Since the relationships of the Olympian gods can be somewhat confusing, it helps to have a family tree of Aphrodite nearby as you study Greek mythology. The goddess of love and beauty had many consorts, so this type of diagram can really help you understand the family relationships.
Aphrodite's Family Tree
It can be difficult to establish a timeline for Aphrodite's liaisons. However, according to Theoi.com, Aphrodite was already involved with Ares at the time she married Hephaestus. She continued to be Ares lover throughout her marriage. She was also married to Hephaestus during her affair with Poseidon.
Click on the name of any god or goddess to see a little more information about that individual.
Aphrodite's Parents and Birth
Like many ancient gods and goddesses, the myth of Aphrodite's creation has several versions. In one story, which is somewhat graphic and bloody, Aphrodite was born when Cronus, one of the Titans, cut off the genitals of Ouranos, the Greek god of the sky. Cronus threw the genitals into the sea, and Aphrodite was born in the sea foam. She floated to shore on a scallop shell, which is why she is frequently depicted with seashells and other ocean images.
Another legend describes Aphrodite as being the daughter of Zeus and Dione, the original female goddess. Yet another story has her being born as an adult woman pregnant with twins. In this legend, she is the daughter of Ouranos.
Make Sense of Mythology
As the goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite figures heavily in Greek mythology. You'll find varying stories about her birth and parentage, but one thing is certain: She was the mother of many children by many different fathers. Understanding this complex family tree will help you make sense of your mythology studies.