Venus and Aphrodite
Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Bettany Hughes shows why this immortal goddess endures through to the twenty-first century, and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans.
Charting Venus’s origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess’s mythical birthplace, Bettany decodes Venus’s relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and, in turn, Aphrodite’s mixed-up origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation – but also, as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte. On a voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind Venus, Hughes reveals how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance and sex. It is the both the remarkable story of one of antiquity’s most potent forces, and the story of human desire – how it transforms who we are and how we behave.
Explore the mythological Goddess of Love with this stunning book by historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes. She looks at the origins, archaeological revelations and philosophical implications of the woman known to the Romans as Venus, and to the Greeks as Aphrodite * WOMAN & HOME * A marvellous biography of a goddess that delves beneath her passive modern image ... Hughes's account of Aphrodite's early evolution forms the most fascinating sections of this superb book -- Catherine Nixey * BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE * An intriguing tale that tracks the gorgeous and omnipresent Venus of western civilisation back 6,000 years ... engrossing -- Charlotte Hobson * THE SPECTATOR * Erudition, with an erotic frisson ... In this lively, wide-ranging book, Hughes paints a portrait of a darker Venus, a violent, vengeful "shape-shifting" Venus, with salt in her hair and surf at her feet -- Laura Freeman * THE TIMES *
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