

Aphrodite’s presence attracts and seduces those around her, and is reflected in Ed Sheeran’s song. In the homeric hymn, Aphrodite is known to be a elegant, lustful, beautiful, and graceful Goddess that is ineffable. Her powers become a strong influence over other people’s actions and emotions, which can overrule their thoughts and morals. The homeric hymn discusses the consequences of love, lies, and sex that Aphrodite is responsible for. However, most references to Aphrodite are usually the immaculate ideals of falling in love and being loved.

Similar to Ed Sheeran’s music video, the presence of the woman shows her duties as a cupid. She travels around the city and uses her power of love to counteract the dark and bleak night. Those alone begin to fall in love with the people around them, however, it juxtaposes the song’s lyrics. The cupid’s inner conflict and idea of love is enhanced by Sheeran’s song, and convey a more obvious result of love that the Homeric Hymn does not quite relate to modern love. Though the central theme of love is carried out by the woman with the white wings, her job as a cupid is not as fantastical as it seems. The subject of the video struggles with finding love herself, and has a inner conflict while she watches her actions help others fall in love. In the last scene of the video, it’s seen that she has stabbed herself with her cupid’s bow in attempt to make her fall in love. Ed Sheeran’s music video and the Homeric hymn portray a large difference in the society of today and the past. Sappho reveals the struggles of being in love, whereas, Ed Sheeran expresses the struggles of finding love.


Vicky Lee, Team Hermes



Aphrodite Card


I took this picture at my work while I was picking the card from the set, and for the first time, I got Aphrodite. When I saw this card it immediately reminded me about Classics because at first that’s my team name, and second that was the first chapter we discussed in class. Aphrodite is a Goddess of beauty and love, and that’s how I always remember about her. On this card, she is described as Inner Beauty, which of course match with her. She was beautiful to that point that everyone wanted to meet with her. She wasn’t loyal to Hephaestus and preferred to spend time with her lover – Ares. Some of the legends even say that prostitutes consider her as their patron, which at some point might be accurate when we think about her. She is also Goddess of war, especially in Sparta. However, beauty and love is her significant sign and that’s how most of the people recognize her.

Edyta, Team Aphrodite

Aphrodite in the Met?




This sculpture was found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. Although it’s not Aphrodite, it reminded me of her. For instance, most sculptures of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, beauty, and desire, are her standing in contrapposto, where her weight is on her right leg and the leg left is slightly bent. The woman in this sculpture is also standing in contrapposto, which indicates that they were both made during or after the Classical Period by the Greeks. The Greeks created naturalistic figures that they felt expressed the true beauty of humans. The sculpture in the photo indicates that she’s making dramatic movements by walking forward by the position of her feet and her arms. Also, by the way that her drape is positioned, the artist could’ve wanted to show that there may have been wind. In contrast, Aphrodite is typically depicted naked. This was common in Greek sculptures because it was considered the most ideal human form. In this quote from the reading Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, it states “Muse, tell me the things done by golden Aphrodite, the one from Cyprus, who arouses sweet desire for gods and who subdues the races of mortal humans.”  This indicates some of the power that this goddess possesses. She would make gods have offspring with humans by making them lose control of themselves. She was considered a symbol of beauty who often showed off her promiscuity to get what she wanted.

-Estrella Roberts, Team Vulcan

Aphrodite the Goddess of Beauty

If you say the name Aphrodite out loudly most people will connect the name to some sort of beauty. Throughout history Aphrodite is explained to be the goddess of beauty and someone who caught the attention of everyone she had encountered. Even though she had many positives physical attributes she was also known for a person that can be deceiving. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite it states “Aphrodite is reduced to the same shameful position as the gods she previously manipulated.” The quote explains how she was tricked into mating with a mortal by Zeus as a punishment for tricking the other gods into mating with humans. The quote shows that she might have been a beautiful person on the outside but she was using her special powers for something that was looked down upon. She ended up losing her special ability and was only limited to cause humans, animals, gods to desire their own kind.

Image result for aphrodite

The image above is one of the few representation of the goddess of beauty, Aphrodite. Aphrodite is located in the center and is standing on a shell in the sea. It is known that Aphrodite emerged from the sea and even her name was originated from the word aphro in Greek meaning foam, referring to the foam of the sea. In the image Aphrodite looks so calm and graceful as many people might imagine. A person with no knowledge of Aphrodite’s history might think she’s very innocent and memorizing. But the Hymn reveals the real truth about how looks can be deceiving and there’s more to a person then they physical attributes.

Naim, Team Vulcan

Strikingly Sexual in a Cemetery?

At Greenwood cemetery, this particular sculpture reminded me of the canon- the naked idealized human form. The Doryphoros is what initially comes to mind . The sculpture is solid and there is great attention to detail the physique. It demonstrates the perfect, ideal beauty of the human body; this is also referencing to the canon- which is the idealized perfect human form.  The posture alludes to contrapposto and there is a  sense of movement in addition to the extreme focus on the physiognomy of the body.  Movement and life is portrayed as the angel is rising up, similar to how Nike of Samothrace portrayed a wind swept energy giving off motion in correspondence to natural forces. She seemed as if she was in the midst of taking flight with the natural winds pushing against her clothes, just how the fabric on the angel is wrapped around his navel and flailing downward- in opposition to him  moving upwards. And if i remember correctly this sculpture was made of bronze as many Greek sculptures were also made out of bronze and this is a grave marker similar to how people of high rank in the Greek society also had sculptures as grave markers . The covering of the naval shows how this sculpture differs from the Greek counterpart as the celebrated every part of the male body and didn’t particularly feel the need to cover the masculinity as it has been here. The sculpture has a raw godlike beauty that can only allude to Aphrodite. Although Aphrodite isn’t being depicted herself, the presence of enchanting beauty does represent what she is capable of , what she stands for, and what pleases her. “What does please her is…splendid pieces of craftsmanship. For she was the first to teach mortal humans to be craftsmen…”. (Homeric Hymn Nagy, lines 10-15). This quote particularly stood out to me because it explains how mortals wouldn’t ever be capable of creating something of such beauty if Aphrodite had not taught them craftsmanship.   We can understand that Aphrodite is lover of all things beautiful and decorative, this sculpture has a decorative quality of being a bronze grave marker. The figure is reaching up, perhaps reaching out for Aphrodite, acknowledging her divinity  for its own beauty. The nakedness of the sculpture also references to Aphrodite’s sexual appeal to everyone. The sculpture is a combination of extreme masculinity, divinity and partial nudity; which move towards sexual appeal and desires; and those are all characteristics of Aphrodite and; in retrospect to the Ancient Greek ideology, are only possible because of Aphrodite.


The first image was taken by me at Greenwood Cemetery.


Suman, Team Hephaestus

Aphrodite, Worshiped By All


“Then the kharites bathed her and anointed her with oil…then she wrapped all her beautiful clothes around her skin. She was decked out in gold, Aphrodite, lover of smiles”. – Sapphos’ Hymn to Aphrodite, lines 62-65

Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility, is described as beautiful and charming to all that meet her in the book of Greek myths that I found at the Kings Highway library. As I already know from class, Aphrodite had her own sanctuary where her attendants would dress and bathe her. This is the scene depicted by Sapphos in lines 61-65 in her Hymn to Aphrodite. She paints a picture of a gorgeous young woman wearing her finest clothes. This is exactly how the library book presents Aphrodite. As shown in the picture, Aphrodite arrives at her sanctuary to see the three muses, who are her attendants, waiting for her. Aphrodite appears graceful, with not not a strand of her long hair out of place, even with having traveled miles over the ocean to get there. Additionally, another goddess can be seen in the back, blowing wind on the ocean to help Aphrodite travel. A carriage awaits her on land, pulled by swans so that Aphrodite doesn’t even have to walk to her sanctuary. Both Sapphos and the book depict Aphrodite as a beautiful goddess who was taken care of by her servants. However, the book does depict Aphrodite as more loving, caring, and naive, while in the Hymn, we know that Aphrodite is getting ready to trick the man she likes into sleeping with her. While the Hymn has no problem revealing Aphrodite’s true intentions, the book depicts her as an innocent goddess, which she was far from. I believe this is because the book was targeted at a young audience, unlike the Hymn.

Elene T., Team Mars

The Apple of Everyone’s Eye

apple aphrodite

My family and I went apple and pumpkin picking this weekend and it made me think of Aphrodite. In Olympus she surely caught everyone’s eye and on earth she had little trouble seducing mortal men. Being the goddess of love, beauty and marriage she was pretty irresistible and tempting much like this tasty looking apple.

The apple symbolizes Aphrodite because it is considered an elegant fruit and is often associated with temptation. Aphrodite was very promiscuous and was even caught cheating on her husband Hephaestus, god of the blacksmith, with Ares, god of war, which created a big scandal according to myth. “…she sat in her rooms as Ares strode right in and grasped her hand with a warm, seductive urging: Quick, my darling, come, let’s go to bed and lose ourselves in love! Your husband’s away–,” found in the The Song of Demodocus (lines 329-332). This song is found in the epic , The Odyssey, and is about such affair and how Hephaestus exposed it.

Aphrodite being represented by an apple, which is considered to be a seductive fruit can be rightfully justified by the story told in The Song of Demodocus because she seduced Ares while being married to the smith god and even bore his children. However, Aphrodite’s elegance (like the apples) was not shown in this song because she is being humiliated in front of the gods and is called a “shameless bitch,” (line 362) which is the opposite of elegance.

Luisa Reynoso, Team Hermes

A Beautiful Figure at a Beautiful Location

20170903_161112.jpg      Image result for statues in fountain at grand army plaza brooklyn women

This is an Aphrodite-like figure that can be found at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. She is not Aphrodite herself but she is a pretty women whom reminded me of Aphrodite. In these pictures we can see the figures back to back and one can tell they a very influenced by the classical period design. Both the figures are in contropasto meaning that their weight is on one leg both figures have their hips tilted slightly. This is very similar to the classical Greek statues in the style and the fact that these statues are made out of bronze too. One can very clearly see that this sculpture was looking to the Geeks for inspiration. However there are some slight differences that statues are not as ideal as the Greeks had. The women’s face in particular seems to be a little small for her body making her per-potion off; the Greeks did love their per-potions. Also they’re emotions don’t seem as expressive they have a very clam expression unlike one figure, The Dying Gaul, in ancient Greece, which has a lot of expression in his face. Other then that they are very similar to ancient Greece.  The photo to the left is the one I took I just added the one to the right for a different point of view. In the photos we can assume that the women has Aphrodite-like tendencies because she is very beautiful and naked; she also has a look in her eye like she is the goddess of love and fertility. A quote from Gregory Nagy’s translation of Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite that goes well with these photos is,” a chance to gloat at all the other gods, with her sweet laughter, Aphrodite, lover of smiles, boasting that she can make the gods sleep with mortal women,” (Nagy 47-50). This is depicting Aphrodite as a goddess who loves to seduce men and she will get her way. She is a beautiful powerful women who is proud when she can get a powerful god to sleep with a mere mortal women. The picture and text both depict that she is proud and a powerful lover. In the picture in her eyes one can see the pure power as she glances at the man next to her perhaps thinking of ways to seduce him. This figure in the fountain is finding her inner Aphrodite to conquer and gloat to this man. One the other hand they differ because in the text it is actually Aphrodite and she has already conquered Zeus while the figure in an Aphrodite like figure and she seems to be on her way to conquering the man. Also we don’t know if she has that thought for sure because she isn’t specified as Aphrodite in this fountain she just has some similar traits.  This art work relates back to the classical ideas because Aphrodite was the goddess of love she was often portrayed naked and seeing as the figure above is naked and many statues are naked it is easy to draw the connection from the culture to the art work. –Emma

Center of Attention

“Muse, tell me the things done by the golden Aphrodite, the one from Cyprus, who arouses sweet desire for gods and who subdues the races of mortal humans, and birds as well, who fly the sky, as well as all beasts – all those that grow on both dry land and the sea.”

This quote is enough to tell you that Aphrodite is the goddess of love, affection, fondness. A goddess that can even make the other gods/goddesses fall for another, even a mortal. Alongside that she would be called the goddess of beauty as no other can match her looks.  Passing through Flatbush (specific location including in the above images) , I found a statue of two beautiful woman carrying fruits of sorts. My reasoning for picking this statue of all the others out there? Well ironically enough this statue is centered between two beauty-esque departments. One is a tooth whitening clinic and the other a cosmetic clinic. Both these are things you go to improve your own appearance. Not only that but the appearance of the two women are of a “ideal” appearance (also known as the canon) as they would have in the classical era. In fact, it also includes other things that the classical period introduced such as contrapposto or the mid action pose. Even the style of clothing mimics that of the classical and Hellenistic era, as it has the appearance of wet drapery; which can also be found within the “Nike (Winged Victory) of Samothrace, and more apparent within the “Three Goddesses from east pediment of Parthenon”. The other reason this statue makes me think of Aphrodite is the nudity one of the women presents. While it was not seen as appropriate to sculpt a woman nude within the classical era, there is an introduction of the nude female form in the Hellenistic period, one of the first few examples being Aphrodite in “Aphrodite of Knidos”, although even then it was seen as disrespectful and immodest to do sculpt a woman in such a way which would be the difference between this statue and the statues you may find of other women in the older times. Although one thing I can say for certain is that the way this piece was placed definitely makes the the center of attention.

The Undying Image of Beauty


In the song of Demodocus, Aphrodite is a symbol of love and beauty. She has an affair with Ares because she is just to beautiful to resist. Two of the gods are fighting over her love, she is the most beautiful person they have ever seen, men fall to their knees for her.  When Apollo asked quicksilver if he’d like to bed Aphrodite, he wanted to very badly, on page 4, he said he’d “love to bed that golden Aphrodite!”. She is depicted as golden because, she is perfection in everyones eyes. She is known to be irresistible for many people and thats why the affair with Ares is the main part of the story.
Many people made statues of Aphrodite, and worshiped her for her beauty. Many statues depicted her naked or with tight draping. This was because everyone desired her and she was a depiction of natural beauty. Aphrodite is still a very prominent symbol for natural beauty. There are even stories of people falling in love with the statues of Aphrodite, thats how beautiful she was.
Today Aphrodite is still a very prominent depiction of beauty, for example there is a store called the Aphrodite skin care in New York City. The reason why it is called that, is because Aphrodite was so beautiful that people still see her as a symbol of natural beauty. So a skin care company with the name Aphrodite is a very clever name because it reminds you of Aphrodite beauty and her flawless complexion. There are so many hair salons and spas that are named after Aphrodite. Even today you can find statues of Aphrodite around the city and many people still see her as a big image for beauty products and stores.

  • Aiden Ferris


Belongs In The Trash?


I found this picture on Google, and I was taken aback from this, I had to share. This was taken on Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, and as you can see, this statue was thrown in the TRASH! What even, who does that?! This isn’t some random everyday object that one can just throw out. It is an object that has some historical significance. The way the elegant statue sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the trash is just too weird. Why would one just throw something like this? I am honestly quite surprised that no one has stolen this unattended statue. This completely contradicts the beauty of Aphrodite. This displays Aphrodite as some worthless garbage, just as replaceable as the rest of the mass of plastic, food, and commercial products. On the hymn, she is described as being elegant, and worthy of admiration, as seen in lines 161-163, “When he entered the bed, he took off the jewels off her body, the curved brooches, and earrings, and necklaces”. This delicate woman, someone who one should be tender to when having intercourse with, should be treated with fragility. But then, we see, in this photo, her being thrown away like trash. One can attribute this to a real life experience today, one of where a partner simply throws away their significant other, as if they were just trash. These juxtapositions serve to teach us that Aphrodite has been treated two completely different ways.

Aphrodite for Children

IMG_20170911_154838I found this book at the Strand bookstore in Manhattan. It’s part of a children’s series called Goddess Girls, retelling classic Greek mythology with the gods and goddesses as teenage students attending Mount Olympus Academy. The cover shows Aphrodite (center) displeased with Ares’ sister Eris (left) for ruining the birthday party that Aphrodite threw for Ares (right).

The image on the cover has Aphrodite surrounded by a subtle golden glow to demonstrate her divinity and beauty. This reminded me of how both the Song of Demodocus and the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite call her “golden Aphrodite,” multiple times each.

“…how would you like to bed the golden Aphrodite?” Song of Demodocus, line 380

“…I’d love to bed that golden Aphrodite!” Song of Demodocus, line 384

“”Muse, tell me the things done by golden Aphrodite…” Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (Nagy translation), line 1

“For she [Athena] takes no pleasure in the things done by golden Aphrodite.” Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (Nagy translation), line 9

“Hail, my Lady, you who come here to this home, whichever of the blessed ones you are, Artemis or Leto or golden Aphrodite…” Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (Nagy translation), line 91-94

This image and these quotations show how Aphrodite was thought to be so beautiful that she could only be compared to something incredibly valuable and aesthetically pleasing, like gold.

I also found it interesting to note that this version of Aphrodite is depicted as younger than usual, like it says she appeared to Anchises:

“She stood before him, the daughter of Zeus, Aphrodite, looking like an unwed maiden in size and length and appearance.” Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite (Nagy translation), line 82

As the Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite is imagined as young, beautiful, and desirable. The image on the cover of this book shows her with the usual default of Western beauty ideals: curly blonde hair, big blue eyes, and a tiny waist. Compare her for a moment to the other female character on the cover. Eris, the antagonist for this novel, is the exact opposite of these marks of Aphrodite’s beauty. She has straight dark hair, dark eyes, and definitely no golden glow; instead, she lurks in the corners and the shadows. Even their outfits are designed to show Aphrodite’s typical femininity; her chiton is pink and flowing softly, compared to Eris’ darker outfit with its jagged folds. This teenaged Aphrodite is portrayed as the cliché of a “girly-girl.” Although this is by no means the definitive image of beauty, it is often associated with feminine attraction and vulnerability.

But Aphrodite is not only a passive good-looking onlooker. In the Homeric hymn’s narrative, Aphrodite initiates the story by making Zeus love mortal women. His response to her behavior sets off the chain of events told in the hymn. The first step was Aphrodite’s.

Aphrodite fills a double role as both seductress and victim to Zeus’ plot in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, and as adulteress and laughingstock in the Song of Demodocus. She’s both sides of the coin of womanhood, guilty and innocent, blamed and accuser. Even as she is portrayed with the “girls wear pink” mentality, she is the main character of her own story and her actions determine the plot, without having her hide behind Ares or some other male hero figure.

Chaya, team Venus

Aphrodite v. Mermaid


Taken during a walk in the neighborhood (09.2017)

I found this image interesting because it was a lamppost with mermaid sculptures. Whenever I think of mermaids, the first thing that always comes to mind is how the Sirens would seduce sailors nearby by enchanting them with their beauty or songs. In a sense, it reminded me of Aphrodite because of the way the mermaids seduced the sailors. “As for all the rest, there is nothing that has escaped Aphrodite: none of the blessed gods nor any of mortal humans.” (Line 34-35, Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite) Similar to the mermaids, despite a few exceptions, many people have fallen to the temptation of Aphrodite. Her seduction was very influential to men to the extent she was very aware and confident in her own seduction. Aphrodite is known as the goddess of love, beauty and sensuality. After doing some research, I came upon a story about the original mermaid. Her name was Atargatis, a Syrian goddess. She was not always a mermaid, but because of her beauty, she was not able to fully transform into a fish, so her top half remained human, and her bottom half turned into a fish. This was the original story of mermaids, but as time passed, Atargatis’ story was merging with the mythology of Ashtarte, an ancient Semitic goddess of love and war. Ashtarte was considered to be the complement of Aphrodite because they were both goddess of love that were considered to be very beautiful. However, because of the changes in mermaid mythology, Aphrodite ended up having a large role in the story of Pisces. When she and her son were facing the monster Typhon, they were aided by two fish that helped them escape to safety. However, there are differences between mermaids and Aphrodite due to the origin of mythology and story of each. They may have similar seduction methods, but they’re two completely different things. One is half-fish, and the other is a goddess.

– Rebecca, Team Jupiter


Aphrodite and her Body 

This is a photo of a marble sculpture of Aphrodite, taken at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. As you can see this sculpture incorporates a lot of the cultural aesthetics which was common place for that particular time period. At first glance the sculpture’s attire appears to be very thin. The way the fabric drapes on her, reveals the voluptuousness of her body.

“Archer, bind me down with triple those endless chains!

Let all you gods look on, and all you goddesses toohow

I’d love to bed that golden Aphrodite!”

This quote was said in ’The Song of Demodocus’ a little while after Aphrodite was caught up in a sexual bind with the god of war, Ares. The fact that someone is making sexual jokes about Aphrodite, conveys the message that she was a laughingstock amongst the other god. After all, this should really be no surprise to anyone being that she is the goddess of love, pleasure,and procreation. Also, there is something about her beauty that compelled everyone to covet her. When looking at this as a whole, this is who Aphrodite is. She is a beautiful goddess that unintentionally calls for the attention of others and while doing so, she indulged in many sexual relations that resulted in her breaking the heart of the one she pledge commitment to, which was her husband Hephaestus. That sort of behavior goes to show that the goddess Aphrodite was not perfect. She had urges and temptations that she gave in to, she indulged in things that she wasn’t supposed to, and in the process she hurt someone emotionally. Aphrodite was not like any ideal goddess. #Aphrodite #CLAS1 #SeeninNYC

Hair vs. Horse

FullSizeRender(2)  Translating from different languages can be very difficult. Even after studying French for years, I still make small mistakes that can take on a whole new meaning. While practicing on the app duolingo, I translated this whole sentence incorrectly because I misread the “e” in cheveux as an “a”. This changed the word “hair” into the french word for horses. The word for greasy and for fat is the same, “gras”, depending on its use. Learning a new language is difficult due to all the words that are spelled the same or very similar but have completely different meanings. English also has plenty of words like that, homographs. Due to all the differences within a language, getting a perfect translation with the exact original meaning is near impossible.

In the reading of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, line 44 for both translations, Hera is described as “one who knows prudence” by Tyrrell, but in the Nagy translation she is described as “one who knows the ways of affection.” The word choice here may seem insignificant but they do convey a different message. Calling her prudent describes Hera more as a cautious or wise person while the latter seems to take away from her having good sense and just paints her as a wife. Another simple change in words in in line 144 where Anchises is “seized with love” in the Nagy translation while only “passion seized Anchises” in the Tyrrell translation. Yet again it is a very small almost imperceptible difference, but it conveys the message that he is only feeling a physical reaction than actual love in the second translation.

Every translator has their own perception of the story and will influence it by their thought process, although translating will never be perfect, it is necessary to understand people from all around the world and can unite cultures which, at first glance, appear completely diametrically opposed.

Aphrodite’s Glittering Bod

Among the legends of the gods and goddesses, Aphrodite is a very popular figure among them, one of the reasons for this is because she is the epitome of love and beauty and while I was reading the Hymn to Aphrodite by Homer, I deducted why her titles were connected, why she was known as not only the goddess of love, but also the goddess of beauty and fertility. In lines 58 to 92 of the Hymn to Aphrodite, the goddess was at her beloved temple in Cyprus where she was “anointed with oil” and “decked in gold”, all done in preparation for Anchises. This ritual that Aphrodite performed was simply a beauty ritual done in order to catch the heart of the mortal man, Anchises. After she conducted her ritual and approached the man of her interests, he was “filled with wonder as he took note of her appearance” which also caused him to be “seized with love” for her. After their initial introduction, they then proceeded to consummate their new found love of each other. The results, the birth of a son by the name of Aeneas.

While I was searching for an image that best summarizes how I feel about Aphrodite’s beauty, I found an image of a nail polish with a shade named after Aphrodite herself. Now, when we think about Aphrodite, some of the first things that come to mind would be of course her beauty and affinity for love, well duh, that’s because she’s the goddess of love and beauty. However, this relates to my chosen image because, when we think of love, often times beauty is not too far behind. As humans we are naturally social creatures, and as such we often spend our life time searching for someone to share our lives with. This being one of the most important occasion of our lives, many times we are groomed from birth to find that special someone. Some of the ways we are groomed to find this special someone is with the emphasis on beauty, wealth, and knowledge in our upbringings. However, the main focus is on beauty, women achieve it through multiple methods, one of them being the occasional visit to the nail salon. The idea of a woman going to a nail salon to me summarizes Aphrodite’s beauty regimen of wanting to look her best in order for her to catch the attention of Anchises.



The Modern Version of Aphrodite

Marilyn Monroe has been idolized for several decades, her photographs hanging almost everywhere for people to adorn. As an American actress, she was able to easily grab the attention of everyone across the nation. At work, I had a task to complete which required a trip to the basement, this is where I spotted a photo of Marilyn Monroe which had always been hanging there. She was a fashion icon who represented love and beauty, similar to the Greek Goddess Aphrodite. In fact,Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, and Marilyn Monroe on the other hand, symbolized sex. The goddess of Aphrodite was known to have many different lovers, and Marilyn Monroe, being a celebrity was rumored to have many partners, their names being disclosed. Although Marilyn’s ‘lovers’ were hidden most of the time, she was adored by men all over the world, her photographs on the internet, magazines and hanging in many places. Both are well known for being beautiful and remained iconic throughout the years.

A quote that seems to characterize Aphrodite reads “When Aphrodite, Lover of smiles, saw him, she fell in love with him. A terrible desire seized in her phrenes” This quote is from line 56 of the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. This described the moment when Aphrodite noticed Anchises and fell in love with him. This quote helps the reader visualize and clearly comprehend what kind of goddess Aphrodite was and how falling in love with someone can easily trigger her emotions. This characterizes her as a goddess who can fall in love, thus the goddess of love and beauty.

#aphrodite #CLAS1 #seeninNYC




Aphrodite and her play on hearts!

Aphrodite the goddess of love and beauty. Struck souls of mortal men, animals of any kind, and even the almighty gods. The boasting and gloating of how she was never with a mortal man drove Zeus mad. Zeus was tired of Aphrodite playing with everyone’s heads and hearts. Causing them to make the mistakes of being with mortals and straying away from being from their own kind.

“But even upon her [Aphrodite] Zeus put sweet desire in her thûmos * 10
—desire to make love to a mortal man, so that
not even she may go without mortal lovemaking
and get a chance to gloat at all the other gods,
with her sweet laughter, Aphrodite, lover of smiles,
boasting that she can make the gods sleep with mortal women,
who then bear mortal sons to immortal fathers,
and how she can make the goddesses sleep with mortal men.”

The photo of the shirts was taken at a store in manhattan in which I shop at, Dover street market on the 5th floor . The t shirts of comme des garson have eyes and it was with gazing upon  Anchises That aphrodites heart felt love for a mortal man. One that was hurting cattle. The hearts on the shirts I thought directly correlated with that quote and the revenge sought upon Aphrodite by Zeus. He had put sweet desire into Aphrodite. Making her heart fall in love with the mortal man she saw. The eyes of desire from her heart would make her just the same as all the other gods. It served Aphrodite right to be taught a lesson for all the times she’s played with the emotions of gods and even the greatest of minds Zeus.  Once Aphrodite was on the same level as the rest of the gods. She lost her ability to play with their minds and love mortals. #Aphrodite #Clas1 #SeeninNYC

Aphrodite Everywhere

FateMuse, tell me the things done by golden Aphrodite, the one from Cyphrus, who arouses sweet desire for the gods, and who subdues the races of mortal humans.

Homeric Hymm to Ahprodite l. 1-3

The starbucks mermaid is a refernce to the origins of Aphrodite or at least one version of her birth. One version is that she is a daughter of Zeus. Another is ththat she was born from the foam of the sea that was made when Kronos mutalited his father Uranus, and throwing the bits into the sea making sea foam. When she came out the nymphs bathed her and dressed her in fine clothes making her all the more resplendent in her beauty. Additionally she was also known as Lady Cyphrus as that is considered sacred to her and that is an island in the sea. Ahprodite is also known to beguile mortals with her beauty and while this doesn’t exactly beguile lesser mortals into doing what she wishes she is a sign to get good coffee promising people that it is worth the slightly more expensive prices.

The hymn refers to her beauty, a beauty which leads her to be vain. A vanity which led to the Trojan War. Aphrodite has a deadly beauty which bewitches the Olympian Gods themselves as well as mortal men. The first line of the hymn is tell me the things done by this golden but terrible goddess which implies that she is not all that benevolent, in fact examples of her anger can be seen throughout the many Greek Myths. Her jealousy towards her eventual daughter-in-law Psyche, her role in the Trojan war, and her affair with Ares due to her vanity behind her husband’s back are just some. It’s one of the differences between the Starbucks mermaid and the actual goddess of the myths. The Starbucks mermaid is simply a benign symbol that gets people to spend more on coffee aside from being a commercial mascot that represents a brand. The goddess of the myth is a whimsical, somewhat sinister being that gets her enjoyment from twisting around god and mortal.

*I had trouble trying to set a picture here so the picture of the starbucks logo that is above the post is the one I’m referencing to.

Fatema Islam
Team Jupiter

The Dove in Aphrodite


As I strolled past the aisles of my local pharmacy, I glanced at a symbol of a dove on the “Dove” soap brand. This instantly reminded of Aphrodite because it is one of her many motifs in Greek mythology. Like the goddesss, the dove symbolizes love and romance. It represents optimism with its spirituality and sends a message of life, hope, renewal and peace. The quote I chose is from Sappho’s hymn to Aphrodite, translated by Vaniver. “Then return, as once you left your father’s Golden house; you yoked to your shining car your wing-whirring sparrows; skimming down the paths of the sky’s bright ether on they brought you over the world’s black bosom, swiftly, then you stood with sudden brilliance”(Vaniver translation, lines 5-9). As interpreted by the quote, the dove enlightens Aphrodite and gives her a form of “sudden brilliance.” It is no wonder why the dove is so sacred to her. This quote accurately characterizes Aphrodite in a way that indicates her power in love. This is evident because Sappho is creating an intervention scene by asking her to assist her with her pursuit of love.

This quote gives meaning to the symbol of a dove because a dove embodies divinity, representing the form of a goddess in nature. For example, their coos are testimony to their divinely-calming presence among us. Furthermore, their messages are known to soothe and quiet human thoughts. The dove’s greatest contrast with Aphrodite, however, is that it is full of peace and thus strives in its non-troubled nature. The aforementioned quote reveals Aphrodite as having a troubled nature because of her irresolution in love. She is who looks upon the “wing-whirring sparrows” for strength.

#Aphrodite #CLAS1 #SeeninNYC

Golden Aphrodite

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Photo taken at Grand Central Library.
Quote taken from Song of Demodocus.

“So he pressed and her heart raced with joy to sleep with War and off they went to bed and down they lay…”

The carving on the entrance of Grand Central Library portrays Aphrodite as an image of beauty; long gorgeous hair and rising out of water as her Seafoam origin story would imply. She is literally golden and is meant to be an object of admiration. The image complements her reputation as the adored goddess of love and beauty.

The quote from the Song of Demodocus however, gives an alternate portrayal of the deity. Rather than being admired, Aphrodite is ridiculed for an act of adultery by the other gods. She is caught in a less than graceful position and suffers humiliation at the hand of her husband Hephaestus. It is revealed that the goddess of love, ironically, had no love for her husband and would much rather offer her affection to the god of war, Ares. Which in my opinion is also very ironic.

It seems to me that the two different portrayals come from two different places. The “perfect” Aphrodite is the image that is displayed for mortals, while the gods are well aware of Aphrodite’s less-than-perfect nature. After reading the hymns and plays I think it’s safe to say that none of the gods are worthy of the extremely high pedestals people at the time had put them on. However, people who don’t take Classics probably wouldn’t know of Aphrodite’s multiple affairs and acts of trickery. Despite not truly deserving the title, I think she’ll remain the Golden Aphrodite for a very long time.

-Carrissa, Team Hestia

Don’t Sleep On Aphrodite


While searching on zazzle.com, I came across several every day items that had depicted the goddess, Aphrodite. The image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, that is used on the throw pillow was originally a painting by Sandro Boticelli identified as the “Birth of Venus (Aphrodite).” The theme of the Birth of Venus (Aphrodite) was taken from the writings of the ancient poet, Homer. According to the traditional account, after the birth of Aphrodite, she rode on a seashell and sea foam to the island of Cythera. In the painting, Aphrodite is prominently depicted in the center, born out of the foam as she rides to shore- making her the focal point of the painting.

Aphrodite is the focal point of the painting, not only because of how she is in the center of the painting, but also because of her nudity. Although she is the goddess of beauty and love, she is also the goddess of fertility, which relates to sexuality. In the Hymn to Aphrodite, Aphrodite uses her sexual power for evil by making the other gods lose control over their sexual nature, and ultimately forcing them to have mortal offspring. Zeus becomes furious with this and gives Aphrodite a taste of her own medicine by making her fall in love with a human man. By doing this, Aphrodite is shamed into being like the other gods she manipulated and ultimately losing her power over the gods to force mating with humans.

Both in the painting and in the Hymn to Aphrodite, Aphrodite is depicted as a powerful being. Her power is shown in the painting by her being the focal point of the image: everyone is mesmerized by her beauty and can not keep their eyes off of her. Her nudity also shows that she is powerful because of how women in that time were only shown with drapery covering their bodies. In the Hymn to Aphrodite, Aphrodite is also shown as very powerful because of how she has control over not only mortals BUT also the gods. On line 30, Aphrodite’s power is shown when it states “She is seated in the middle of the house, getting the richest portion. And in all the temples of the gods she has a share in the time. Among all the mortals, she is the senior goddess.” By her getting the “richest portion” and being the “senior goddess” it shows that Aphrodite was a pretty big deal in society. In the end of the hymn, she ultimately loses her privileges in controlling the gods which demotes her and her powers- making her not as powerful as she once was.

“Then, Everything Changed When the Fire Nation Attacked. You will Learn Respect, and Suffering Will be Your Teacher.”


Television Show: Avatar, The Last Airbender

Season and Episode: Season 1, Episode 12 “The Storm”

Character Focus: Prince Zuko, his father, Fire Lord Ozai and his sister, Princess Azula.

In Relation To: Medea.

Show Description: This is an animation televised on the Nickelodeon Network based around a fictional world where the planet is divided into four nations, each with special earth aligning abilities. It is divided between the Fire Nation, the Water Nation, the Earth Nation and the Air Nation, all with people that are given special ‘bending’ abilities allowing them to control the elements of their alignment. The Avatar can control all elements. The Fire Nation believes that they should be in complete control and they decide to try to wipe out and take control of every other nation because they believe that they are superior. The show focuses on the protagonist, the Young Avatar, Aang and his journey to save the world with his friends along with the parallel story of Prince Zuko, the young teenager that tries to defeat the Avatar because his father has convinced him that it’s the only way to restore his honor, after her banishes him.

Episode Description: In this particular episode of the first season, “The Storm”, there is a terrible storm that has hit and it is a pivotal episode because this storm triggers flashbacks for both Aang and Zuko, both enemies from the beginning with parallel stories of abandonment and  purpose. Aang’s flashbacks make him feel guilty about running away and neglecting the responsibilities of being an Avatar for one hundred years, causing the Fire Nation to start and win the war; while Zuko’s flashbacks are of his father punishing him for speaking out against his grandfather in the father’s room and presence. He punishes Zuko by forcing a father and son duel, Zuko refuses to fight and Ozai permanently scorches and scars his eyes with fire and banishes him from the kingdom.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender” has always had underlying themes of war scattered throughout every episode and every setting that the characters ever dwell in. It’s in the dialogue, the setting and also laced heavily in flashbacks. One character in this episode says, “I guess I might have just imagined the last one hundred years of wars and suffering.” This particular episode was an episode that dealt with a lot of flashbacks, so the audience got to peer into the dynamics of the start of the war, and the people that controlled the war, not just the people on the receiving end. Looking at the dynamic of the Fire Nation, it is very similar to European Imperialism and it is showed in the imagery and setting throughout the entire show, like a divided a world in the title sequence and the Fire Nation flag hanging over other nations as a sign of conquer. They both deal with a world power wanting to dominate weaker nations to benefit off of them and remain the most powerful. It shows how a need for a resource can turn into greed at any moment and that when a little taste of victory is won, it is very easy for a nation to become power hungry.

The effects of imperialism still exist strongly within the world today, and now the goal is to subtly maintain power in the world. America has rose as a nation and unfortunately to stay on the top of the world, the requirements are to maintain some control over the rest of the world, whether it be military bases, territories or the media. As someone that grew up on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad and Tobago, I always watched American television. It was what was shown in nearly every household in my country, even American news would talk priority over the news of my own country. American media circulates the world and I think that shows a very subtle bit of power that is injected into multiple countries so that the world, whether consciously or subconsciously, engages and submits to American culture, standards and social norms.

Besides the global issues, the ideas of domestic violence has always been a struggle that society has had to deal with as a whole. Each nation throughout time has had to deal with the problems of domestic violence within the individual home and the problems of abuse, neglect and revenge. There’s often been so many instances where parents have taken out their stress and feelings of anger on children, minds that aren’t fully develop enough yet to deal with the wrath of an angry parent.

In ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender” in this specific scene that I am focusing on, Prince Zuko has spoken out to his grandpa in his father’s war room.  Prince Zuko’s father is the son of the fascist man that started the war with the other nations. I would even go so far as to comparing Fire Lord Sozin, (Zuko’s grandfather) to Hitler, it would not be surprised if the attitude of that character was modeled after any fascist ruler. In the war room, Fire Lord Sozin was speaking about using an entire faction of new soldiers in his troops as a decoy to distract an enemy while the more experienced soldiers snuck in from the rear. Prince Zuko spoke out against his grandfather and said that to sacrifice all of the new soldiers on the front lines without their knowledge is an act of betrayal. It was true what he said, and it showed that Zuko, even as a kid, understood empathy, a very important characteristic of his, extremely important to his growth in the show. Zuko’s grandfather and father were disrespected and so his father challenged him to a fight where Zuko refused to fight the man that created him. Before burning Zuko’s eye, his father says, “You will learn respect, and suffering will be your teacher.” It’s something that even my father says to me now, the idea of learning from experiences that you’re told will be painful. But not everyone experiences life the same way, and suffering is not always the teacher, nor does it mean that it’s the parents job to inflict suffering on a child just because they were taught harshly by their reality.

The troubles that must come mentally with being a fascist ruler is grand, and to take that out on your son is terrible. Ozai permanently scarred Zuko’s eye and banished him from the kingdom, sending him on what he thought was an impossible mission, awaiting his failure. While this happens, Zuko’s sister, Azula watches on with a sick smile on her face, stifling a laugh. Similarly, Medea has taken out her vengeance with her husband on her kids. After committing the act of murder on multiple people around her, she has finally indulged in the ultimate act of revenge, killing her own children. Like Azula, Medea has no sense of remorse or human feelings of regret and empathy.

Children are developing seeds that need to be nourished and filled with vitamins, not hatred. Children are not born with feelings of animosity in their hearts and are so symbolic of innocence. Her act of killing them extended beyond revenge, it turned into self-hatred, like Zuko’s father let his own cruelty poison his child.  She let the hate turn her heart so cold that she could not see the beauty in her own products, only the side of them that she didn’t want to see and the pain that she knew it would cause their father. Madea, like Ozai, did not care about the outcome of the child. She did not care about their futures, or the fact that they were kids. No matter what, a parent should never take out their anger on a child, especially if the situation that caused the anger was not directly inflicted by that child, whether that be in fiction or modern day. Children now still deal with the issues of a parent’s misdirected anger and it’s the leading cause of child depression and child abuse. It can cause much more harm to a child because their brains cannot fully make sense of things, only the idea of hatred that they’ve put onto themselves. They begin to blame themselves for the way that their parent has treated them. Their ideas of love become warped and they’ve lost a sense of their innocence because it is robbed by a selfish adult that has experienced hardship and decides to inflict that hardship on a child and possibly ruin a portion of that child’s life, or his/her life forever.


#Medea #TheLastAirbender #CLAS2 #TEAMAPHRODITE #Longlongagoandfarfaraway #Elsewhere #Euripides #Euripides’Medea

The Blue Aphrodite

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This is an image I captured at the Brooklyn Museum of the Statuette of Aphrodite Anadyomene. As is displayed in this statuette, quite often Aphrodite is rendered ringing out her wet hair indicating that she was recently risen or been born out of the sea. There is also a minute amount of foam or waves from the sea on her left (our right) leg which clarifies the mythological scene in which this statuette is depicting. It is much smaller than other historical statuettes of Aphrodite which I have seen at the MET that are larger than I am. Rather, this statuette is 14 3/16 x Diam. 4 1/4 in. (36 x 10.8 cm) which is a little taller than a tall Starbucks cup. It is a little luminous as other traditional marble statues of Aphrodite are matte. Aphrodite is in an elegant contrapposto as she stands relaxed with her weight on her left leg, capable of moving. The blue color of the statuette may possibly be a form of verification of Aphrodite’s water birth or it may be that faience (a combination of  ground quartz with a mixture of alkali) was the only available medium for the Egyptians in the late second century B.C.E.. Yes, Greek mythology, in this case the orality of Aphrodite’s birth traveled all the way to ancient Egypt during the Greek Hellenistic period in Egypt / the Ptolemaic Period. This trade clearly had an influence on the Egyptians art and culture.

Aphrodite is translated from Greek to literally mean “foam-born” from the term aphros and as was previously mentioned, that is how she is shown in the statuette. However in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite she is referred to as, “‘.. Aphrodite, daughter of Zeus’”(Nagy, Line 107), “Zeus’s daughter Aphrodite” (Tyrell, Line 108). Thus, another myth of how she came into existence was by means of the ruler or supreme God Zeus which is a grand contrast from her depiction in the statuette. Born from a God versus born from the water. Her physical attributes are described in detail on various occasions as well. One such description is as follows, ““She clothed her body in beautiful garments. Dressed in gold …and glittering clothes. She was clothed in a dress more gleaming than bright fire…She wore coiled bracelets and shining earrings, and beautiful necklaces were about her tender neck, beautiful, golden, glittering” (Tyrell 64-65, 85-86,88-90). In the Poochigian’s translation of Sappho, ‘Hymn to Aphrodite’ the first description of her is “Subtly bedizened Aphrodite” (Poochigian, Line 1). These physical details makes one form a mental illustration of a woman with a sparkling dress adorned with many pieces of jewelry, contrary to the Statuette of Aphrodite Anadyomene where she is in the nude without a single article of clothing or dazzling pieces of jewelry. 


The One and Only

In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was seen as a Goddess who had but one purpose, and her purpose was to make love. The Horae welcomed her, and adorned her with the finest gold, ornaments, and cloth. I remember a song that came out back in 2013 called “Dark Horse” by the singer Katy Perry. In her song, she sort of hints to her lover that she has the power to do just about anything and everything, just like Aphrodite did (when it came to love). In her song, she says “Make me your Aphrodite, Make me your one and only, But don’t make me your enemy”. The lyric basically transliterates to saying that Perry wants to be uplifted to such a level as Aphrodite was, that he worship her, and in return will be sexually satisfied. She wants a whole lot of devotion, and undivided love from her lover just as Aphrodite was worshipped. She sends out a warning not to cross her path.

In the ‘Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite’ Translated by William Blake Tyrell, lines 31-34 state “In every temple of the Gods, she is honored, and among all mortals, she is of the gods, the one venerated. Their minds Aphrodite cannot persuade or subdue, but of all others, not one has escaped her”. Just as indicated in this hymn, no one other than 3 women had escaped the so-called “manipulation” of Aphrodite. For every action, there is a reaction, and in her song, Katy Perry warns her lover to be careful what he wishes for. One translation of the hymn we read in class reveals to us that one of Aphrodite’s closest lovers was Ares. Almost all of Olympia knew about her affair with him, while she was with Hepheastus. After finding out, Hepheastus was pretty much furious and exposed them while they were in bed to all the rest of the Gods in Olympia. All the Gods did was laugh at him, and in the end, though he literally demanded punishment, nothing was done and things went back to how they were before. Aphrodite was involved in an adulterous affair, trapped to the bed in which she was in with Ares, but in the end, she never recieved any punishment because, well Aphrodite was just Aphrodite.

#Aphrodite #CLAS1 #Sumaiya,TeamVesta

Aphrodite and Cupid


Nestled in between the humming streets of Manhattan lies the Elizabeth Street Garden. Amidst all the beautiful sculptures located there, I found these two statues. I believe one of them represents a variety of Aphrodite, the Roman version Venus. Venus has a much higher association with grapes and wine. Every year in April there would be a wine festival called Vinalia Urbana, where they would honor Venus, who the Romans regarded as the goddess of the average everyday wine. Her hair is also styled so that it appears her hair is flowing, which is seen in certain historical and modern reincarnations of art depicting Aphrodite and Venus, for example the painting titled The Birth Of Venus by Sandro Botticelli.

Another reason I believe that this could be a representation of the goddess is because of the statue situated a few feet away from her. Many of the statues in the Elizabeth Street Garden don’t seem to match however these two are very similar. This second statue bears resemblance to Cupid the son of Aphrodite, at one point cupid began being depicted as a chubby boy like the one sitting atop the fountain. Grapes also surround him and the statues are facing the same direction. It is not confirmed that either of these statues go together but I feel as if they could definitely be seen as representing Cupid and Aphrodite. I have chosen this quote from the Homer’s Odyssey, ‘The Song of Demodocus’ “Zeus’s daughter Aphrodite will always spurn me and love that devastating Ares” It shows how much Aphrodite loves Ares. Cupid, being the child of Ares and Aphrodite, is also a symbol of their love.

-Zunaira, Team Mars

Venus de Milo: A modern reproduction

20170904_205826While walking along 6th Avenue, better known as the Avenue of the Americas, I spotted a familiar trio of statues standing before the West 53rd street entrance to the Credit Agricole CIB building. The three green-turquoise sculptures were made to resemble Alexandros of Antioch’s “Venus de Milo”, an iconic marble statue believed to portray Aphrodite, Venus being the Roman goddess equivalent. Unlike the original, the pieces were missing their heads and arms but the statue’s draped clothing and stance make the artist’s reference clear. This statue characterizes Aphrodite by showing her partially uncovered by the clothing around her waist, a symbol of her being the goddess of love, beauty, and sexuality.  However, unlike the original sculpture, this version is bumpy and seems to have jagged edges to it, as opposed to the usual smooth perfection Greek artists strived for in their work. These statues also have a series of three hidden faces on them that seem to appear out the twists and folds of her dress that may be representative of her sly, yet helpful personality.

In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, lines thirty-four and thirty-five state “As for all the rest, there is nothing that has escaped Aphrodite: none of the blessed gods nor any of mortal humans.” This quote, however, was meant to convey the reach of Aphrodite’s power and influence, having made gods and humans alike succumb to love, lust, and procreation rather. I selected this quote because the statues I saw stand tall above bustling Manhattan traffic, overlooking the passing cars and rushing people on their way to work. Much like Aphrodite did, the sculptures watch over humans and their daily activities, having born witness to the love, affection, kindness, and the full range of emotion displayed by countless passing strangers.

What’s the Price of Beauty?

I was fixing up my makeup and was taken back by how many products said “beauty” on it, and it got me thinking about the roots of beauty and what it’s associated with. “Beauty”, the word itself can hold many connotations. For centuries we associate beauty as something magnetic, a force that draws people to it based off of the visual appeal. Men and women have been using products for hundreds of years to beautify themselves; in affect increasing their sex appeal to others. In the cosmetics world, “beauty” is advertised and sold. Faces such as Gigi Hadid are plastered over Maybelline’s products to have individuals gravitate towards it and desire to be as sexy and pretty like the face on the product. The word “beauty” is even used to name products. I’m sure you’ve either seen or heard of something called the “Beauty Blender”. Essentially it’s just a sponge used to apply makeup, a product used to create “Beauty”. Beauty is love, beauty is desire, beauty is sex, and beauty is Aphrodite.
The cosmetic industry is the Holy Grail of everything Aphrodite; it screams beauty, sex and seduction. The focus in cosmetics is physical beauty and sex appeal which is what Aphrodite represents. Anchises is enticed and taken away from Aphrodite’s beauty and has a strong urge to bed her. He only knows that things she’s told him about herself, which are lies; yet he is controlled by his sex drive and wants the physically enchanting woman. In her truest form her “beauty shone forth from her cheeks-an immortal beauty, the kind that marks the one with the beautiful garlands.” (The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, Nagy Translation 174-176). Aphrodite exhibits a tremendous amount of lust and seduction besides beauty; similarly makeup is often advertised to achieve those characteristics.
There is a key difference between the two as well. Aphrodite is the personification of all things beauty and sex but she isn’t enhancing nor empowering- cosmetics are. Makeup is not just used for all things mentioned above, it is used to enhance one’s natural self, it is used to create art, and it is used to empower individuals whether it is with a flick of eyeliner or swipe of lipstick. Makeup can give someone confidence and allow them to feel beautiful not just look it. Aphrodite in respect had the power to break confidence being that there wasn’t anything more beautiful than her. She was beauty.
(Taken in my house)


Aphrodite’s Holiday


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What’s the first thought that comes to your mind, when you think of Valentine’s Day ? If you’re like me and many people around the world, the term Valentine’s Day evokes a warm sappy feeling with in you. The holiday is characterized by the receiving or giving of gifts such as :chocolate, flowers, teddy bears and other romantic gifts of those sort. Aphrodite has a direct correlation to all of these things, being that she was the goddess of love, The Homeric hymn to Aphrodite and The Song of Demodocus both support this ideology.

In The Homeric hymn of Aphrodite it says, ” Following her came gray wolves and lions with fierce looks, fawning on her; bears too, and nimble leopords, who cannot have their fil of devouring deer, came along. Seeing them, she was delighted in her thumos [spirit, mind] , inside her phrenes [place of emotion], and she put the desire where their hearts were. So they all went off in pairs and slept together in shaded nooks”( line 69-74). The bare presence of Aphrodite created lust and love for each other in their hearts, quite similar to the feeling that Valentines Day may evokes with us.

Now unto gift giving ,the Song of Demodocus, states that,” Ares [Aphrodite’s lover] had showered her with gifts and Hephaestus [her husband] marriage bed with shame” ( line 304,305). Now although Valentine’s Day for some does exactly promote cheating, who’s to say it doesn’t occur. However obviously Hephaestus knew a bit about pleasing a women, for he showered Aphrodite with gifts. Interestingly Valentine’s Day racks in billions of dollars every year for businesses , so gifts do play a quite influential role in Valentine’s Day.
Aphrodite is also said to have been crowned with flowers, in the Song of Demodocus, another connection to Valentine’s Day. Both Aphrodite and Valentine’s Day have the central concepts of love, lust and romance. However Valentine’s Day is a way of celebrating love, whereas Aphrodite just seems to be more a symbol or representation of the concept of love.
Although we don’t celebrate Aphrodite, the goddess of love in a traditional way, we still celebrate the main representation of her, which is love.

Sharifa, Team Hestia

( Taken in my house)

Aphrodite And The Swan


The swan has always played a major role in Greek mythology, it serves as a symbol of beauty, love, and grace. Aphrodite is often depicted riding a swan. The bird’s beauty and whiteness symbolize Aphrodite’s  grace and allure making it sacred to the goddess  of love and beauty.  I found this swan in my house which made me think of Aphrodite and Greek mythology.  Aphrodite the daughter of Zeus and Dione and was thought to be so beautiful that her looks would bring on war between the gods.  In almost every mentioning of Aphrodite thoughts of love and passion are brought up, the swan like Aphrodite is seen as a majestic and beautiful creature and a symbol of romance.

Aphrodite’s beauty pinned gods against each other,  one way or another they each desired to  have her.  To rid her of this issue and protect her, Zeus her father marries her off to Hephaestus, a god known to be ugly, deformed and cunning .  In Homer’s Odyssey The Song of Demodocus, translated by Fagles, Hephaestus sets a trap for Aphrodite and her lover, Ares. The gods gathered to witness the entrapment of the lovers, and in a conversation between Apollo and Hermes, Apollo was heard provoking Hermes  “Tell me, Quicksilver, giver of all good things… how would you like to bed the golden Aphrodite?” Hermes responds by saying “Oh Apollo, if only!… I’d love to bed that golden Aphrodite.” The manner in which these two gods talk of her truly shows how beautiful and greatly desired she is.

Oliver Khoury, Team Hestia

Victoria’s Secret

21397514_1790321067664154_2096829124_nWhen you hear the two words, “Victoria’s Secret”, you think of lust, beauty, and love. It is no secret that Victoria’s Secret is one of the world’s best lingerie and sleepwear companies. The reason being, they use the best materials and the best models to promote their brand. The notorious Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the biggest event in the modelling industry. They combine their show with top performers like The Weeknd, Justin Timberlake, A$AP Rocky, and Drake just to name a few. How does all this correlate to Aphrodite? She is a sex symbol in Greek mythology and every god, not to mention mortals, who lays their eyes on her fall in love with her sheer beauty.

Victoria’s Secret’s branding revolves around Aphrodite’s values. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite translated by Gregory Nagy, it states that, “Immortal it was, giver of pleasures, and it had the fragrance of incense. Then she wrapped all her beautiful clothes around her skin.” Aphrodite is everything a man desires and everything a woman wants. She is naturally beautiful, her incense can captivate any man, and the way she presents herself will make any man lust. Victoria’s Secret advertises its products to young women all around the world to invoke the ideal woman, with a flawless body just like Aphrodite. However, Victoria’s Secret’s goal is to empower women whereas Aphrodite is seen as an adulterer shunned by the gods, despite her beauty.

In Poochigian’s Translation of Sappho “Hymn to Aphrodite”, its states, “She who shuns love will pursue it, she who scorns gifts will send them still: that girl will learn to love, though she do it against her will.” Aphrodite cheated on her husband Hephaestus with the God of War, Ares. She also had an affair with the God of Sea, Poseidon. This shows lust and love because Ares was better looking than Hephaestus and she loved Poseidon for his support of Ares and herself. Although Victoria’s Secret promotes love and lust, they do not support adultery.  Aphrodite is a beautiful but untouchable entity while Victoria’s Secret is modern reflection of a woman’s beauty.

(Picture taken in SOHO)

The Heart of the Cards


I chose the ace and the 5 of hearts because it has a very strong connections to Aphrodite. The ace and 5 of hearts was found in the deck of cards in my house. People might think it’s just a card and how does it have relation to Aphrodite? Playing cards are not just cards that we play with. If you don’t know the meaning of Ace of Heart, it means Love. The number 5 represents the perfection of the five senses, since Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty, it explains that a heart is the best description of her.

This quote from the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite translated by Gregory Nagy, “After she said these things, she put sweet desire in his THUMOS, Anchises was seized with love.” (143-144), it shows that the young man has fallen in love with Aphrodite. This quote characterizes Aphrodite because she is a beauty, that can enchants any mortal man’s heart in a instance. Just a blink of an eye, Aphrodite can make anyone fall in love with her or someone else, except the three goddesses mention in the Hymn. This part of the quote,“After she said these things”, can characterize Aphrodite as a master at seducing and lying. According to the tale, Aphrodite didn’t want this to happen but it was her fault for causing so much trouble to other gods. However, her desire got the best of her and those sweet desires, possessed both the minds of Anchises and Aphrodite. So they can be both characterize as someone that’s easily influenced by fake desire.

Just like the ace of heart, she is basically love in the shape of a human figure. Her son Eros(cupid) is also depicted as a love or sexual desire because he is the god of love in Greek mythology. Also his arrow is a symbol of love, passion and desire. So whoever was shot by his arrows, they will fall in love. So both mother and son are characterized by the ace of hearts because of their incredible abilities for making others fall in love. Also this kind of abilities are usually used for mischievous purposes. For example, Aphrodite likes to play with other people feelings and eventually got a taste of it too. So she is also characterized as mischievous for playing around with other people’s heart as she wish too.   

Something that’s different is that Aphrodite’s love is different from true love. I don’t mean that she never had fallen in love but her sense of love is different. But since both the ace of heart and Aphrodite is connected to romance, I believe that they are similar too.

#Aphrodite #CLAS1 #SeeninNYC #Jia, Team Athena

Reality Versus Actuality


Taken from an Ornamental Table in my Living Room.

The apple and the rose are two prominent symbols of the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty, Aphrodite. In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, translated by William Blake Tyrrell, Aphrodite is controlled by an awe-inspiring yearning for Anchises, a mortal Trojan. This burning desire for Anchises stems from the forces of the Great Sky and Thunder God, Zeus, as a result of her constant bragging and immodesty of her ability to make Gods and Goddesses crave mortals, and never being involved with one.

“I am not any god. Why do you liken me to immortals?

I am a mortal, and a woman mother bore me.” (Hymn to Aphrodite, William Blake Tyrrell Translation, lines 109 and 110).

This is a very important quote, as it shows the blatant lie told by Aphrodite, just to gratify her desire for Anchises. It displays her deceitful, but swaying aroma, and is an important characteristic she possesses.


In the Homeric Hymns to Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love and Beauty seduces Anchises, the mortal whom she was supposedly in love with. She shows up at his door, determined to make love to him. To her misfortune, at first, he was skeptical due to her inexplicably beautiful features, but was soon convinced as she claimed, “I am not any god. Why do you liken me to immortals? I am a mortal, and a woman mother bore me.” She continues to state whom her father was, and how she could communicate with him in the language of the Trojan so eloquently. Persuaded, and already seduced, Anchises readily takes her to his room where they make love.


The rose and apple expressively represent Aphrodite’s actions. Firstly, the rose signifies her undying beauty and ability to love. From a distant position, roses seem tender and soft, attracting the likes of almost anyone who may even glance at them for the shortest of times. Regrettably, once encountered, roses tend to hurt the individuals who have touched them, with the inconspicuous thorns usually behind the flower, around the stalk. This contrast between reality and actuality characterizes Aphrodite and her devious actions toward Anchises by showing how she portrayed herself as tender and soft, as a rose, in the exchanging of first impressions, claiming she was “not a god” and going so far as to question his disbelief, “Why do you liken me to immortals?” She uses this deceitful trait to seduce the mortal and sleep with him, to satisfy her desire for his love. The second symbol, the apple, signifies her ability to tempt through knowledgeable persuasive techniques, as this apple appears to be red, juicy and succulent on the outside. Again, from a distant position, the apple seems to be lovely, but once up close, it is fake and made of foam. This emphasis on reality versus actuality, again, characterizes Aphrodite’s deceitful means of obtaining what she wishes for. In contrast, the rose and the apple, although well renowned symbols of the great Greek Goddess, are very different to her. Though they may seem beautiful and pleasant from a distance but are completely different once getting to know them, like Aphrodite, an essential difference is that they both weren’t meant to be touched, although tempting, but just to beautify as they are ornaments in my household, and to the environment. Aphrodite, on the other hand, was deeply in favor of love and touch.

Daniel, Team Diana.

Blood-Stained Roses

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The origins of the red rose trace back to Aphrodite and the tale of her undying devotion to her lover, Adonis. The image above was taken at the flower shop next to my apartment. It reminded me of Aphrodite because the red rose is one of her many sacred symbols. One version of the tale goes that as Aphrodite was hastening to her lover’s side, Adonis, who was mortally wounded by a wild boar, she cut her foot on a thorn from a bush of white roses and the white roses were stained red by her blood. Thus, the red rose became a symbol of Aphrodite’s devotion to her lover.

In the “Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite” translated by Gregory Nagy, Aphrodite’s desire towards Anchises, her lover is described by the quote “When Aphrodite, lover of smiles, saw him, she fell in love with him. A terrible desire seized her in her phrenes (intellect).” (Gregory Nagy, Lines 56-57) This quote elaborates on our understanding of Aphrodite from the tale of the roses, as someone who is known to express undying devotion to her lover. This quote further characterizes Aphrodite as one who is known to be passionate, as her passion was described as a “terrible desire had seized her” when she saw Anchises. And unlike the tale of the red rose, in which she was only characterized as a “devoted lover”, this quote also characterizes Aphrodite as one who is “lover of smiles”, or “one who loves smiling”. Both the tale of the red rose and the quote characterize Aphrodite as someone who is devoted to loving and smiling. From the tale and quote, both which characterize Aphrodite as someone who is very devoted to and passionate about her lovers, one would not think Aphrodite is adulterous and deceiving, characteristics that can be seen in the “Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite”. 


#Aphrodite, #CLAS1, #SeeninNYC, #RedRoses #Isra, Team Minerva

Aphrodite,a beauty product? 👀👸🏻

Yesterday I went to shopping with my mom. We went to CVS at Flatbush which is near our home. We bought all the house needs and when I went to pick up my shaving cream I payed close attention to the packet and realized that the company have been fooling people for years. Venus is another name that was changed from Aphrodite ones the Romans took over Greek mythology. I couldn’t help notice how smartly the company used one of the Greek god known for her beauty to gain costumers and become popular. In the Homeric Hymns of gods, their praises are celebrated in different ways. It’s a way to celebrate gods and their uniqueness. As we read the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, it stated that Aphrodite “is the best among all the immortal goddesses in her great beauty. She was the most glorious female to be born to Kuronos, the one with the crooked metis, and to her mother, Rhea and Zeus, the one whose resources are inexhaustible, made her his honorable wife, one who knows the ways of affection” (Aphrodite, lines 35-40). She is also described as the “golden Aphrodite” which shows that her beauty is the definition of her existence. If we look at the back of the packet, it states that the product is for “amazing looking legs” it’s basically showing how the women using this product  will have beauty like Aphrodite. In our everyday lives we don’t notice the objects around us, in our day to day lives the products that we use get unnoticed because we are too busy with technology that has taken over us. We don’t pay attention to the origins in the language we are speaking, which is why I never noticed that the product women have been using around the world for years is basically after the Greek god named Aphrodite. #CLAS1 #Aphrodite #seenincvs #Blog1 #Fizza Saeed, Team Hermes.









Die Hard


From one language to another or from one translation to another meanings are changed. Most translations are meant to convey the same meaning but at times can be interpreted in a vast way. In the image above is an advertisement for the american movie “Die Hard” translated in Russian as “Tough nut”. It may have been portrayed that way since sometimes people are referred to as a “tough nut to crack” meaning there a challenge  . So too, “die hard” would be considered as a difficult task; making dying hard.

In “Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite” there are two translations. In the first translation by Gregory Nagy it states: We were having a good time, and a crowd so large that you couldn’t count them was standing around us in a circle.Then it was that the one with the golden wand, the Argos-killer, abducted me.He carried me over many fields of mortal humans and over vast stretches of land unclaimed and unsettled, where wild beasts, eaters of raw flesh, roam about, in and out of their shaded lairs.” (lines 120-124)

The second translation by William Blake Tyrrell states:Many of us nymphs and virgins worth many oxen were playing, and an endless company encircled us.From there he carried me off, Argeiphontes of the golden wand.He led me across the many works of mortal men,over vast land unowned and uncultivated, that carnivorous beasts roam throughout shadowy haunts.”(lines 120-124)

In the first translation Gregory Nagy gives a more descriptive and clearer outline to whats taking place. For instance he writes “We were having good time, ….” unlike the second translation says that the “nymphs and virgins worth many oxen were playing”. The word playing does not inform us that they had a good time or of what they were playing. That is just one example of a translation being unclear or different some may be found in books and others in our everyday lives.

-Anora, Team Diana

“Out of the Foam”



Aphrodite literally means “out of the foam”, and the sea shells are one of her symbol that tells the story of her birth. These are the seashells I picked up from the beach this summer and it perfectly shows how we can find Greek mythology, especially Aphrodite in our daily lives. The story of Aphrodite’s birth gives her the seashell symbol as she was said to be born from the foam of the sea. More specifically she was said to be born from the foam from Uranus’s genitals which was severed by his son Cronus and thrown into the sea, according to Hesiod in his Theogony, hence her role as goddess of love and fertility. When she was born “out of the foam”, the sweet East Wind carried her to the island of Cythera, where she arrived at the shore by floating on a scallop shell. Thus scallop shells became the symbol of her birth.

Because she rose from the sea at Cythera, Aphrodite is also referred to as the Lady of Cytheria.  In the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite translated by William Blake Tyrell, Aphrodite is addressed as “I will sing to Cyprian Cytheria, who gives kind gifts to mortals; on her lovely face, ever smiling, an alluring bloom shimmers. Hail, Goddess, ruling well-built Salamis and Cyprus in the sea: give me an alluring song” (Tyrell. B. William, 10 .1–5). The quote characterizes Aphrodite, as it addresses her as “Cytheria” and “Cyprus in the sea”, which refers to the story of her birth. It also characterized her as a sea goddess, as Aphrodite literally rose out of the sea, riding a scallop shell.


This is an image from the Greco-Roman fresco from Pompeii C1st A.D called “The Birth of Aphrodite“. The formal analysis of the painting is very straight forward. The subject of this piece is the myth related to Aphrodite’s birth as it shows the scallop shell by which she rode to the shore of Cytheria and is now being attended by other minor goddesses. It also depicts the goddess in nudity which was very controversial in ancient Greek as women were rarely shown so boldly. Also, we discussed in art class the Statue of Aphrodite in Knidos, which also shows her nudity, but does so more modestly, unlike this picture. As we discussed in art class, the scale of Aphrodite in relation to other objects, as well as her being placed in the center clearly identifies her as the main subject. The way the artist adorns her with pieces of jewelry, the cloak, and intricately woven hair as she luxuriously lies in her shell shows how the painter chose it carefully in a way that befits the goddess of beauty.

Masuma, Team Mercury

#CLAS1, #Aphrodite, #SeeninNYC, #artandclassics,

The Golden Apple


I recently bought few apples from the supermarket and I decided to use them since apples are a symbol of Aphrodite. The quote I chose is from the Homeric Hymn translated by Gregory Nagy, “Muse, tell me the things done by golden Aphrodite, the one from Cyprus, who arouses sweet desire for gods and who subdues the races of mortal humans and birds as well, who fly in the sky, as well as beasts” (Gregory Nagy, lines 1-4). This is from the beginning of the Homeric Hymn that addresses Aphrodite as the topic of this poem.  This quote characterizes Aphrodite because Cyprus is the birthplace of Aphrodite and where people worship her. Also this is characterizing Aphrodite as the goddess of love and beauty because she is described as being “golden” and how she can bring forth sweet desires between all beings. The number 5 is a symbol of Aphrodite because it indicates love and the perfection of the five senses. The apple is a symbol of love, fertility and ecstasy which is the goddess Aphrodite.

The word “golden” in the quote can also be a reference to the myth, “The Golden Apple of Discord”. In the myth, the golden apple had the writing “for the fairest” thrown into a wedding feast, where all the gods and goddesses were attending, by the Goddess of Discord, Eris as revenge for not being invited. The golden apple caused the goddesses to fight for the apple, in the end only three remain, Athena, Aphrodite and Hera. Zeus decided to let Pairs of Troy, a judge of extraordinary contests, decides who should get the apple. Athena and Hera tried to bribe Paris with wisdom and power, respectively, but Aphrodite bribed him the love of the most beautiful mortal woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. Paris accepted the gift from Aphrodite and gave her the golden apple that belonged to the fairest of all.


#Aphrodite #CLAS1 #SeeninNYC #Alvin, Team Venus

Aphrodite’s Backstory; or, Her Complicated Relation to Zeus

This is a book about Greek mythology I found in the Brooklyn College library on the “for sale” shelf. (For the record, although it is a CliffNotes book, I did not read it to find the following information. This is prior knowledge, because I happen to like Greek mythology.)

Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty in Greek mythology. The man on the cover is most likely Zeus, king of the gods and father to quite a few of them, usually depicted bearded and scowling as pictured. He’s related to Aphrodite in a complicated way…

The Greeks believed that way back in the very beginning of everything, there was Chaos. Then there was Gaea, their (vaguely psychopathic) version of Mother Earth, and then Ouranos (or Uranus, as the Romans spelled it) as the Sky. Gaea and Ouranos had children called the Titans, including Kronos (sometimes spelled Cronus; the Romans called him Saturn). Kronos decided, with the urging of Gaea and the help of his brother Titans, to kill Ouranos and take over. Kronos cut Ouranos into pieces with his scythe, and one of the pieces fell into the sea and the foam formed Aphrodite. It’s a weird origin story. So where does Zeus come in?

Kronos married his sister Rhea (gross, but there wasn’t anyone else around yet). But Kronos had heard a prophecy (from another of his sisters, the Titan of prophecy) that his child would overthrow him and cut him up, just like he’d done to Ouranos. So when Rhea gave birth to a daughter (Hestia, later to be known as goddess of the hearth and home), he saw how threatening these kids would be. They weren’t Titans; they were gods: way more powerful. He got worried about the prophecy, and ate Hestia whole. He continued eating his children as Rhea handed them to him, one at a time: Demeter (goddess of agriculture), Hera (goddess of marriage), Hades (god of death), and Poseidon (god of the sea). Francisco Goya painted Saturn eating his children, as mentioned in Art1010.

Finally Rhea had had enough of her husband eating their children, so she gave birth to the sixth child, Zeus, on an island away from Kronos and secretly swapped the baby with a rock. She left Zeus to be raised by nymphs and a magical goat. (Also a weird origin story. I’m not making this up.) Kronos was evidently not the brightest, as he ate the rock and believed it to be Zeus. Zeus grew up and came back to rescue his siblings, gaining Kronos’ trust and then feeding him mustard wine to make him regurgitate the swallowed gods and goddesses, who then went on to overthrow the Titans and become the Olympians. Zeus cut up Kronos with his own scythe, just as prophesied, and threw him into Tartarus (AKA a big scary pit in the Underworld).

Essentially, therefore, Aphrodite is the eldest of the gods, and Zeus’ aunt. She doesn’t really have parents, so it’s hard to make claims like that, but Ouranos gave her life and he is Zeus’ grandfather. So “aunt” it is. Imagine the family reunions!

We’ve been learning about different viewpoints about Aphrodite, including the story of her affair with Aeneas. This was brought about because Zeus was annoyed that Aphrodite kept making him love mortals, so he made her love a mortal to give her a taste of her own medicine. Aphrodite and Zeus have always had a complicated relationship, both in the sense of family trees and of interactions.

Chaya Ovits, team Venus

#ClassicsEC #Selfie #SeeninNYC

A Modern Interpretation

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I recently took a trip to the Met and ran into this painting while there. Will the posting on the wall had nothing to do with her, the women in the painting struck as being very Aphrodite-like.  In the Song of Demodocus, after fleeing from Hephaestus, Aphrodite flees to Paphos, “where her grove and scented alter stand” (Fagles, line 406). The Graces then anointed her “with oil, ambrosial oil, the bloom clings to the gods who never die and swathed her round in gowns to stop the heart” (Fagles, lines 407-410). Aphrodite is commonly depicted as being one with flowers and being an ecstasy-like vision, just like this painting shows. She’s always seen as ethereal and one with beauty found in nature. On the other hand, this painting is very much idyllic and innocent, although Aphrodite is often also shown as a seductrice and as manipulative, which was clearly see in the Song of Demodocus. Also in the Song were many mentions of “golden” Aphrodite, and this painting does show the women as a slightly glowing; almost giving off a golden aura.

Of course, because this being a painting, there are many pieces of formal analysis you make. The subject is clear because the colors of the outer edge pop so much that the figure in the middle of the portrait is so clear, making her your main focus. The soft and organic colors and light used aid the creation of a mood given off by the scene (one that makes you think this could be Aphrodite!). This painting is obviously very different from the Greek and Roman sculptures we’ve been looking at, for it seems to be VERY modern, but it does still give a sense of a idyllic figure to be in awe at, which is often the purpose of kouroi and any Classical or Hellenistic Greek sculpture. It’s the perfect example of a modern interpretation of ancient Greek figures.

Camille, team Diana