Last week we discussed Daphne on Immortal Monday, in direct relation to Apollo, whom we discussed a few weeks prior, and the tragedy that played out between them. Today it seemed only fitting that we visit the mastermind behind the madness, Eros.
If you missed the previous posts or need a refresher on the Apollo and Daphne tragedy, you may visit either post through the links provided above.
Eros is, or was, the Greek god of love.
His Roman counterpart is Cupid.
Originally depicted as an adult male embodying sexual power, in later years he would come to be seen as a small or chubby child. Much like the cupid we know today.
Symbols of Eros: Bow, Arrows, hearts, kisses, candles, cupid-wings.
Eros is a complicated god in that the documentation of his origin is not consistent through the ages. In the beginning he was viewed as a primordial god. One with no mother or father. He was the fourth god to come into existence. That’s actually a really big deal if you think about it. First there was Chaos, then there was Gaia (the Earth), next there was Tartarus (the Underworld or abyss), and finally there was Eros (love). This is all according to Hesiod, a Greek oral poet and known major source on Greek mythology and archaic Greek astronomy around 700 BC.
Strangely, Homer (another famous Greek poet) never even mentioned Eros. But by 400 BC a pre-Socratic philosopher by the name of Parmenides makes Eros one of the first gods to come into existence, although not quite primordial. Eros is the child of Night (Nyx).
In later doctrine, he’s seen as the son of Aphrodite and Ares. He even shares a very popular cult in Athens, and every fourth day of the month is considered sacred to him.
Eros and another love god, Himeros (Desire), were present at the birth of Aphrodite. They accompanied her from the sea-foam. From this it has been interpreted to mean that Aphrodite gave birth to these love gods at her own birth.
So, if you think you have parental issues, you probably have much to talk about with Eros. The poor guy has got to be confused.
Love interest? Yeah, he didn’t just dish it out but fell prey to it himself.
Aphrodite sent Eros on a little mission one day. Jealous of a human female that had men leaving her temple barren as they left to worship her instead, Aphrodite asked her son to make this mortal princess fall in love with the ugliest creature on earth. Instead Eros fell in love with her and swept her away for himself. Her name was Psyche.
Eros, Cupid, tall adult sexy eye-candy or small plump child, love is without argument one of the most important gods among them, if not THE most important. Eros was responsible for lighting the flame of love in the hearts of both gods and men. Could you imagine a world without his touch? I don’t think I’d want to live in that world.
*Images via Wikipedia – click on pictures for credit
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35 thoughts on “Love and Desire in the Greek God Eros : Immortal Monday”
Fascinating stuff. Can you imagine the cultural mindset in that age to concieve and develope these characators? But on the other hand things haven’t changed much over the millennia, now we have to endure the likes of the Kardasians(sp), Madonna etc. Maybe it was better then.
Oh, I think we are still very capable of it today. You just need to know where to look. And as you so rightfully pointed out, we have some very extraordinary characters in our society as it is. 🙂 The Greeks fascinate me. I think we’ve likened them to reality shows before. I don’t think we were too far off. What do you think?
It makes perfect sense that Eros would be one of the first created. Love is everything, really. Awesome post 🙂
Thank you, Melinda. I couldn’t agree with you more. Love really is everything. Like I said, I don’t want to imagine life without it. That would be a very dreary, indeed.
I had no idea Eros had such origin confusion! I think the hunk version of Eros is much better than the fat, cherub he morphed into as Cupid. Great post. 🙂
OH, I so agree with you on that one. I was never much a fan of the little pudgy baby. 😀 Thank you, Diana.
My high school latin teacher told us a very R-rated story about how the sea foam became Aphrodite. Very weird to hear when i was a freshman! Actually it’s still kind of weird. LOL
Okay. You pop in here, drop a bomb like that and don’t elaborate? That was just a horrible tease. LOL. Your high school teacher sounds a lot cooler than mine. I only recall mine talking about the cheerleaders. 😐
Eros <3 I love the story of Eros and Psyche, and I love the part he plays in Apollo and Daphne.
Their story is an interesting one. I decided not to go into it as I thought a post on Psyche may be warranted at some point in the future. 😉 There’s a bit to discuss on her. I’m sure you know.
I played Aphrodite in a play in high school, and really grew to to respect her.
I wonder what Eros thinks of the erotica boom in fiction nowadays? I hope he’s smiling on it. 🙂 Fab post!
Aphrodite deserves our respect. People too often stop at her beauty, but she was much more than a pretty face. As I’m sure you know, looks can some times get in the way of who and what one really is.
I’m sure you’re not wrong. As long as the erotica in the erotica boom is coming from the right place (a place of pleasure and joy and not dominance and control) I’m sure he is one happy god. Glad you enjoyed the post.
I wonder why most of the world knows Cupid but not Eros. I’d love to learn more about Psyche.
That’s a very good question. Maybe it’s a Roman thing. Still, Eros is a much nicer image to lay eyes upon. *wags brows*
Psyche’s story is an interesting one and I thought I’d save her for her own post on another day. 😉 Sound good?
Sounds pretty good. I’ll look forward to it.
I enjoyed this post Debra as I love mythology – it always fires my imagination. I read a book some years ago by Narnia author C.S. Lewis describing the 4 types of love. He and many others refer to Eros as romantic love. I love the whimsical notion that meeting a soul mate can be like getting hit with Cupid’s arrow. The archetypes from mythology are fascinating, allowing us believe in a little magic.
Wonderful to meet you, goddessmeca. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. You refer to the 4 types of love. There were four love gods – brothers really, that correspond with each of the different types of love, Eros was one of them. Yes, he was the god of romantic love. The love most desired. It’s beautiful and pure. And your vision of a soul mate is one I think many of us share. Thank you for bringing that up. Wouldn’t we all like Eros to work a little magic for each and every one of us today? Of course, if he did, then it wouldn’t be special when it happened, would it? It would become expected.
I adore the idea of magic in all things and encourage my children to believe in it always. We just need to open our minds to it. Maybe it’s there simply waiting for us to believe. Magic doesn’t always need to be on a grand scale. Sometimes we need to look for it in small places. 😉 I agree, the archetypes from mythology are fascinating. I love that you stopped in to talk with us about them. Thank you.
Cool post – I also never knew any of the many orgins of Eros! I always learn something fun here – thanks!
Glad I can keep educating you Jennette. I don’t want to become too predictable and boring. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!
This is so interesting, Debra. Eros and Cupid are my favorite. 🙂
Hmm, would you have a special place in your heart for LOVE? 😉 Nothing wrong with that. That says some wonderful things about your character. Thanks, Sheila. I’m glad you enjoyed this post.
Eros will be easier for me to remember since Eros=Arrows=Cupid! Yay!
So interesting how these stories evolve. I didn’t realize there were two depictions!
Another great post Debra!
You’re a smart cookie! Has anyone ever told you that? I like the way you think. 🙂 Eros=Arrow=Cupid You put a big smile on my face. 😀
I am so glad!
I think I want to see Eros as a tall, dark, smoldering hunk of eye candy instead of a chubby cherub. Thank goodness for him, because I wouldn’t want to live in a world without love either! That whole birth from a birth thing with Aphrodite sure is confusing. I’d be a bit wacky, too.
I’m right there with you girl. I don’t want to live in a world without love either. That wouldn’t be any fun. 🙁 And that birth thing – totally confusing. Let’s take another look at it after a few drinks! LOL!
I’m in the hunky Eros club too. Much better representative for the romantic adult love than a chubby baby. And Eros and Psyche myth is really fascinating. It’s the origin of the Beauty and the Beast story. I can’t wait to see your post about them.
There are days when I think you should be running Immortal Monday, Reetta. 😀 You are always a wealth of information. I love it! 😀
I have this fascination with the beauty/beast tale, and as Reeta points out the Cupid/Psyche story is the origin. Although most versions end with Cupid dumping Psyche for her lack of faith, I found a version that has them reconciled after a few more tribulations. Needless to say I like that one best. I didn’t know about his varied origin stories, cool to know! Thanks, Debra!
I seem to recall that version as well, Serena. I don’t know how I will present the post yet. I’m not thinking that far out. I’ve been running more as a “current emergency first” operator as of late. I would LOVE to build my buffer back up. That would be awesome. Glad I could provide something new for you. You and Reetta always prove to be a challenge for me. 😉
Hmm…I choose….Jensen Ackles or Ian Somerhalder as my choices for Cupid. Would they arrive with, or without, clothes? Arrows are optional. Interesting post, Debra. I wonder where all these stories originated. Goddesses created out of sea foam… That’s different. 🙂
Either one would make a very nice Cupid. I can see it now. Oh, smack me back to reality. LOL.
Yes, the gods came into this world by some extraordinary means, didn’t they?
That statue of Eros and Psyche is one of my favorites! Great post. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this Debra!
You’re very welcome. 🙂