Blood-Stained Roses

Red Rose.JPG

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