Cyprus, Aphrodite's Earthly Home
Updated: May 1
Aphrodite, the ancient Greek Olympian goddess of beauty and love came ashore in the sea foam off the island of Cyprus. Legend tells that she rose from the waves and was escorted on a shell to this particular beach.
Petra tou Romiou is an interesting geological formation of huge rocks along one of the most beautiful coastlines on the island has been regarded since ancient times as the birthplace of Aphrodite, goddess of love and fertility.
Indeed, during certain weather conditions, the waves rise, break and form a column of water that dissolves into a pillar of foam. With imagination, this momentarily looks like an ephemeral, evanescent human shape. Other popular myths tell that swimming around the rock three times will bring various blessings, including eternal youth and beauty, good luck, fertility and true love.
According to ancient tradition, Aphrodite was born from the waves on the site off the coast of Cyprus. In his Theogony(178-206), Hesiod provides the following dramatic account of the event:
Aphrodite was escorted ashore on a shell by the soft breezes of the Zephyrs at the rocks known as Petra tou Romiou.
This myth is most memorably depicted in Botticelli's Birth of Venus.
A much older rendering of the event can be seen in a fine mural at Pompeii.