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Aphrodite (called Venus by the Romans) was the goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. According to Hesiodos, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus's genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the resultant sea foam (aphros). According to Homeros, she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione, an oracular Titaness ("Dione" was essentially the feminine of the genitive form, "(she) that belongs to Zeus." In every image and story she was portrayed as being a nubile young adult at birth. She was the wife of , one of the few Greek deities to be married, but she had many lovers and children, both human and divine. In some accounts Zeus married her to the ugly, deformed god of volcanoes and smithng in order to prevent violent jealous quarrels among the gods; in others, Zeus' wife Hera expelled her son Hephaestus due to his flawed physique; he retaliated by trapping her in a magic throne and only released her when she agreed to let him marry Aphrodite. At her temple on Acrocorinth and elsewhere, she was worshipped by having sex with her priestesses.
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