For Valentine’s Day this year, I thought it would be fun to take another look at that quintessential goddess of love, Aphrodite. So in honor of the holiday, I would like to celebrate this beguiling figure from myth by discussing a book devoted to her. The book is Worshipping Aphrodite. As the subtitle “Art and Cult in Classical Athens” suggests, Worshipping Aphrodite examines the roles the goddess played specifically in the ancient city of Athens.
Rachel Rosenzweig is the author of Worshipping Aphrodite.
Each of the seven chapters is focused on examining particular elements of Aphrodite worship. I reckon it is worth listing the chapters here, to give you an idea of what’s going on in the book. So here they are : Chapter One Aphrodite in Myth and Drama; Chapter Two Aphrodite Pandemos and Peitho; Chapter Three Aphrodite in the Gardens; Chapter Four Aphrodite and the Arrephoria; Chapter Five Aphrodite Ourania; Chapter Six Other Attic Shrines of Aphrodite; Chapter Seven Aphrodite on the East Frieze of the Parthenon: A Question of Identity. As you can see, this is a serious, in depth study of Aphrodite in different contexts.
The book also features some additional useful features, including a glossary of Greek terms, extensive notes, a list of works cited, black and white illustrations, and of course a comprehensive index. Worshipping Aphrodite is a bit of a scholarly read, which is perfect for those of us who love to learn about the nuance of our favorite figures of myth.