Aphrodite was the goddess of love and beauty, the most enchanting woman in the universe. Most people say she was born from the foam of the sea, rising unclothed on a scallop shell, and stepping first on the island of Cythera. This island was sandy, rocky,and had few flowers and birds. But once the goddess set foot on it, it started to bloom, becoming one of the most beautiful places in Greece. However it seemed like a small place with few oppurtunities for the young goddess, so she moved to the island of Cyprus, where the hillsides burst into flowers and colorful birds came to sing their songs. Zeus saw Aphrodite and since she was the most beautiful goddess he had ever seen, brought her to Olympus. Hera took one look at her and decided that this goddess would bring her nothing but trouble. "Have somone marry her immediately," she said to Zeus. "If you don't, there will be endless battles and wars over who should gain possesion of the beautiful. Aphhrodite." For once Hera was right. Aphrodite was lovely to look at but faithless, vain and treacherous as well. The gods, however, saw only her beauty, and almost every god offered his most prized possession to gain her hand in marrige. Poseiden said he would make her queen of the sea and give her coral palaces, pearls, and mysterious riches that no one on earth knew about. He even promised her the power of life and death of people at sea. But riches and power,except the power to seduce all men who came near her, didn't interest her, so she said no to Poseiden. Apollo and Hermes also presented themselves as suitors but she just smiled at them and said nothing. Hera, who had been watching Zeus out of the corner of her eyes, saw him getting more and more interested in the lovely newcomer. No time, she felt, should be lost in getting Aphrodite as far from her husband's throne as possible. So she brought Hephaestus, the lame and ugly god of the forge, from his workshop at the other end of Olympus, and suggested that such a hardwork, down-to-earth man would make an excellent husband for a flighty woman like Aphrodite, Zeus finally agreed to the match. Aphrodie accepted Hephaestus, partly because he promised to make her the most beautiful jewelry ever seen in the universe, including the girdle that would make her even more irresistible than she already was, and partly because she felt that he would not watch her too closely and she could have love affairs with others. And that is excatly what happened. She spent all her time flirting and making love, Soon after her marriage she had three children. the father was not Hephaestus, but the fierce, aggresive, quarelsome, and mighty, god of war, Ares. Her husband at first knew nothing if this sort. It was the minor god, Helios,who told him. Hephaestus decided to trap her. He wove a fine net, fine as a spider's, but not quite unbreakable, and placed it in her chamber. Then told her he was going on a work trip. She invited Ares to come and visit, but Hephaestus,who had been watching his wife, stormed into her room bringing all the other gods with him. He told Zeus that he did not want his unfaithful wife any longer, that he would give her back to him, but he also wanted the return of all the valueable gifts he had made Zeus on the occasion of his marriage. Zeus did not want to return the gifts, but serveral of the other gods said they would give him the equivalant of the presents if they could have her, unfaithful or not. The gods including Poseiden, Ares, Dionysus, and hermes,all competed for her, and she had love affairs with all of them having children with several of them. However there was one problem Aphrodite had only one other quality other than attracting men with her beauty that no one else had which was she could bathe in the sea and become a virgin again, no matter how many lovers or children she had had. So Hephaestus took her back as his wife. She never changed. One story said that the fates told her she would never accomplish anything making men love her. But even love gets boring. So one day Aphrodite ,who watched Athena decided to do some weaving and was told she could only make men love her forever. So techniquely it isn't Aphrodite's fault she is unfaithful. Maybe this is why her husband continued to stay faithful in her. Her Roman name is Venus.