(Venus de Milo)

The Roman goddess of love and beauty, but originally a vegetation goddess and patroness of gardens and vineyards. Later, under Greek influence, she was equated with Aphrodite and assumed many of her aspects. Her cult originated from Ardea and Lavinium in Latium. The oldest temple known of Venus dates back to 293 BCE, and was inaugurated on August 18. Later, on this date the Vinalia Rustica was observed. A second festival, that of the Veneralia, was celebrated on April 1 in honor of Venus Verticordia, who later became the protector against vice. Her temple was built in 114 BCE. After the Roman defeat near Lake Trasum in 215 BCE, a temple was built on the Capitol for Venus Erycina. This temple was officially opened on April 23, and a festival, the Vinalia Priora, was instituted to celebrate the occasion.

Venus is the daughter of Jupiter, and some of her lovers include Mars and Vulcan, modeled on the affairs of Aphrodite. Venus' importance rose, and that of her cult, through the influence of several Roman political leaders. The dictator Sulla made her his patroness, and both Julius Caesar and the emperor Augustus named her the ancestor of their (Julian) family: the 'gens Julia' was Aeneas, son of Venus and the mortal Anchises. Ceasar introduced the cult of Venus Genetrix, the goddess of motherhood and marriage, and built a temple for her in 46 BCE. She was also honored in the temple of Mars Ultor. The last great temple of Venus was built by the emperor Hadrianus near the Colusseum in 135 CE.

From: here
Venus was a Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty and fertility, who played a key role in many Roman religious festivals and myths. From the third century BC, the increasing Hellenization of Roman upper classes identified her as the equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite.


The noun form venus means "love" and "sexual desire" in Latin[1], and has connections to venerari (to honour, to try to please) and venia (grace, favour) through a possible common root in an Indo-European *wenes-, comparable to Sanskrit vanas- "lust, desire".[2][3]

Venus' name might embody the function of honours and gifts to the divine when seeking their favours: such acts can be interpreted as the enticement, seduction or charm of gods by mortals.[4][5] The ambivalence of this function is suggested in the etymological relationship of the root *venes- with Latin venenum (poison, venom), in the sense of "a charm, magic philtre".[6]

Comparative mythology
Due to her early association with Aphrodite in the interpretatio graeca, it is hard to establish what characteristics the natively Italic Venus may have had. Ushas is linked to Venus by a Vedic Sanskrit epithet ascribed to her, vanas- "(female) loveliness; longing, desire", which is cognate with Latin Venus (Proto-Indo-European root *wen- "to desire").[7]

In the interpretatio romana of the Germanic pantheon during the early centuries AD, Venus became identified with the Germanic goddess Frijjo, giving rise to the loan translation "Friday" for dies Veneris. The historical cognate of the dawn goddess in Germanic tradition, however, would be Ostara.


Like other major Roman deities, Venus was ascribed a number of epithets that referred to her different cult aspects and roles.

Venus Acidalia was,[12] according to Servius, named after the well Acidalius near Orchomenus, in which Venus used to bathe with the Graces. Others connect the name with the Greek acides (άκιδες), meaning cares or troubles.[13]

Venus Calva ("Venus the bald one"), an image of the Goddess attested by post Classical Roman writings which offer several different Roman traditions to explain this appearance and epithet. One holds that it commemorates the virtuous offer by Roman matrons of their own hair to make bowstrings during a siege of Rome: another, that during the reign of king Ancus Marcius, the queen and others lost their hair during an epidemic. In hope of its restoration, women unaffected by the affliction willingly sacrificed their own hair to Venus.[14] Ashby (1929) finds the existence of a temple to her "very doubtful".[15]

Venus Cloacina ("Venus the Purifier"), was a fusion of Venus with the Etruscan water goddess Cloacina, likely resulting from a statue of Venus being prominent near the Cloaca Maxima, Rome's sewer system. The statue was erected on the spot where according to Rome's founding tradition, peace was made between the Romans and Sabines.

Venus Erycina ("Venus from Eryx"), also called Venus Erucina, originated on Mount Eryx in western Sicily. Temples were erected to her on the Capitoline Hill and outside the Porta Collina. She embodied "impure" love, and was the patron goddess of prostitutes.

Venus Felix ("Lucky Venus") was an epithet used for a temple on the Esquiline Hill and for a temple constructed by Hadrian dedicated to "Venus Felix et Roma Aeterna" ("Favorable Venus and Eternal Rome") on the north side of the Via Sacra. This epithet is also used for a specific sculpture at the Vatican Museums.

Venus Genetrix ("Mother Venus") was Venus in her role as the ancestress of the Roman people, a goddess of motherhood and domesticity. A festival was held in her honor on September 26. As Venus was regarded as the mother of the Julian gens in particular, Julius Caesar dedicated a Temple of Venus Genetrix in Rome in 46 BC. This name has attached to an iconological type of statue of Aphrodite/Venus.

Venus Kallipygos ("Venus with the pretty bottom"), a form worshipped at Syracuse.

Venus Libertina ("Venus the Freedwoman") was an epithet of Venus that probably arose from an error, with Romans mistaking lubentina (possibly meaning "pleasurable" or "passionate") for libertina. Possibly related is Venus Libitina, also called Venus Libentina, Venus Libentia, Venus Lubentina, Venus Lubentini and Venus Lubentia, an epithet that probably arose from confusion between Libitina, a funeral goddess, and the aforementioned lubentina, leading to an amalgamation of Libitina and Venus. A temple was dedicated to Venus Libitina on the Esquiline Hill.

Venus Murcia ("Venus of the Myrtle") was an epithet that merged the goddess with the little-known deity Murcia or Murtia. Murcia was associated with the myrtle-tree, but in other sources was called a goddess of sloth and laziness.

Venus Obsequens ("Graceful Venus" or "Indulgent Venus") was an epithet to which a temple was dedicated in the late 3rd century BC during the Third Samnite War by Quintus Fabius Maximus Gurges. It was built with money fined from women who had been found guilty of adultery. It was the oldest temple of Venus in Rome, and was probably situated at the foot of the Aventine Hill near the Circus Maximus. Its dedication day, August 19, was celebrated in the Vinalia Rustica.

Venus Urania ("Heavenly Venus") was an epithet used as the title of a book by Basilius von Ramdohr, a relief by Pompeo Marchesi, and a painting by Christian Griepenkerl. (cf. Aphrodite Urania.)

On April 1, the Veneralia was celebrated in honor of Venus Verticordia ("Venus the Changer of Hearts"), the protector against vice. A temple to Venus Verticordia was built in Rome in 114 BC, and dedicated April 1, at the instruction of the Sibylline Books to atone for the inchastity of three Vestal Virgins.

Venus Victrix ("Venus the Victorious") was an aspect of the armed Aphrodite that Greeks had inherited from the East, where the goddess Ishtar "remained a goddess of war, and Venus could bring victory to a Sulla or a Caesar."[16] Pompey, Sulla's protege, vied with his patron and with Caesar for public recognition as her protege. In 55 BC he dedicated a temple to her at the top of his theater in the Campus Martius. She had a shrine on the Capitoline Hill, and festivals on August 12 and October 9. A sacrifice was annually dedicated to her on the latter date. In neo-classical art, her epithet as Victrix is often used in the sense of 'Venus Victorious over men's hearts' or in the context of the Judgement of Paris (e.g. Canova's Venus Victrix, a half-nude reclining portrait of Pauline Bonaparte).

Other significant epithets for Venus included Venus Amica ("Venus the Friend"), Venus Armata ("Armed Venus"), Venus Caelestis ("Celestial Venus"), and Venus Aurea ("Golden Venus").

From: Wiki
A Hymn to Venus
by: Sappho (c. 610-570 B.C.)
translated by Ambrose Philips

O Venus, beauty of the skies,
To whom a thousand temples rise,
Gaily false in gentle smiles,
Full of love-perplexing wiles;
O goddess, from my heart remove
The wasting cares and pains of love.

If ever thou hast kindly heard
A song in soft distress preferred,
Propitious to my tuneful vow,
A gentle goddess, hear me now.
Descend, thou bright immortal guest,
In all thy radiant charms confessed.

Thou once didst leave almighty Jove
And all the golden roofs above:
The car thy wanton sparrows drew,
Hovering in air they lightly flew;
As to my bower they winged their way
I saw their quivering pinions play.

The birds dismissed (while you remain)
Bore back their empty car again:
Then you, with looks divinely mild,
In every heavenly feature smiled,
And asked what new complaints I made,
And why I called you to my aid?

What frenzy in my bosom raged,
And by what cure to be assuaged?
What gentle youth I would allure,
Whom in my artful toils secure?
Who does thy tender heart subdue,
Tell me, my Sappho, tell me who?

Though now he shuns thy longing arms,
He soon shall court thy slighted charms;
Though now thy offerings he despise,
He soon to thee shall sacrifice;
Though now he freezes, he soon shall burn,
And be thy victim in his turn.

Celestial visitant, once more
Thy needful presence I implore.
In pity come, and ease my grief,
Bring my distempered soul relief,
Favour thy suppliant's hidden fires,
And give me all my heart desires.

From: here
The Roman goddess of love. Venus was originally the goddess of ferility, particularly of field and garden. Venus was originally a Latin goddess, and when her worship was adopted in Rome. Venus was later honoured as the goddess of love and beauty, when she had became identified with Aphrodite. Turan is the Etruscan equivalent to the Roman goddess.

Like the Greek myths, she was the husband of Vulcan (Hephaestus), but her frequent lover was Mars (Ares).

According to the Roman writer Vergil, Venus had a mortal lover named Anchises, and she was the mother of the Trojan hero, named Aeneas, ancestor of the Roman people. It was said that Julius Caesar could trace his line to her through Aeneas and Iulus, Aeneas' son. See the Aeneid, in the Tales of Rome, for the story of Aeneas.

Her other mortal lover was Adonis (see Aphrodite).

Her first temple wasn't built until 215 BC.

Venus has two festivals; both were called Veneralia, and were held on April 1 and the other on August 19.

In astronomy, the 2nd planet in our solar system was named after the Roman love goddess Venus. The diameter of Venus is almost the same as that of Earth, as well as being Earth's nearest neighbour. It is the brightest planet in our night sky, as it known by two names, Morning Star, when it can be seen on the eastern horizon before or at sunrise, and the Evening Star on the western horizon after or at sunset. Like Mercury, Venus has no satellite or moon.

From: here
Myths about the Roman Goddess Venus
Venus was one of the most celebrated deities of the ancients. She was the goddess of beauty, the mother of love, and the queen of laughter. She is said to have sprung from the froth of the sea, near the island Cyprus, after the mutilated part of the body of Uranus had been thrown there by Saturn. Hence she obtained the name of Aphrodite, meaning froth. As soon as Venus was born, she is said to have been laid in a beautiful couch or shell, embellished with pearls, and by the assistance of Zephyrus wafted first to Cytherae, an island in the Aegaean, and thence to Cyprus; where she arrived in the month of April. Here, immediately on her landing, flowers sprung beneath her feet, the Horae or Seasons awaited her arrival, and having braided her hair with fillets of gold, she was thence wafted to heaven. As she was born laughing, an emanation of pleasure beamed from her countenance, and her charms were so attractive, in the assembly of the gods, that most of them desired to obtain her in marriage. Vulcan, however, the most deformed of the celestials, became the successful competitor.

One of the most remarkable adventures of this goddess was her contest with Juno and Minerva for the superiority of beauty. At the marriage of Peleus and Thetis, the goddess Discordia, resenting her not being invited, threw a golden apple among the company, with this inscription, Let the fairest take it. The competitors for this prize were Juno, Venus, and Minerva. Jupiter referred them to Paris, who then led a shepherd's life on Mount Ida. Before him the goddesses appeared. Juno offered him empire or power, Minerva wisdom, and Venus promised him the possession of the most beautiful woman in the world. Fatally for himself and family, the shepherd, more susceptible of love than of ambition or virtue, decided the contest in favor of Venus.

The sacrifices usually offered to Venus, were white goats and swine, with libations of wine, milk and honey. The victims were crowned with flowers, or wreaths of myrtle, the rose and myrtle being sacred to Venus. The birds sacred to her were the swan, the dove, and the sparrow.

It were endless to enumerate the variety of attitudes in which Venus is represented on antique gems and medals; sometimes she is clothed in purple, glittering with diamonds, her head crowned with myrtle intermixed with roses, and drawn in her car of ivory by swans, doves, or sparrows: at other times she is represented standing with the Graces attending her, and in all positions Cupid is her companion. In general she has one of the prettiest, as Minerva has sometimes one of the handsomest faces that can be conceived. Her look, as she is represented by the ancient artists and poets, has all the enchanting airs and graces that they could give it.

From: here

HEAV'NLY, illustrious, laughter-loving queen,
Sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien;
Crafty, from whom necessity first came,
Producing, nightly, all-connecting dame:
'Tis thine the world with harmony to join,
For all things spring from thee, O pow'r divine.
The triple Fates are rul'd by thy decree,
And all productions yield alike to thee:
Whate'er the heav'ns, encircling all contain,
Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main,
Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod,
Awful attendant of the brumal God:
Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight,
Mother of Loves, whom banquetings delight;
Source of persuasion, secret, fav'ring queen,
Illustrious born, apparent and unseen:
Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclin'd,
Prolific, most-desir'd, life-giving., kind:
Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, 'tis thine,
Mortals in necessary bands to join;
And ev'ry tribe of savage monsters dire
In magic chains to bind, thro' mad desire.
Come, Cyprus-born, and to my pray'r incline,
Whether exalted in the heav'ns you shine,
Or pleas'd in Syria's temple to preside,
Or o'er th' Egyptian plains thy car to guide,
Fashion'd of gold; and near its sacred flood,
Fertile and fam'd to fix thy blest abode;
Or if rejoicing in the azure shores,
Near where the sea with foaming billows roars,
The circling choirs of mortals, thy delight,
Or beauteous nymphs, with eyes cerulean bright,
Pleas'd by the dusty banks renown'd of old,
To drive thy rapid, two-yok'd car of gold;
Or if in Cyprus with thy mother fair,
Where married females praise thee ev'ry year,
And beauteous virgins in the chorus join,
Adonis pure to sing and thee divine;
Come, all-attractive to my pray'r inclin'd,
For thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.

"Seu tu caelestis Venus, quae primis rerum exordiis sexuum diversitatem generato Amore sociasti et aeterna subole humano genere propagato nunc circumfluo Paphii sacrario coleris." — Apuleius, Metamorphosis 11.2

[You celestial Venus, who at the beginnings of the world united the difference of the sexes making to rise the Love and propagating the eternal progeny of the human kind, now you are honored in the temple of Paphos that the sea surrounds."]
Venus was the Roman version of the pan-IE love- and fertility- goddess associated with spring, nature, vegetation, and the rising Venus. She was originally associated with gardens and crops in the fields. In Republican times under Greek influence she was fully synchronized with the love- and fertility- goddess Aphrodite. She then became more associated with animal fertility and human sexuality. She also assumed the equivalency of Aphrodite in the Roman pantheon, being the daughter of Jupiter and Dione, wife of Vulcan, lover of Mars (and other gods and mortals), and mother of Cupid (by Mercury), Hymen, Priapus, and Aeneas.

She seems to have been adopted relatively late into the Roman pantheon, as no records record her festival or mention her flamen (chief priest). Thus she may have been promoted just so the Romans had their own version of Aphrodite. Venus was, however, very familiar elsewhere in Latium. Two ancient temples of her were at Lavinium and Ardea, where Latin festivals were held.

In Rome her festival were on April 1, the beginning of spring and Aphrodite's month, and August 18, the day before Jupiter's festival and the Vinalia Rustica hence their close association.

Among her various aspects she was Venus Vericordia, the protectress of chaste women. About 216 and 181 BC temples to Venus Erycina were built on the Capitol and outside the Colline Gate, respectively. This version was imported from Eryx in Sicily, which in turn was a version of the an eastern 'great mother goddess' such as Cybele in Anatolia or Astarte in Syria (also identified with the planet Venus) complete with temple prostitutes. Her temple was founded on April 23, which became the dies meretricum ('prostitutes' day'). This pretty much must have finished trashing the reputation and character of the old Latin spring fertility goddess venerated since time immemorial.

Venus' prominence was increased by the gens Iulia, the clan of Julius Caesar, as they claimed descent from her son Aeneas. Caesar himself dedicated a temple to Venus Genetrix ('Venus the Progenitor'), which was her most popular identity until the extinction of the Julian line, although she remained popular in Rome.

From: here

The Veneralia (April 1) was the Ancient Roman festival of Venus Verticordia ("Changer of hearts"), the goddess of love and beauty. The worship of the goddess Fortuna Virilis ("Bold fortune") was also part of this festival.

In Rome, women removed jewelry from the statue of the goddess, washed her, and adorned her with flowers, and similarly bathed themselves in the public baths wearing wreaths of myrtle on their heads. It was generally a day for women to seek divine help in their relations with men.

From: Wiki
Veneralia (Rom., Apr. 1; ancient: Kal. Apr., new moon).

April is under the protection of Venus, and some ancient authors derived the month's name from Aphrodite (perhaps via a conjectured Etruscan form, Aprodita); others derive it from aperire (to open), since it is the time when, according to Cincius and Varro, “fruits and flowers and animals and seas and lands open.”

The Veneralia, on the first day of Venus’ month, honors Venus Verticordia (Changer of Hearts) and Her companion Fortuna Virilis (Bold Fortune). In ancient times all the women, married and unmarried, went to the men's baths, as today they might go to swimming pools. Upon arriving they offer incense to Fortuna Virilis and pray that the men will not see any blemishes the women might have. They make a libation and drink the potion Venus drank on Her wedding night: pounded poppy with milk and honey. An ancient commentary (probably by Verrius) says they go to the baths to view the men's virile members. The women, crowned with myrtle wreaths, bathe and pray that Venus will bring them concord and a modest life. Ovid says, “beauty and fortune and good fame are in Her keeping.”

In addition, the women remove the jewelry and other ornaments from the statues of Venus and Fortuna so that they can be washed, after which they are redecorated and adorned with roses (Venus’s flower). [OF IV.133-64; SFR 96-7]

From: here

Also see:
(I'm going to add more links in the next few hours)
Some short prayers to her
Venus -- info
UNRV History: Venus
Venus on Roman Coins -- pics and info
List of epithets
Venus the Two-Faced Goddess
The Goddess Venus - Goddess of Love and Beauty
Venus Kallipygos
Venus Genetrix
Temple of Venus Genetrix
Capitoline Venus
Shrines of Venus Victrix (Platner & Ashby, 1929)
Temple of Venus and Rome
Myths of Greece and Rome: Aphrodite (Venus)
The Royal Museum at Naples: Plate III: Venus Callipyge
Turan, Etruscan Goddess of Love and Beauty
Modern hymn
Veneralia festival

On MW:
Adonis {God of the Week} - a lover
Mars {God of the Week} - another lover of hers
Venus worship for love
Venus "vs" Aphrodite
Venus Pre-Aphrodite
Venus and You