Venus and Aphrodite by Bettany Hughes
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 across time tells us about what matters to us as humans.
Charting Venus’s origins in powerful prehistoric deities, Bettany demonstrates that the goddess is a complex character - far from just a pretty face. Starting her quest in Cyprus, the goddess’s mythical birthplace, she 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 unveil the truth behind Venus, Hughes shows that this mythological figure is so much more than an embodiment of sex and romance. This is the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces, and the story of human desire - and how desire transforms who we are and how we behave.