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APHRODITE TITLES
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Roman Name
Αφροδιτη Aphroditê Aphrodite Venus
OTHER APHRODITE CULT PAGES
Aphrodite Cult 1, Part 2

APHRODITE was goddess of beauty, love and procreation.

This page lists her cult titles and poetic epithets.


CULT TITLES OF APHRODITE

The first of Aphrodite's cult titles refer to her various divine functions, as goddesss of love, sexual union, marital union, beauty, war and as a protectress of sea voyages:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Ουρανια Ourania Urania Heavenly (Love),
Divine (Love)
Πανδημος Pandêmos Pandemos Common to All the
People (Love)
Μαχανιτις Makhanitis Machanitis Deviser, Contriver
Επιστροφια Epistrophia Epistrophia She who Turns
to (Love)
Αποστροφια Apostrophia Apostrophia Averter of
(Unlawful Desires)
Κατασκοπια Kataskopia Catascopia Spying, Peeping
Ψιθυριστης Psithyristês Psithyristes Whispering
Πραξις Praxis Praxis Action (Sexual)
Μελαινις Melainis Melaenis Black (of Night)
Συμμαχια Symmakhia Symmachia Ally (in Love)
Απατουρος Apatouros Apaturus Deceptive One
Νυμφια Nymphia Nymphia Bridal
Μιγωντις Migôntis Migontis Union (Marital)
Δωριτις Dôritis Doritis Bountiful
Ἡρη Hêrê Hera Of Hera (of Marriage)
Μορφω Morphô Morpho Of Shapely Form
Αμβολογηερα Ambologêra Ambologera Postponer of Old Age
Νικηφορος Nikêphoros Nicephorus Bringer of Victory
Αρεια Areia Area Of Ares, Warlike
Ὡπλισμενη Hôplismenê Hoplismena Armed
Ευπλοια Euploia Euploea Fair Voyage
Ποντια Pontia Pontia Of the Sea
Λιμενια Limenia Limenia Of the Harbour
Ξενια Xenia Xenia Of the Foreigner

Another set of cult titles derived from the towns and places where her shrines were located, as well as the names of cult-founders, and descriptions of their locale.
Some of these titles were not restricted to their geographical region, Kypria (of Kypros) for example, was used throughout the Greek world.

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Κυπρια Kypria Cypria Of Kypros (Cyprus)
Παφια Paphia Paphia Of Paphos
(in Cyprus)
Συρια Syria Syria Of Syria, the Syrian
(i.e. Ashtarte)
Ερυκινη Eyrkinê Erykina Of Eryx (in Sicily)
Κυθερεια Kythereia Cytherea Of Kythereia
(Island in Lakonia)
Αμυκλαιος Amyklaios Amyclaeus Of Amyklai
(in Lakonia)
Κωλιας Kôlias Colias Of Kolias (in Attica)
Κνιδια Knidia Cnidia Of Knidos (in Karia)
Καστινιη Kastiniê Castinia Of Mt Kastion
(in Pamphylia)
Πυρηναια Pyrênaia Pyrenaea Of the Pyrenes Mts
(in Gaul)
Ακραια Akraia Acraea Of the Heights
Κηποις Kêpois Cepoïs Of the Gardens
Αναδυομενη Anadyomenê Anadyomene Risen from the Sea

The meaning of some of her titles remains obscure:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Βερβεια Berbeia Berbia --
Ζηρυνθια Zêrynthia Zerynthia --
Καστνιητις Kastniêtis Castnietis --

POETIC TITLES & EPITHETS OF APHRODITE

I) Common Homeric titles of Aphrodite:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Κυθερεια Kythereia Cytherea Of Cytherea Island
Κυπρογενης Kyprogenês Cyprogenes Born in Cyprus
Κυπρογενεια Kyprogeneia Cyprogenea Born in Cyprus
Κυπρογενηα Kyprogenêa Cyprogenea Born in Cyprus
Κυπρις Kypris Cypris Of Cyprus
Παφια Paphia Paphia Of Paphos
(in Cyprus)
Παφιη Paphiê Paphia Of Paphos
(in Cyprus)
Διωναια Diôniaia Dionaea Daughter of Dione,
Daughter of Zeus

II) Common Homeric epithets of Aphrodite:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Φιλομμειδης Philommeidês Philommides Laughter-Loving
Φιλομειδης Philomeidês Philomides Laughter-Loving
Φιλομμηδης Philommêdês Philommedes Genital Loving
Ευστεφανος Eustephanos Eustephanus Richly-Crowned,
Well-Girdled
Αφρογενεια Aphrogeneia Aphrogenea Foam-Born
Αφρογενης Aphrogenês Aphrogenes Foam-Born
Χρυσεη Khryseê Chrysea Golden
Δια Dia Dia Divine, Shining
Διος θυγατηρ Dios thugatêr -- Daughter of Zeus
Ποθων Μητηρ Pothôn Mêtêr Pothon Mater Mother of Desire

CULT TERMS OF APHRODITE

Some general terms relating to the goddess' cult include:-

Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Αφροδισιον Aphrodision Aphrodiseum Temple of Aphrodite
Αφροδισια Aphrodisia Aphrodisia Festival of Aphrodite
Αδωνια Adônia Adonia Festival of Adonis
Ὑστηρια Hystêria Hysteria Festival of the Swine
Αναγωγια Anagôgia Anagogia Festival of
Embarkation

ENCYCLOPEDIA APHRODITE TITLES

ACIDA′LIA, a surname of Venus (Virg. Aen. i. 720), which according to Servius was derived from the well Acidalius near Orchomenos, in which Venus used to bathe with the Graces; others connect the name with the Greek akides, i. e. cares or troubles.

ACRAEA (Akraia). Acraea and Acraeus are also attributes given to various goddesses and gods whose temples were situated upon hills, such as Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Pallas, Artemis, and others. (Paus. i. 1. § 3, ii. 24. § 1; Apollod. i. 9. § 28; Vitruv. i. 7; Spanheim, ad Callim. Hymn in Jov. 82.)

ALITTA or ALILAT(Alitta or Alilat), the name by which, according to Herodotus (i. 131, iii. 8), the Arabs called Aphrodite Urania.

AMATHU′SIA or AMATHU′NTIA (Amathousia or Amathountia), a surname of Aphrodite, which is derived from the town of Amathus in Cyprus, one of the most ancient seats of her worship. (Tac. Annal. iii. 62; Ov. Amor. iii. 15. 15; Virg. Cir. 242; Catull. Ixviii. 51.)

AMBOLOGE′RA (Ambologêra), from anaballô and gêras "delaying old age," as a surname of Aphrodite, who had a statue at Sparta under this name. (Paus. iii. 18. § 1; Plut. Sympos. iii. 6.)

ANADYO′MENE (Anaduomenê), the goddess rising out of the sea, a surname given to Aphrodite, in allusion to the story of her being born from the foam of the sea. This surname had not much celebrity previous to the time of Apelles, but his famous painting of Aphrodite Anadyomene, in which the goddess was represented as rising from the sea and drying her hair with her hands, at once drew great attention to this poetical idea, and excited the emulation of other artists, painters as well as sculptors. The painting of Apelles was made for the inhabitants of the island of Cos, who set it up in their temple of Asclepius. Its beauty induced Augustus to have it removed to Rome, and the Coans were indemnified by a reduction in their taxes of 100 talents. In the time of Nero the greater part of the picture had become effaced, and it was replaced by the work of another artist. (Strab. xiv. p. 657; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 36. §§ 12. and 15; Auson. Ep. 106; Paus. ii. 1. § 7.)

ANTHEIA (Antheia), the blooming, or the friend of flowers . . . Antheia was used at Cnossus as a surname of Aphrodite. (Hesych. s. v.)

APATU′RIA (Apatouria or Apatouros), that is, the deceitful. A surname of Aphrodite at Phanagoria and other places in the Taurian Chersonesus, where it originated, according fo tradition, in this way : Aphrodite was attacked by giants, and called Heracles to her assistance. He concealed himself with her in a cavern, and as the giants approached her one by one, she surrendered them to Heracles to kill them. (Strab. xi. p. 495; Steph. Byz. s. v. Apatouron.)

APHACI′TIS (Aphakitis), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from the town of Aphace in Coele-Syria, where she had a celebrated temple with an oracle, which was destroyed by the command of the emperor Constantine. (Zosimus, i. 58.)

APOTRO′PHIA (Apotrophia), "the expeller," a surname of Aphrodite, under which she was worshipped at Thebes, and which described her as the goddess who expelled from the hearts of men the desire after sinful pleasure and lust. Her worship under this name was believed to have been instituted by Harmonia, together with that of Aphrodite Urania and Pandemos, and the antiquity of her statues confirmed this belief. (Paus. ix. 16. § 2.)

ARACY′NTHIAS (Arakunthias), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from mount Aracynthus, the position of which is a matter of uncertainty, and on which she had a temple. (Rhianus, ap. Steph. Byz. s. v. Arakunthos.)

AREIA (Areia), the warlike. A surname of Aphrodite, when represented in full armour like Ares, as was the case at Sparta. (Paus. iii. 17. § 5.)

ARGENNIS (Argennis), a surname of Aphrodite, which she derived from Argennus, a favourite of Agamemnon, after whose death, in the river Cephissus, Agamemnon built a sanctuary of Aphrodite Argennis. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Argennis ; Athen. xiii. p. 608.)

CALLIPYGOS (Kallipugos), a surname of Aphrodite, of which the origin is related by Athenaeus. (xii. p. 554; comp. Alciphron, i. 39.) We still possess some representations of Aphrodite Callipygos, which are distinguished for their great softness, luxuriancy, and roundness of form. (Hirt, Mythol. Bilderb. i. p. 59.)

CNI′DIA (Knidia), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from the town of Cnidus in Caria, for which Praxiteles made his celebrated statue of the goddess. The statue of Aphrodite known by the name of the Medicean Venus, is considered by many critics to be a copy of the Cnidian Aphrodite. (Paus. i. 1. § 3; Plin. H. N. xxxvi. 5; Lucian, Amor. 13; Hirt, Mythol. Bilderb. p. 57.)

CO′LIAS (Kôlias), a surname of Aphrodite, who had a statue on the Attic promontory of Colias. (Paus. i. 1. § 4; comp. Herod. viii. 96; Schol. ad Aristoph. Nub. 56.) Strabo (ix. p. 398) places a sanctuary of Aphrodite Colias in the neighbourhood of Anaphlystus.

CY′PRIA, CYPRIS, CYPRIGENEIA, or CYPRO′GENES (Kupria, Kupris, Kuprigeneia, Kuprogenês), surnames of Aphrodite, who was born in the island of Cyprus, which was also one of the principal seats of her worship. (Hom. Il. v. 458; Pind. Ol. i. 120, xi. 125, Pyth. iv. 383; Tibull. iii. 3. 34; Hor. Carm. i. 3. 1.)

CYTHE′RA, CYTHEREIA, CYTHE′RIAS (Kuthêra, Kuthereia, Kuthêrias), different forms of a surname of Aphrodite, derived from the town of Cythera in Crete, or from the island of Cythera, where the goddess was said to have first landed, and where she had a celebrated temple. (Hom. Od. viii. 288; Herod. i. 105; Paus. iii. 23. § 1 ; Anacr. v. 9; Horat. Carm. i. 4. 5.)

DESPOENA (Despoina), the ruling goddess or the mistress, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Aphrodite (Theocrit. xv. 100), Demeter (Aristoph. Thesm. 286), and Persephone. (Paus. viii. 37. § 6.)

DIONAEA (Diônaia), a metronymic form of Dione, and applied to her daughter Aphrodite. (Orph. Arg. 1320; Virg. Aen. iii. 19.) The name is also applied as an epithet to things which were sacred to her, such as the dove. (Stat. Silv. iii. 5. 80.)

ERYCI′NA (Erukinê), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from mount Eryx, in Sicily, where she had a famous temple, which was said to have been built by Eryx, a son of Aphrodite and the Sicilian king Butes. (Diod. iv. 83.) Virgil (Aen. v. 760) makes Aeneias build the temple. Psophis, a daughter of Eryx, was believed to have founded a temple of Aphrodite Erycina, at Psophis, in Arcadia. (Paus. viii. 24. § 3.) From Sicily the worship of Aphrodite (Venus) Erycina was introduced at Rome about the beginning of the second Punic war (Liv. xxii. 9, 10, xxiii. 30, &c.), and in B. C. 181 a temple was built to her outside the Porta Collatina. (Liv. xl. 34; Ov. Fast. iv. 871, Rem. Amor. 549 ; Strab. vi. p. 272; comp. Cic. in Verr. iv. 8; Horat. Carm. i. 2. 33; Ov. Heroid. xv. 57.)

GAME′LII (Gamêlioi theoi), that is, the divinities protecting and presiding over marriage. (Pollux, i. 24; Maxim. Tyr. xxvi. 6.) Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 2) says, that those who married required (the protection of) five divinities, viz. Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Peitho, and Artemis. (Comp. Dion Chrys. Orat. vii. p. 568.) But these are not all, for the Moerae too are called theai gamêliai (Spanheim ad Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 23, in Del. 292, 297), and, in fact, nearly all the gods might be regarded as the protectors of marriage, though the five mentioned by Plutarch perhaps more particularly than others. The Athenians called their month of Gamelion after these divinities. Respecting the festival of the Gamelia see Dict. of Ant. s. v.

GENETYLLIS (Genetullis), the protectress of births, occurs both as a surname of Aphrodite (Aristoph. Nub. 52, with the Schol.), and as a distinct divinity and a companion of Aphrodite. (Suidas.) (Genetyllis was also considered as a surname of Artemis, to whom women sacrificed dogs. (Hesych. s. v. Genetulis; Aristoph. Lys. 2.) We also find the plural, Genetullides, or Gennaïdes, as a class of divinities presiding over generation and birth, and as companions of Aphrodite Colias. (Aristoph. Thesmoph. 130; Paus. i. § 4; Alciph. iii. 2; comp. Bentley ad Hor. Carm. Saec. 16.)

HECAERGE (Hekaergê) . . . The name Hecaerge signifies hitting at a distance . . . Artemis bore the surname of Hecaerge. (Anton. Lib. 13.) Aphrodite had the same surname at Iulis in Cos. (Anton. Lib. 1.)

IDA′LIA. a surname of Aphrodite, derived from the town of Idalion in Cyprus. (Virg. Aen. i. 680, 692, v. 760, x. 86; Ov. Art. Am. iii. 106; Strab.xiv. p. 682; Theocrit. xv. 101; Bion, i. 36.)

LIME′NIA, LIMENI′TES, LIMENI′TIS, and LIMENO′SCOPUS (Limenia, Limenitês, Limenitis, Limenodkopos), i. e. the protector or superintendent of the harbour, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Zeus (Callimach. Fragm. 114, 2ded. Bentl.), Artemis (Callim. Hymn. in Dian. 259), Aphrodite (Paus. ii. 34. § 11; Serv. ad Aen. i. 724), Priapus (Anthol. Palat. x. 1, 7), and of Pan (Anthol. Palat. x. 10.)

[MECHANITIS and] MECHANEUS (Mêchaneus), skilled in inventing, was a surname of Zeus at Argos (Paus. ii. 22, § 3). The feminine form, Mechanitis (Mêchanitis), occurs as a surname of Aphrodite, at Megalopolis, and of Athena. in the same neighbourhood. (Paus. viii. 31, § 3, 36, § 3.)

MELAENIS (Melainis), i.e. the dark, a surname of Aphrodite, under which she was worshipped at Corinth. (Paus. ii. 2. § 4; comp. viii. 6. § 2, ix. 17. § 4; Athen. xiii. p. 588.)

MELINAEA (Melinaia), a surname of Aphrodite, which she derived from the Argive town Meline. (Steph. Byz. s. v.; Lycoph. 403.)

MIGONI′TIS (Migônitis), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from a place, Migonium, in or near the island of Cranne in Laconia, where the goddess had a temple. (Paus. iii. 22. § 1.)

MORPHO (Morphô), or the fair shaped, occurs as a surname of Aphrodite at Sparta. She was represented in a sitting posture, with her head covered, and her feet fettered. (Paus. iii. 15. § 8 ; Lycoph. 449.)

NICE′PHORUS (Nikêphoros), i. e. bringing victory, occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Aphrodite. (Paus. ii. 19. § 6.)

PANDE′MOS (Pandêmos), i. e. "common to all the people," occurs as a surname of Aphrodite, and that in a twofold sense, first describing her as the goddess of low sensual pleasures as Venus vulgivaga or popularis, in opposition to Venus (Aphrodite) Urania, or the heavenly Aphrodite. (Plat. Sympos. p. 180; Lucret. iv. 1067.) She was represented at Elis by Scopas riding on a ram. (Paus. vi. 25. § 2.) The second sense is that of Aphrodite uniting all the inhabitants of a country into one social or political body. In this respect she was worshipped at Athens along with Peitho (persuasion), and her worship was said to have been instituted by Theseus at the time when he united the scattered townships into one great body of citizens. (Paus. i. 22. § 3.) According to some authorities, it was Solon who erected the sanctuary of Aphrodite Pandemos, either because her image stood in the agora, or because the hetaerae had to pay the costs of its erection. (Harpocrat. and Suid. s. v.; Athen. xiii. p. 569.) The worship of Aphrodite Pandemos also occurs at Megalopolis in Arcadia (Paus. viii. 32. § 1), and at Thebes (ix. 16. § 2). A festival in honour of her is mentioned by Athenaeus (xiv. p. 659). The sacrifices offered to her consisted of white goats. (Lucian, Dial. Meret. 7; comp. Xenoph. Sympos. 8. § 9; Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 101; Theocrit. Epigr. 13.) Pandemos occurs also as a surname of Eros. (Plat. Symp. l. c.)

PA′PHIA (Paphia,), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from the celebrated temple of the goddess at Paphos in Cyprus. A statue of Aphrodite Paphia also stood in the sanctuary of Ino, between Oetylus and Thalamae in Laconia. (Paus. iii. 36 ; Tac. Hist. ii. 2; Hom. Hymn. in Ven. 59; Apollod. iii. 14. § 2; Strab. xiv. p. 683.)

PEITHO (Peithô). The personification of Persuasion (Suada or Suadela among the Romans), was worshipped as a divinity at Sicyon, where she was honoured with a temple in the agora. (Herod. viii. 11; Paus. ii. 7. § 7.) Peitho also occurs as a surname of other divinities, such as Aphrodite, whose worship was said to have been introduced at Athens by Theseus, when he united the country communities into towns (Paus. i. 22. § 3), and of Artemis (ii. 21. 1). At Athens the statues of Peitho and Aphrodite Pandemos stood closely together, and at Megara, too, the statue of Peitho stood in the temple of Aphrodite (Paus. i. 43. § 6), so that the two divinities must he conceived as closely connected, or the one, perhaps, merely as an attribute of the other.

SY′RIA DEA (Suriê theos), "the Syrian goddess," a name by which the Syrian Astarte or Aphrodite is sometimes designated. This Astarte was a Syrian divinity, resembling in many points the Greek Aphrodite, and it is not improbable that the latter was originally the Syrian Astarte, the opinions concerning whom were modified after her introduction into Greece; for there can be no doubt that the worship of Aphrodite came from the East to Cyprus, and thence was carried into the south of (Greece. (Lucian, De Syria Dea ; Paus. i. 14. § 6; Aeschyl. Suppl. 562.).

URA′NIA (Ourania),A surname of Aphrodite, describing her as "the heavenly," or spiritual, to distinguish her from Aphrodite Pandemos. Plato represents her as a daughter of Uranus, begotten without a mother. (Sympos. p. 180; Xenoph. Sympos. 8. § 9.) Wine was not used in the libations offered to her. (Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 101 ; Herod. i. 105; Suid. s. v. nêphalia.)

ZEPHYRI′TIS (Zephuritis), a surname of Aphrodite, derived from the promontory of Zephyrium in Egypt. (Athen. vii. p. 318; Callim. Epig. 31 ; Steph. Byz. s. v.

ZERY′NTHIA (Zêrunthia), a surname of Aphrodite, from the town of Zerinthus in Thrace, where she had a sanctuary said to have been built by Phaedra. (Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 449, 958 ; Steph. Byz. and Etym. Magn. s. v.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


A few of the Homeric titles of Aphrodite are explained in the Byzantine Lexicon of Suidas (the etymological explanations, however, are sometimes inaccurate - though they may be derived from classical writers):-

Suidas s.v. Dionaia (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Dionaia: [A title of] Aphrodite. Also Dione, [meaning] the same."

Suidas s.v. Haligenes :
"Haligenes (Sea-Spawned). Born in the sea (thalassa)."

Suidas s.v. Kythereia :
"Kythereia. Not [called this] because she reached Kythera, as Hesiod says; rather, she has love hidden (keuthomenon) within herself, which she sends to all; for through her charmed girdle she has the power."

Suidas s.v. Kypris :
"Kypris: Epithet of Aphrodite; since she furnishes pregnancy (kuoporis). The same [goddess] is known as the Kytherian. Because she hides (keuthein) love-affairs."

Suidas s.v. Paphia :
"Paphia (Paphian): Aphrodite."

Suidas s.v. Philomeides :
"Philomeides (Laughter-loving): Aphrodite is laughter-loving."


Sources:

  • Homer, The Iliad - Greek Epic C9th-8th BC
  • The Homeric Hymns - Greek Epic C8th-4th BC
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd AD
  • Suidas - Byzantine Lexicographer C10th AD
  • Others, see Cult of Aphrodite pages