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GreekReporter.comAncient GreeceGoddess Aphrodite is the Everlasting Role Model for Greek Mothers

Goddess Aphrodite is the Everlasting Role Model for Greek Mothers

unruly child Aphrodite Eros
Aphrodite uses a sandal to threaten her son Eros. Credit: National Archaeological Museum of Taranto (MArTA)

The Greek goddess Aphrodite threatening her unruly child, Eros, with the back of her sandal appears to have started a tradition that is still practiced in cultures around the world today.

It is depicted on ancient Greek vases such as the motif above dated 360 BC and currently displayed at the Taranto Archaeological Museum in Italy. Igt clearly shows Goddess Aphrodite (Roman Venus) threatening to hit her son Eros (Roman Cupid) for misbehaving.


♬ suono originale – Matteo god

Aphrodite and Eros

In Greek and Roman mythology, Eros is the Greek god of love and sexual desire.

Eros appears in ancient Greek sources under several different guises. In the earliest sources (the cosmogonies, the earliest philosophers, and texts referring to the mystery religions), he is one of the primordial gods involved in the coming into being of the cosmos.

In later sources, however, Eros is represented as the son of Aphrodite, whose mischievous interventions in the affairs of gods and mortals cause bonds of love to form, often illicitly.

There are similar examples in ancient Greek statues and pottery of using a sandal as a deterrent. Aphrodite uses her sandal to fend off the advances of the goat-legged Pan, the god of the wild, shepherds and flocks, and companion of the nymphs.


The statue displayed at the Archaeological Museum in Athens shows the naked goddess threatening to strike Pan with her sandal. Little Eros hovers over her shoulder, playfully seizing Pan΄s horn in an attempt to help his mother ward off the annoying creature.

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