Thursday Theories – Cupid

Of course, just before the “day of love”. Who better to write about then the God of Love.

Now there are two different versions of Cupid. In Roman mythology, his name is Cupid and in Greek Mythology his name is Eros. Cupid is most definitely the well more known of the two though, especially in the Western world.

Cupid is the son of the God, Mercury (the winged messenger of the Gods) and Venus. He often appeared as a winged infant carrying a bow and a quiver of arrows whose wounds inspired love or passion in his every victim. It’s interesting to see that both Cupid and his Mother, Venus, are the two most well known Gods from Roman Mythology, when we are so familiar with the Greek Gods and Goddesses. I wonder, why those two?

Eros, is the son of Aphrodite and Ares. Whether or not Aphrodite was actually married to the God Hephaestus, is still up for debate. In some legends, she’s an unmarried escort to Ares and Hephaestus has another wife, some legends it’s the other way around.  In the Theogony of Hesiod (fl. 700 BCE), Eros was a primeval god, son of Chaos, the original primeval emptiness of the universe.

According to Hesiod, four primary divine beings first came into existence: the Gap (Chaos), Earth (Gaea), the Abyss (Tartarus), and Love (Eros).

Both Cupid and Eros, were represented by winged youths.

Again, though, the Ancient Eastern people also have their own “Cupid and Eros”.

Kama, (Sanskrit: “Love,” “Desire,” “Pleasure”) in the mythology of India, the god of erotic love and pleasure. As with both Cupid and Eros, in later periods he is depicted as a handsome youth, attended by heavenly nymphs, who shoots love-producing flower-arrows. His bow is of sugarcane, his bowstring a row of bees. Once directed by the other gods to arouse Shiva’s passion for Parvati, he disturbed the God’s meditation on a mountaintop. Enraged, Shiva burned him to ashes with the fire of his third eye.

It’s interesting to me, that even though they are from different Worlds, it’s amazing how very similar each cultures Gods and Goddesses are.