Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes

home | greek | gods | free spirits | Eros

Eros at a Glance

name | Eros (’ErwV)

role | god of love and desire

>symbol | bow

Eros in Greek Mythology
Eros was the god of love in Greek mythology. And with a power as potent as that of love and desire, it should come as no surprise that Eros played a significant role in myth and legend. Indeed, Eros was the darling of poets and artists over the centuries. But there is more to this god - he also inspired desire in countless Greek gods, goddesses, heroes, and heroines. Read more to learn about this remarkable mythical figure.

There are two popular but very different versions of the birth of this important god. According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Eros was one of the first deities born into the world. Hesiod, in his Theogony, claims that Eros emerged from Chaos (which can be described as a sort of void) along with Gaia (the Earth) and Tartarus (the Underworld). Furthermore, the Theogony features an intriguing description of Eros:

"...and Eros, the fairest of the deathless gods;
he unstrings the limbs and subdues both mind
and sensible thought in the breasts of all gods and all men."
(Hesiod, Theogony, 120-2)

The power wielded by Eros is made clear in this passage - no one, divine or mortal, could resist his spell of enchantment. In Hesiod's version, therefore, Eros is a potent, irresistible god.

However, there is one other significant variation in myth about the birth of Eros. According to some sources, Eros was the son of the goddess Aphrodite (occasionally, it is claimed that he is the child of both Aphrodite and Ares). As Aphrodite's son, Eros loses a bit of his power and prestige and becomes more of a companion (or accomplice) to the goddess of love and desire. This could be one possible explanation for why Eros, over the centuries, is transformed in myth and art from a handsome young man to a chubby mischievous child. (For a myth about Eros, see the story of his relationship with Psyche).

Eros was known as Cupid in Roman mythology.

Eros in Art History
Gallery | For pictures and information about Eros in art, visit the Mythography gallery!

Do you have a specific question about Greek mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!

Now I know why Eros, of all the progeny of Earth and Heaven, has been most dearly loved

- Sappho

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.