The goddess Aphrodite (also known as Aphrodite Kypris) was the daughter of Uranus and Thalassa. Her birth, at the Petra Tou Romiou, was the outcome of a truly original and peculiar event. Over a dispute with Uranus, Cronus castrated his father and cast the severed genitals into the sea.
These were swept away here and there by the foamy waves. As the days went by, the foam of the waves began transforming into a figure.
The woman who was created was more beautiful than any the whole world had ever seen.
The place where the foamwoman chose to come forth was the island of Cyprus. No sooner had she set foot on the shores of Cyprus than grass and plenty of plants grew about her. The beautiful woman that arose from the foam of the sea was named Aphrodite.
Others named her Anadyomene because she emerged through the waves. They also baptized her Cypris or Cyprogenes on account of the fact that the first land she set foot on was the island of Cyprus.
She was later given many other names too. Before she arrived in Cyprus , the goddess Aphrodite traveled to Cythera and Rhodes , where she was prevented to come forth by the sons of Poseidon and Alia. However, the goddess made sure that they were not left unpunished, Throwing numerous plagues upon the land, she forced Poseidon to hide his children deep under the earth in order to protect them.
The birth of Aphrodite in the Paphian sea is recounted by many writers of the antiquity. One of them, Nonnos, in “Dionysiaka” call: Paphos “the Port of Erotes ” (plural for Eros) and pedestal on which Aphrodite stepped ashore. “And Paphos, the crowned port of Erotes the step onto which Aphrodite first walked emerging from the water, Wherein lust-provoking Setrachos, Cypris was bathed with the son of Myrrha.”
Beauteous Aphrodite was served by many deities. These were Eros or Pothos, Peitho, Hypnos, Charites and Horae. Eros is also named Pothos, derived from the lovers who “pynthanontai” (ask and learn) various things from their mistresses. Peitho (Persuasion) stands by the goddess together with Eros and helps her complete her work, which is to consummate the marriage.
Hypnos (Sleep) stays permanently inside the bedchamber of Aphrodite, cooling her with his wide wings. He also brings in darkness, beneficial to couples in love. Charites (Graces) took care of the goddess’ dressing and ornamentation.
They bathed her, anointed her with immortal oil meant only for gods and clothed her. One Charis picked scented plants and flowers from the garden of the small Cyprian state of Erythraia to create Aphrodite’s unique perfume, unlike any other possessed by god or man.
Horae (Hours) welcomed the goddess as soon as she set foot on Cyprus and attended to her in the best way possible. They clothed her in heavenly garments, put a crown of gold on her head and hung blossoms and earrings of precious gold and orichalc in her pierced ears.
Aphrodite was referred to by approximately three hundred adoring names.
The most common of these, which are also associated with Cyprus are:
Adonaie (of Adonis), Akraia (of the Farthest Edge), Anadyomene (Emerging from the waves), Aphrogeneia (Foam-Born), Golgia (The Golian), Dolios (The Crafty One), Kourotrophos (Protector of Youth), Cypria, Cyprogeneia, Cyprogenes (Born in Cyprus), Limenia (of the Harbour), Morpho (of Shapely Form), Urania (Heavenly), Paphis (of Paphos), Pontia (of the Deep Sea), Salaminia (of Salamis).