Eros: From Hesiod’s Theogony to Late antiquity

The complete article Sex Life of the Ancient Greeks by Lauren Goodchildin was published in
The Guardian on Dec 9th, 2009

Eros: From Hesiod’s Theogony to Late Antiquity
10 December 2009 – 5 April 2010

Museum of Cycladic Art: Eros: From Hesiod’s Theogony to Late Antiquity

Some 272 objets d’art, including masterpieces from more than 50 international museums which date from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD, tell the story of love in antiquity. The exhibition has sought to survey the changing perceptions of Eros from the 8th century BC, when he is seen as a powerful god, to Roman times when, less potent, under the name of Cupid he becomes a mere companion to Venus.

Eros, the great loosener of limbs, was many things: irresistible, tender, beautiful, excruciating, maddening, merciless and bittersweet. Eros is the Greek god of love and fertility. In early mythology, Eros is a primeval god, born of Chaos. It was Eros who brought together Uranus, sky, and Gaia, earth, the original father and mother. In later traditions, Eros is the son of Aphrodite, the goddess of sexual love and beauty. Some myths say that Eros’s father was Ares, god of war.In earlier art and literature, Eros was depicted as a strong, athletic, young man. However, he was gradually portrayed as younger and younger, until in Hellenistic times, he was being portrayed as a child or baby, with wings, and a bow and arrow.

Attic red-figure krater depicting the abduction of Europa. Zeus, transformed into a white bull, carries the Phoenician princess on his back. Hermes leads, showing them the way to the island of Crete, while the winged Eros accompanies them.


About Anja Murez

Tutor of Biblical Hebrew in Vienna, Austria. Once wrote an MA thesis on Qohelet and never lived to regret it. Culinary Arts Addict. Ignostic. Spinozist. Fan of Zen.

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