The Greek goddess Aphrodite threatening her unruly child, Eros, with the back of her sandal, appears to have started a tradition among mothers 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. It clearly shows Goddess Aphrodite (Roman Venus) threatening to hit her son Eros (Roman Cupid) for misbehaving.
Greek goddess and mother of god Eros, Aphrodite.
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 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.
Ancient Greek Sandals
Aside from being used by the goddess Aphrodite to make her son behave well, ancient Greek sandals are all the rage when it comes to summer footwear.
These trendy sandals once served a purpose other than completing an outfit. Sandals were a type of shoe used in ancient times to protect people’s feet while walking. Things have changed, as the iconic shoes have evolved into a status symbol and a popular fashion element worldwide.
The 1,500-Year-Old Sandals with Sweet Message in Greek
During a dig in Istanbul, a pair of 1,500-year-old lady’s sandals bearing a sweet message in Greek were found, and they have since become one of the main draws of the city’s archaeological museum.
Greek writing on the sandals says, “Use in health, lady, wear in beauty and happiness.”
The amazing find was made during excavations required by the Marmaray project, an underwater railway tunnel that connects Istanbul’s Asian and European sides beneath the Bosporus.