Venus/Aphrodite. Venus is a Roman goddess, whose functions encompassed love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory.
   In Roman mythology, she was the ancestor of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor.
   Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles. The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature.
   In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus became one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality. The Latin name of this goddess derives from the noun venus.
   Venus has been described as perhaps the most original creation of the Roman pantheon, and an ill-defined and assimilative native goddess, combined with a strange and exotic Aphrodite. Her cults may represent the religiously legitimate charm and seduction of the divine by mortals, in contrast to the formal, contractual relations between most members of Rome's official pantheon and the state, and the unofficial, illicit manipulation of divine forces through magic. In myth, Venus-Aphrodite was born of sea-foam. Roman theology presents Venus as the yielding, watery female principle, essential to the generation and balance of life. Her male counterpar
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