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The Story of Aphrodite and Adonis

Updated: Jan 20

This is quite the story so buckle up and it all starts with a King forgetting to give a sacrifice to Aphrodite. In her anger, the goddess of love and sexual desire. made his daughter, Myrrh desperately wanted to sleep with her own father, the King. The King did his best to stop her advances but in the dark one night she deceived him and they had sex. The King was devastated by this and in his rage he chased his daughter into the woods with an sword! Aphrodite, not wanting Myrrh to actually die from her tricks, swiftly turned her into a tree. A Myrrh tree. The King split the tree in two and from the split was born baby Adonis. I don't quite know what to say regarding this tale, it's such a strange and cruel story. I'm going to do a blog post on Aphrodite soon, and talk a bit about her other facets, not just vengeance. But let's continue for now..

Aphrodite and Adonis linocut print

Aphrodite rescued the baby and as there was no one else to look after him she took him under her wing. However, the baby was so adorable that Aphrodite forgot everything else, she began to neglect her Goddess duties. Eventually she realised that she had to give him to someone else to look after. Persephone took the child and kept him in the underworld.

Once he had grown in to a beautiful young man, Aphrodite returned and feel instantly in love with the youth. Of course Persephone had also fallen in love with Adonis and refused to let him go. Aphrodite and Persephone got in a terrible argument over him and Zeus himself had to intervene.

Aphrodite and Adonis

Now this is where the myth splits in to multiple different endings, as is often the case with ancient Greek myths. The first version is that Zeus decided to split Adonis time in three. 4 months for Aphrodite, 4 months for Persephone and 4 months for him to decide himself. A 2nd version says that that they split his time in half and in a final version, Adonis actually gets to choose for himself and choose Aphrodite.

Adonis grew into a beautiful man, who loves to hunt. The God Ares who was also a lover of Aphrodite was jealous of their love and when Aphrodite was away turned himself in to wild boar and hunted him down. Adonis died in Aphrodite's arm and as his blood mingled with her tears beautiful anemone flowers sprung up out of the ground. Persephone was delighted as she now had Adonis all to herself in the underworld. Aphrodite mourned his passing every year in a festival called Adonia.

The Myth of Aphrodite and Adonis

The Coventina Press Aphrodite and Adonis print is available here. The Greeting card is available here.


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