I am a Latin student, and currently studying the Trojan war myths

How could Aphrodite, being the goddess of love (being almost as far from a war goddess as possible) help Paris and the Trojans during the Trojan war?

  • 3
    Your premise is faulty. To paraphrase the BBC's Sherlock, love can be a vicious motivator. The whole story about the Sacred Band of Thebes was that people will fight more fiercely to defend a beloved than just another soldier. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacred_Band_of_Thebes Being the goddes of love does not make her far from being a war goddess. The opposite of love is not war; it's indifference. May 14, 2018 at 10:01
  • 1
    @LaurenIpsum My professors taught that Aphrodite was the only goddess with real power over Zeus (because she has control of the "little brain" men are often prone to thinking with;)
    – DukeZhou
    May 17, 2018 at 19:52
  • See my note on Rodia's answer.
    – DukeZhou
    May 17, 2018 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


Being the goddess of beauty and love doesn't turn Aphrodite harmless. Quite the contrary...

Theoi site gives a full summary of Aphrodite's role in the Trojan war.

  • Convinced Ares to side with the Trojans.
  • Saved Paris when he lost his duel against Menelaus.
  • Wounded by Diomedes while trying to save Aeneas.
  • Takes part in the battle of the gods after Patroclus's death.
  • She and Apollo protected the corpse of Hector until it could be ransomed by his father Priam.

And this is only in the Iliad, Aphrodite also protects Aeneas (his son), helping him escape after the fall of Troy, and saves Helen from the wrath of Menelaus, rekindling their love.

It's also notable that in the myths, the Trojan War is originated by love and a beauty contest in which Aphrodite bought the jury (Paris) by offering him the most beautiful mortal in the world to be his wife, which happened to be Helen.

  • 2
    And also, Helen, described by Marlowe in his Faust as "the face that launch'd a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium", is an avatar (semi-divine) of Aphrodite. No Aphrodite, no Trojan war. No Trojan war, no glory for the Hellenes. Helen is, after all, accounted the daughter of Zeus, like her brother Polydeuces.
    – DukeZhou
    May 17, 2018 at 19:54

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