Peitho is the Greek goddess or spirit of seduction, charming speech and particularly of persuasion. Peitho’s Roman interpretation is named Saudela or Sauda. In many myths, Peitho is thought to be one of Aphrodite’s companions. Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, pleasure, and beauty and Peitho was her attendant. Many artists and poets liked to explore their relationship in their works, particularly because in ancient Greek culture, a suitor had to persuade the bride’s father and negotiate for her hand in marriage. The women who were incredibly desirable often had many suitors and their persuasive ability would determine if they would win her hand or not.
Peitho is often revealed as a byname of Aphrodite to show how close the relationship between love and persuasion is. The relationship between persuasion, or sweet words, and love was very important in Greek culture. However, Peitho’s place in the Olympic pantheon is slightly uncertain.
Hesiod reveals that she is the daughter of two Titans in his Theogony. Hesiod wrote that she was the daughter of Tethys and Oceanus, the titan of the ocean. With this parentage, she would be considered one of the Oceanids with sisters like Metis, Dione, Doris, and three thousand others. However, other sources indicate that Peitho was not an Oceanid.
In the myth of Pandora, where Zeus created the first woman, it was Peitho and the other Graces that gave Pandora the golden necklaces to wear around her neck while the Hours gave her a grown of flowers.
In Hermesianax, Peitho is a one of the Charities or graces. These include Algaia, Euphrosyne and Thalia, otherwise known as splendor, mirth, and good cheer. They were smaller goddesses of creativity, charm, nature, and beauty. In the Dionysiaca by Nonnus, the Graces included Pasithea, Peitho, and Aglaia, who were the offspring of Aphrodite and Dionysus. Pasithea was the goddess of relaxation and meditation while Algaia was the goddess of splendor. Many sources believe she was the daughter of Aphrodite.
In some mythologies, like the Dionysiaca, Peitho was married to the messenger of the gods, Hermes. However, in another source, she is the companion and wife of Phoroneus, a king of Argos. She is considered to be the mother of Aegialeus and Apia. Aegialeusis is considered to be an Epigoni, who retook the city of Thebes to avenge his father. He was the only captain killed of the Epigoni when they took the city Apia.
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