Venus and Aphrodite: History of a Goddess by Bettany Hughes

The Blurb (from Goodreads):

Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Bettany Hughes shows why this immortal goddess endures through to the 21st century and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans.

Charting Venus' origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess' mythical birthplace, Bettany decodes Venus' relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite and, in turn, Aphrodite's mixed-up origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation - but also as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte.

On a voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind Venus, Hughes reveals how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance and sex.

It is the both the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces and the story of human desire - how it transforms who we are and how we behave. 

My Thoughts:

I’m writing a reimagining of the ‘Eros and Psyche’ myth, and so am deep in research books about ancient Rome, the Etruscans, and Graeco-Roman myths. Many are quite mind-numbingly boring, but not this one. Venus & Aphrodite: History of a Goddess by Brittany Hughes is fresh, clever, funny, and full of interesting insights.I enjoyed it immensely. 

Kate Forsyth
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