Greek God of beauty and desire
Adonis was the god of beauty and desire in Greek mythology. He was originally worshipped in Phoenicia (which is now the modern-day Lebanon) but he was adopted by the Greeks later.
He was the son of Theias, the king of Syria. His mother was Myrrha (who was also known by the name Smryna) and she was actually Theias’ daughter. In the myth, Myrrha fell in love with her father and tricked him into having sex with her, which is how Adonis was conceived.
When King Theias found out that his daughter had tricked him he tried to find her and kill her. Myrrha begged the gods for mercy and they transformed her into a myrrh tree.
Later on, Aphrodite and Persephone would have a dispute over Adonis because both of the goddesses wanted him and Persephone refunded to give him back. In the end, Zeus had to get involved and settle the argument once and for all.
Zeus told the goddesses that a third of a year should be given to both of them and the other would be for Adonis to decide. Adonis chose to be with Aphrodite for two thirds a year.
Adonis died after being attacked by a wild boar that was sent by Artemis. Artemis was jealous of his hunting skills and wanted to punish him. Another version of that story says that Ares, the god of war, sent the boar to kill Adonis, because he was Aphrodite’s lover.
After the death of Adonis, Aphrodite then let nectar flow over his blood and the anemone flower sprouted.
Roles and Responsibilities of Adonis
- From his blood sprinkled with nectar sprung the short lived flower named Anemone and the Adonis river.
- He spent one third of the year with Persephone and two thirds of the year with Aphrodite to settle the dispute between the two goddesses.
- He was a hunter and was said to have been envied by Artemis which led to his demise.
- He was said to be a fertility god.
Appearance and Personality of Adonis
- He was said to be an extremely beautiful young man and the most beautiful among men.
- Not much of his personality was talked about.
Facts about Adonis
- He was a product of incest. Apparently, her mother was struck by Eros instructed by Aphrodite to love his father because of her father bragging that his daughter was more beautiful than Aphrodite.
- He was born in a Myrrh tree (his transformed mother).
- Aphrodite fell in love at first sight and hid him away with Persephone.
- Persephone also loved him as he grew up.
- Artemis was said to have killed him by sending a boar.
- Other sources say that he was killed by Ares who was transformed into a boar when Persephone taunted him that his beloved had a mortal lover.
- He was said to come back to life.
- He was also said to be a god of vegetation.
- Mostly women worshipped him.
- Adoniscries were women’s laments.
- There was an Adonis garden adorned with potted flowers surrounding his statue.
- His blood was said to have formed the Adonis river which turns to red and fades when he came back to life.
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