Eros and Aphrodite


Aphrodite, Eros and the Erotes, Greco-Roman fresco from Pompeii 1st A.D., Naples National Archaeological Museum

Eros is the Greek god of love and desire in Greek mythology, often depicted as a handsome youth or an infant child with wings and a bow and arrow. He is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, and is considered one of the primary gods of love, along with his siblings Anteros, Pothos, and Himeros. Eros and his three siblings make up the Erotes, a group of love deities in Greek mythology.

Some authors argued that Eros was not the offspring of Aphrodite. Instead he was a close companion of the goddess; Eros is believed to have witnessed the birth of Aphrodite. Due to the close relationship that exists between those two deities, later authors re-imagined him as the goddess’s offspring.

Greco-Roman Fresco from Pompeii depicting Aphrodite, Eros and the Erotes

The Greco-Roman fresco from Pompeii depicts the goddess Aphrodite, her son Eros, and several of the Erotes, a group of winged deities of love in Greek mythology. The fresco, which was discovered in the ancient city of Pompeii, is believed to date back to the 1st century CE.

In the fresco, Aphrodite is depicted as a beautiful, nude woman, reclining on a bed or couch. Eros, her son, is shown standing beside her, holding a bow and arrow. Several of the Erotes are also depicted, flying around the goddess and engaging in playful activities.

The Erotes are depicted as winged infants or young boys, often with a bow and arrow or other symbol of love and desire. They are associated with various aspects of love, including passion, desire, and companionship. In the Pompeii fresco, they are shown engaging in various playful activities, such as riding dolphins and playing with birds.

The fresco is considered to be a remarkable example of Greco-Roman art and provides a glimpse into the mythology and beliefs of ancient Greece and Rome. It is also a testament to the enduring popularity of the goddess Aphrodite and the Erotes, who have continued to captivate the imagination of artists and writers throughout the centuries.