Web Theoi
ANTEROS
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Αντερως Anterôs Anteros, Anterus Love Returned,
Requited Love

ANTEROS was the god of requited love, literally "love returned." He was also the avenger of unrequited love. Anteros was one of a host of winged love gods called Erotes. He was often depicted opposite Eros seated on the scales of love held by Aphrodite.

PARENTS

[1.1] ARES & APHRODITE (Cicero De Natura Deorum 3.21)
[1.2] APHRODITE (Ovid Fasti 4.1, Seneca Phaedra 274)


Plato, Phaedrus 255d (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
"When he is with the lover, both cease from their pain, but when he is away then he longs as he is longed for, and has love's image, Anteros (love against love) lodging in his breast, which he calls and believes to be not love but friendship only, and his desire is as the desire of the other, but weaker; he wants to see him, touch him, kiss him, embrace him, and probably not long afterwards his desire is accomplished."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 30. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Before the entrance to the Akademia (Academy) [outside Athens] is an altar to Eros (Love), with an inscription that Kharmos (Charmus) was the first Athenian to dedicate an altar to that god. The altar within the city called the altar of Anteros (Love Avenged) they say was dedicated by resident aliens, because the Athenian Meles, spurning the love of Timagoras, a resident alien, bade him ascend to the highest point of the rock and cast himself down. When Meles saw that Timagoras was dead, he suffered such pangs of remorse that he threw himself from the same rock and so died. From this time the resident aliens worshipped as Anteros the avenging spirit of Timagoras."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 23. 5 :
"In one of the wrestling-schools [in the town of Elis] is a relief showing Eros (Love) and Anteros (Love Returned), as he is called. Eros holds a palm-branch, and Anteros is trying to take the palm from him."

Aelian, On Animals 14. 28 (trans. Scholfield) (Greek natural history C2nd A.D.) :
"Poseidon was the lover of Nerites [son of Nereus and Doris], and that Nerites returned his love, and that this was the origin of the celebrated Anteros (Mutual Love)."

Ovid, Fasti 6. 90 (trans. Frazer) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"‘O [Venus, Aphrodite] gracious Mother of the Twin Cupides (Loves) [i.e. Cupid-Eros and Anteros],’ said I, ‘grant me thy favour.’ The goddess looked back at the poet."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 21 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"The third [Cupidos, Eros], who is the same as Anteros, of Mars [Ares] and the third Venus [Aphrodite]."

Seneca, Phaedra 274 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"Thou goddess [Aphrodite], born of the cruel sea, who art called mother of both Cupides [Loves, i.e. Eros and Anteros], that wanton, smiling boy of thine."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 332 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"[Ariadne abandoned on Naxos by Theseus laments:] ‘Are the very images of Eros (Love) and Anteros (Love Reutrned) jealous of me? For I saw a deslightful vision of marriage accomplished in a deceitful dream, and lovely Theseus was gone.’"


Aphrodite, Eros & Anteros | Greek vase painting
K31.4 ANTEROS &
EROS ON SCALES
Aphrodite, Eros & Anteros | Greek vase painting
K31.7 ANTEROS &
EROS ON SCALES
   

Sources:

  • Plato, Phaedrus - Greek Philosophy C4th B.C.
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd A.D.
  • Aelian, On Animals - Greek Natural History C2nd-3rd A.D.
  • Ovid, Fasti - Latin Poetry C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Cicero, De Natura Deorum - Latin Rhetoric C1st B.C.
  • Seneca, Phaedra - Latin Tragedy C1st A.D.
  • Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.

Other references not currently quoted here: Achilles Tatius 1.9; Themistes Orationes 24.305a