The birth and life of Aphrodite
Aphrodite was the daughter of Uranus and sea. She emerged from the foam of the sea at Pafos and went to Olympus accompanied by Eros and Pothos to claim her place among the assembly of the Gods. At Olympus they named her Aphrodite (born of sea-foam), Cypris (the land she first appeared). She was the goddess of beauty, joy and laughter, queen of all aspects of love, guardian of young girls and governess of the fertility of animals and plants. Her symbols included rabbits, sparrows, goats, pomegranates and apples.
Aphrodite was married to the ugly and lame Hephaestos, the god of fire and patron of all
those who worked in metal. He was the greatest of all craftsmen and his wedding gift to Aphrodite was a piece of land with gold fence, palaces of gold and precious stones. Τhe land was on a mountain of Cyprus inaccessible to mortals, with a sweet climate where the soil is so fertile it produces without being cultivated and where there are two springs among green foliage. Τhis place was called 'the Baths of Aphrodite".
When Hephaestos learned from the sun that Aphrodite was betraying him with Ares (the god of war), he set υp a trap to catch them. He put a strong and invisible net on top of the bed and caught them while they were making love. Once they were caught, Hephaestos cried out and woke up the other gods and brought them to the scene.
Τhe gods laughed and joked but Poseidon urged Hephaestos to let them go, telling him that Ares would pay the adultery fine. Hephaestos denied the suggestion, saying that Ares would flee and not pay the fine. Only when Poseidon offered to pay the money himself did Hephaestus let them go.
Τhe lovers got to their feet and departed in pain, as their limbs were stiff and their muscles cramped from their long entrapment. Aphrodite returned to her birthplace Pafos and the Baths of Aphrodite where the three graces bathed her and anointed her with oils and a rare perfume, whose aroma, it is said, never fades. They restored her radiance and beauty, not knowing she was with child, Harmonia.