Eros was the mischievous god of love, a minion and constant companion of the goddess Aphrodite.

Residence: Mount Olympus
Symbols: Bow, Arrows, Lyre, Candles, Hearts, Wings and Kisses
Parents: Ares and Aphrodite
Siblings: HarmoniaPhobusDeimus, Adrestia and Anterus
Consort: Psyche
Children: Hedone
Roman equivalent: Cupid

Eros Farnese MAN Napoli 6353.jpg
The Eros Farnese, a Pompeiian marble thought to be a copy of the colossal Eros of Thespiae by Praxiteles.

Normally, he is described as one of the children of Aphrodite and Ares and, with some of his siblings, was one of the Erotes, a group of winged love gods.

Eros with Zeus and Aphrodite. Apulian red-figure loutrophoros, c. 350-340 BC. Getty Museum. (c)
Eros picking grapes. Roman mosaic, 4th c. AD. Carthage National Museum.

Eros and Psyche

The story tells of the struggle for love and trust between Eros and Psyche. Aphrodite was jealous of the beauty of mortal princess Psyche, as men were leaving her altars barren to worship a mere human woman instead, and so she commanded her son Eros, the god of love, to cause Psyche to fall in love with the ugliest creature on earth. But instead, Eros fell in love with Psyche himself and spirited her away to his home. Their fragile peace is ruined by a visit from Psyche‘s jealous sisters, who cause Psyche to betray the trust of her husband. Wounded, Eros left his wife, and Psyche wandered the Earth, looking for her lost love. Eventually she approached Aphrodite and asked for her help. Aphrodite imposed a series of difficult tasks on Psyche, which she is able to achieve by means of supernatural assistance.

Cupid and Psyche. Sculpture by Antonio Canova. Hermitage Museum.

After successfully completing these tasks, Aphrodite relented and Psyche became immortal to live alongside her husband Eros. Together they had a daughter, Hedone (meaning physical pleasure, bliss).

Marriage of Cupid and Psyche, c. 1773, jasperware by Wedgwood based on the 1st c. AD Marlborough gem, which most likely was intended to depict an initiation rite. Brooklyn Museum.

Back to the Erotes