Lovers


Aphrodite & Adonis
The goddess of love was struck with desire for the handsome mortal Adonis.
Aphrodite was Adonis lover and had a part in his birth. Once Adonis was born, Aphrodite took him under her wing, seducing him with the help of Helene, her friend, and was entranced by his unearthly beauty. She gave him to Persephone to watch over, but Persephone was also amazed at his beauty and refused to give him back. The argument between the two goddesses was settled either by Zeus, with Adonis spending four months with Aphrodite, four months with Persephone and four months of the years on his own. Adonis was eventually killed by a jealous Ares. While Adonis was hunting, Ares found him and gored him to death. Aphrodite arrived just in time to hear his last breath. She then turned him into a rose. It is also said that Aphrodite bore a daughter to Adonis, Beroe.

Aphrodite & Ares
The beautiful Greek Goddess Aphrodite had an ugly husband named Hephaestus. He was the only ugly and lame god in Olympus. The Greek Goddess Aphrodite sought, and often found, comfort in the arms of handsomer men. Ares, God of War, was good-looking and caught her eye. One night they spent together was too good to ever end, and the sunrise found them still in bed. This was a strategic blunder since in Greek mythology the sun is the god Helius, who saw them plainly. Helius told Hephaestus that he had seen his wife with Ares in Ares' palace in Thrace. Hephaestus became angry. He decided to lay a trap for the lovers. He would end the affair in a way that would be a terrible embarrassment for the Greek Goddess.
Hephaestus was an inventor. He had made many clever things for the gods. For his wife he made a net of bronze so fine it was soft as silk. He draped it on Aphrodite's bed and attached it to a machine. The device would pull the net tight when the lovers moved on top of it.When Greek Goddess Aphrodite returned from Thrace, she told her husband she had been away on business. Hephaestus accepted this lie and told another in return. He said he was leaving Olympus for a short vacation.As Hephaestus had planned, Aphrodite invited Ares to join her that night. They laid on the bed and soon the trap was sprung. They were held tight by the net and neither could move.The next morning Hephaestus invited all the gods and goddesses of Olympus to Aphrodite's bedroom. He wanted them all to see the lovers pinned down together. The goddesses refused to attend and remained in their houses. All the male gods came.The couple were finally released and Ares returned to Thrace. He was hurt and embarrassed that his affair with Aphrodite had ended so badly.

Apollo & Daphne
Daphne was one of the most famous loves of Apollo. She was the daughter of a river, and she had decided to remain unmarried. One day, Apollo saw Eros playing with his arrows and said, "Little boy, what are you doing with a man's arrows? Leave archery to me, and be content with your own play things!" "Apollo, you don't scare me. My arrows are more powerful than yours, and even your medicines can not heal the wounds they cause," Eros replied, taking two arrows from his quiver. One arrow of love, and the other of dislike. He struck Apollo with the arrow of love, and struck Daphne, who happened to be near by with the arrow that will repel it. Instantly, Apollo fell in love with Daphne and was determined to woo her. But Daphne did not want Apollo’s love, and ran away from him. "Daphne, my love," Apollo said, running after her. "Do you not recognize me? I am the God of Light, the song, the lyre, and many others! Do not tell me that you do not know me! I am also the God of the Oracle of Delphi, I will tell you your future!" But although Apollo offered to show Daphne her future, he did not look into his own. Still, with many words said and done, with many miles run between the two, Daphne still refused Apollo, and ran away. Finally, Daphne was beginning to grow tire, and still, Apollo was running after her. She prayed to her father to protect her from Apollo. Daphne’s arms began turning into tree limbs, her body hardened and turned stiff. Her face became wood while her hair turned green, and her feet sank into the ground to become roots. When Apollo reached her, he found a tree in her place. She had become a laurel tree. Apollo took her leaves and made it into a wreath. That wreath was then awarded to all victors at Olympic games as the highest honor possible.

Ceyx & Alcyone
The union of Ceyx, the son of the Morning Star, and Alcyone, daughter of King Aeolus of the winds, is the symbol of marital fidelity. Some myths say that their relationship is so perfect, shaming the marriage of Zeus and Hera that the gods turn the couple into two ice birds, the halcyon. Other myths say that Ceyx leaves his wife to seek the counsel of an oracle but his ship wrecks and he drowns. In the same moment of time Alcyone dreams a dream sent by the god of Sleep Morpheus in which Ceyx appears and warns Alcyone of his death. Alcyone awakens and rushes to the shore where she finds the body of her deceased husband. In sorrow, Alcyone throws herself into the ocean in order to reunite with her husband with whom she can not live without. She is transformed into a halcyon, her cries are those of the bird. The gods take pity on her and transform Ceyx into one as well so the two shall never part again. Since then Aeolus has calmed the winds seven days preceding and following the winter solstice.

Clytie & Helios
Clytie was a water-nymph and in love with Helios, who made her no return. So she pined away, sitting all day long upon the cold ground, with her unbound tresses streaming over her shoulders. Nine days she sat and tasted neither food nor drink, her own tears and the chilly dew her only food. She gazed on the sun when he rose, and as he passed through his daily course to his setting. She saw no other object, her face turned constantly on him. At last, they say, her limbs rooted in the ground, her face became a flower which turns on its stem so as always to face the sun throughout its daily course.

Echo & Narcissus
Narcissus was a very handsome mortal lad. All the maidens longed to be his, but he would have none of them. He wanted someone as beautiful as he was handsome. Heart broken maidens were nothing to him. Even the saddest case of the fairest nymph, Echo, did not move him. Echo fell in love with him at once. She wanted to call out, "Wait! I love you!" when she saw him walking in the forrest. But her voice was frozen in her throat by Hera's curse. The young man went deeper and deeper into the forest, until he came upon a calm stream. He was thirsty and so he bent over to drink, but as he leaned over he caught sight of his reflection in the water. He was as taken by his beauty as Echo had been, but without her barrier. He immediatly spoke to his reflection, "I love you." Echo, nearby and hearing her chance quickly responded, "love you . . ." But it was too late, Narcissus was too engrossed with himself to notice the nymph. His love was his obsession and would not leave the stream to eat, nor disturb his image to drink and so he died of thirst and hunger and unrequited self-love.

Eros & Psyche
Psyche was the most beautiful young woman in the world, so lovely that she incurred the jealousy of Aphrodite. She sent her son Eros to cause her to fall in love with a man whose ugliness was as great as Psyche's beauty. When Eros saw Psyche for himself, it was he who fell in love with her, and he spared her his mother's curse. In the darkness of night, Eros came to Psyche and made love to her, but he warned her never to try to see his face, for he insisted that she not know who he was. Her envious sisters convinced her to light a lamp in her lover's presence to see his true form, filling her thoughts with fears that he might be an evil and hideous monster. When Psyche did gaze upon the face of Eros, she realized her foolishness. When a drop of oil from the lamp fell upon Eros' chest and caused him to awaken, he saw that Psyche had disobeyed and he fled, abandoning her.

Helen & Paris
Paris, a Trojan prince, came to Sparta to marry Helen, whom he had been promised by Aphrodite after he had chosen her as the most beautiful of the goddesses, earning the wrath of Athena and Hera. Helen fell in love with him, as the goddess had promised and lovers together eloped to Troy.
On discovering what had happened, Menelaus asked his brother to summon the Greek kings and heroes to go to war against Troy. Menelaos eventually got Helen back, and after a difficult journey, taking them to places like Cyprus and Egypt, they went back to Sparta, had a daughter, Hermione, and lived happily ever after.

Hero & Leander
Leander was a young man from Abydos. He fell in love with Hero and would swim every night across the Hellespont to be with her. Hero would light a lamp at the top of her tower to guide his way. Succumbing to Leander's soft words, and to his argument that Aphrodite, as goddess of love, would scorn the worship of a virgin, Hero allowed him to make love to her. This routine lasted through the warm summer. But one stormy winter night, the waves tossed Leander in the sea and the breezes blew out Hero's light, and Leander lost his way, and was drowned. Hero threw herself from the tower in grief and died as well.

Odysseus & Penelope
Icarius promised his beautiful daughter Penelope to the man who could beat him in a footrace. Odysseus defeated Icarius and took Penelope as his bride. Icarius wanted the young couple to stay by him, but Odysseus insisted on leaving. Icarius asked Penelope what she wanted but she did not answer but merely dropped her veil over her face. This signified that she would follow her husband. Icarius was then inspired to build a statue of Modesty. Penelope and Odysseus journeyed to Ithaca and Penelope bore Odysseus a son, Telemachus. Odysseus was happily married and when Greeks came to enlist his support in the Trojan War, he at first feigned madness. Palamedes, however, tricked Odysseus into betraying his deceit and Odysseus was forced to enter the war. When the war was over and there was no sign of Odysseus, many suitors came to seek Penelope's hand in marriage. As time went on and the chance that Odysseus would return became smaller, the suitors got more and more badly behaved and began to take over control of the palace. In order to avoid choosing a husband, Penelope came up with a plan. She announced that she was weaving a shroud for Laertes, her father-in-law. She said that, once she had finished, she would choose from among the many suitors. Penelope wove during the day, and unloosened the weaving at night, therefore buying time. Odysseus returned after a long journey, and killed all of the suitors. Penelope and Odysseus lived out a happy life until he was killed by Telegonus, his son by Circe. Telegonus had not meant to kill Odysseus, and he took Penelope and Telemachus to Circe's home where they buried Odysseus. Penelope represented the idealic wife. She remained faithful to her husband, and remained civil to the unwanted suitors. Even today she is often thought of as a symbol of virtue.

Orpheus & Eurydice
Orpheus so adored his wife that when she died, he descended to the underworld in order to bring her back to life. was the wife of Orpheus. While fleeing from Aristaeus, Eurydice was bitten by a serpent and died. Distraught, Orpheus played such sad songs and sang so mournfully that all the nymphs and gods wept and gave him advice. Orpheus traveled to the underworld and by his music softened the hearts of Hades and Persephone, and even made the Furies weep. In another version Orpheus played his lyre to put the guardian of Hades, Cerberus, to sleep. It was then granted that Eurydice be allowed to return with him to the world of the living. But the condition was attached that he should walk in front of her and not look back until he had reached the upper world. In his anxiety, he broke his promise, and Eurydice vanished again from his sight.

Perseus & Andromeda
On the way back to Seriphos, Perseus stopped in the Phoenician kingdom Ethiopia, ruled by King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia, having boasted herself equal in beauty to Aphrodite, drew down the vengeance of Poseidon, who sent an inundation on the land and a sea-monster, Ceto, which destroyed man and beast. The oracle of Ammon announced that no relief would be found until the king exposed his daughter Andromeda to the monster, and so she was fastened to a rock on the shore. Here Perseus, returning from having slain the gorgon, found her, slew the monster, and set her free. Perseus married Andromeda in spite of Phineus, to whom she had before been promised. At the wedding a quarrel took place between the rivals, and Phineus was turned to stone by the sight of the Gorgon's head.

Pygmalion & Galatea
Pygmalion was a confirmed bachelor. There were so many qualities in women that he despised that he could not bear the idea of marriage. He was a sculptor, and had made with wonderful skill a statue of ivory, so beautiful that no living woman came anywhere near it. It was indeed the perfect semblance of a maiden that seemed to be alive, and only prevented from moving by modesty. His art was so perfect that it concealed itself and its product looked like the workmanship of nature. Pygmalion admired his own work, and at last fell in love with the counterfeit creation. The festival of Venus (Aphrodite) was at hand - a festival celebrated with great pomp at Cyprus. Victims were offered, the altars smoked, and the odour of incense filled the air. When Pygmalion had performed his part in the solemnities, he stood before the altar and timidly said, "Ye gods, who can do all things, give me, I pray you, for my wife" - he dared not say "my ivory virgin," but said instead - "one like my ivory virgin." Venus (Aphrodite), who was present at the festival, heard him. She takes pity on him and brings the statue to life. They marry and have a son, Paphos.

Selene & Endymion
As the myth goes, Selene saw Endymion, a shepherd, asleep in a cave on Mt. Latmus one night. She fell in love with him, and began to neglect her duties to lie beside him as he slept. In some stories, Zeus grants Endymion perpetual sleep with perpetual youth, so that Selene would resume her duties. In others, Selene herself puts him to sleep.

Tithonus & Eos
Eos, the Goddess of Dawn, was a dewy young daughter of the Sun. Like other young maidens, she fell in love with beautiful young men, and Eos had a thing for pretty young mortal men. The primary object of her affections was a a handsome young Trojan named Tithonius. Eos really liked him a lot - she had his son, Memnon, and made Memnon the King of Ethiopia. But Tithonius was content to just sit and chill with Eos. The problem came when the couple realized that Tithonius, being mortal, would age. So Tithonius begged Eos for immortality, and Eos begged Zeus. Zeus granted the couple's wish - despite his reservations about the idea (but he couldn't say anything, because he slept with mortals all the time). Tithonius was indeed granted immortality - but the two did NOT live happily ever after. Here's why: Tithonius had been granted eternal life - that's true - but NOT eternal youth. So Tithonius grew older and older and more and more unattractive until he shrunk into a grasshopper. Eos was completely disgusted and couldn't deal with his constant chirping or his ugly form, so she let him into the world. Another story says that when he got really really old he begged Eos for death - but once immortal, there's no changing things back, so she turned him into a grasshopper instead.

Theseus & Ariadne
In Crete, long long ago, there lived a kind named Minos. This king was married to a daughter of the Sun (Helios) named Pasiphae. Together they had many children, four sons and four daughters, but it was his daughters who's lives were remembered. One in particular is often sung of, and that was the fair Ariadne. Among sweet Ariadne's family there was included a fearsome beast, the Minotaur, who was sent as a punishment upon the family. Pasiphae had coupled with a bull to have this son (the mischief of the Gods was at fault), but when he was born, the he was a monster. Pasiphae couldn't kill her son, but the beast ate human flesh, so they imprisoned it in an inescapable Labyrinth (built by Daedalus). Every year, sacrifices were required to the Minotaur, and the young men and women were locked into the Labyrinth to await their fate. Theseus arrived in Crete as just that kind of tribute, for he had been selected as the victim in Athens - handpicked by Minos himself. But Theseus had a different fate in store for him - he was a hero. The beautiful Ariadne saw the shining brightness of the hero within, and fell in love with him. She found Daedalus, the master inventor and builder and begged his aid. The aging genius had a soft spot in his heart for the girl and agreed to help her. He gave her a ball of thread and instructions for its use. In turn, Ariadne went to Theseus with the yarn, and bade him fasten the end to the door of the Labyrinth so that once the Minotaur was dead, he could find his way back again. Theseus entered the Labyrinth and killed the brute with his bare fists - saving all the other youths who were destiny was dinner - then followed Ariadne's commands and found his way back to her. With no time to spare, the lovers and the freed youths ran to the port of Crete and boarded the ship that had brought them there. They fled to Naxos, where they stopped to rest and replenish their supplies - besides, Naxos was beautiful at that time of year. But unfortunately for Theseus, things started to go downhill from there. Ariadne wandered off on the island and was spied by the God of Wine, Dionysus, who fancied her and came to her, offering his magical wine to make her forget her lover and her destination. Dionysus carried Ariadne away to Lemnos, and there they had four sons. Poor Theseus was distraught. He had lost his love, and his mind was black. But before we continue with the narrative, I must inform you of what happened before Theseus left Athens. As it happens, Theseus was a prince. The son of King Aegeus. And when he left on his journey, the crew and Theseus made a pact. If Theseus returned with the ship, alive and well, then the ship would fly sails of white - but if Theseus had perished, the sails would remain the black cloth that they flew leacing Athens' harbor. Now, Theseus, as I have said, was grieving deeply for his lost love, and in his sorrow he forgot the pact with his father and left the sails black. King Aegeus was at the edge of the cliff near a little temple to the Wingless Victory, looking out to sea every day waiting for the ship's return. He had only just found his son - though that's another story - and he was loathe to lose him again so quickly. The day Theseus and the ship reached Athens, King Aegeus looked out and saw the black sails flying. His heart was crushed - to have lost the son he loved so dearly, so quickly after finding him again - and Aegeus fell from the cliff onto the rocks and the sea below. Since his fall, the sea has been called the Aegean Sea. Theseus returned to find his father dead, his love was lost. It was a tragedy in the highest.

Zeus & Danae
In Greek mythology, Danae was the daughter of Acrisius (Acrisius was the king of Argos). According to the prophecy, the son Danae was destined to bear would be instrumental in the death of his grandfather, Acrisius. In order to prevent this event from taking place, King Acrisius locked his daughter in an inaccessible tower, thereby removing her from contact with any potential suitors. Or so he thought... The god Zeus, who always had an eye for female charms, was struck by the beauty of Danae, and desired her. Zeus therefore transformed himself into a shower of gold, and in this form impregnated Danae. The result of this union of human and divine was the great Greek hero Perseus.

Zeus & Europa
On one fine morning, Europa was out gathering flowers in a field. Many girls Europa's age were there and were picking wildflowers to put in their baskets. Being the most beautiful one there, Europa caught the attention of Zeus, who fell in love with her. Zeus knew he simply had to go down to Earth and see Europa. Even though Hera was away, Zeus thought that he should be careful, and so he changed himself into a bull. This bull that Zeus made himself into was a chestnut color and it had perfect golden horns. When Zeus as the bull approached the girls in the field, they were not frightened, but gathered around to pet him. Europa was one of the girls petting this marvelous beast and pressured by the others, climbed onto his back. As soon as Europa was on his back, Zeus took off, faster than lightning and raced not through, but over the water. Flying across the water, all sorts of strange sea creatures followed all around Zeus like a parade. Soon, Poseidon himself was in the procession. Knowing this could be no ordinary bull, Europa begged the bull to tell her who he really was. Zeus told her who he was and that he was taking her to the island of Crete. It was there, he said, that his own mother had hidden him from his father and that is where she, Europa, would give birth to Zeus' children. Everything happened as Zeus said, and the two children were Minos and Rhadamanthus.

Zeus & Io
One day, as Zeus was sitting high up on his Olympian throne he spotted a beautiful young priestess named Io. He came down to her, and was so awed by him that she fell in love with him immediately. Now, Io was a priestess in the temple of Hera, Zeus' wife, so if Zeus and Io were caught together Io could expect not to live a long nor happy life. Their affair lasted for quite sometime, but, as always, Hera became suspicious of Zeus' "innocent" actions. Fearing for Io's life, Zeus changed the girl into a beautiful white cow. Hera, knowing what Zeus had done, asked for Zeus to give her the cow. Zeus did as his wife asked. Hera, not really wanting to keep Zeus away from the cow herself asked Argus to guard Io. Now, Argus was perhaps the best guard in Ancient Greece, for he had 100 eyes, and never needed to close them all in sleep at one time. He could, in essence, watch his charge all of the time. Hera told Argus to let Io wander as she wanted, as long as she kept away from Zeus, and wander she did, giving her name to the Ionian gulf. Soon, though, she grew tired of her restless ways and settled down. Zeus, still feeling sorry for what he had done asked Hermes to lull Argus to sleep and steal Io away. Hermes lulled the giant to sleep and killed him, so he would not follow once he had woken up. Hera was very upset when she discovered what had happened, and placed Argus' eyes on the tail feathers of the peacock. Not quite finished with Io, Hera sent a horsefly to drive the cow crazy. The fly drove Io to Egypt, where Zeus found her and turned her back into a human. She soon gave birth to a son, Epaphus. Still in a jealous rage, Hera abducted Epaphus, and Io spent the rest of her days looking for him. Some scholars say she found him and returned to Egypt, where she became the goddess Isis.

Zeus & Leda
Leda was so beautiful that even Zeus took notice of her. Disguised as a swan, so his wife Hera would not find out about his adultery, he went to her and seized her by the nape of her neck and had his way with her. A man also had intercourse with her the same night, Tyndareus. According to one legend, she laid two eggs -- one with Zeus children in it and another with the man's children, From these endeavors, she bore Polydeuces and Helen, who were semi divine, and Castor and Clytemnestra who were mortal.

Zeus & Semele
Semele was the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, and the mother, by Zeus, of the god Dionysus. Because Zeus slept with Semele secretly, Hera only found out about the affair after the girl was pregnant. Bent on revenge, Hera disguised herself and persuaded Semele to demand that Zeus come to her in all the splendor with which he visited Hera. As a result, Semele asked Zeus to grant an unspecified favor, and got him to swear by the river Styx that he would grant it. Unable to break his oath, Zeus came to her armed in his thunder and lightning, and Semele was destroyed. However, Zeus rescued the unborn child from the mother's ashes and sewed it in his thigh until it was ready to be born.