Priapus – Son of Aphrodite in Greek Mythology
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The Greek myths and legends give us insight into the world as the Ancient Greeks understood it. The stories are interesting, and each figure in mythology had a role to play. Priapus is one of those figures of Greek Mythology who played a minor role in the stories. Despite this, he has gotten some attention, especially since his other was the goddess Aphrodite. Here’s more information about him.
Aphrodite is considered to be Priapus’s mother, but there is controversy as to who his father was. . Was it Zeus? Pan? Adonis? Dionysus? Most do credit Dionysus, but there is a case for each of them. Even before he was born, before he could do anything good or bad, he was cursed.
Hera, furious because Paris had judged Aphrodite more beautiful than she, took her wrath out on Priapus before he was born. She cursed Priapus so that he would be impotent, and he also made him ugly. Finally she gave him an X-rated mind with an insatiable libido that he could never act on.
Shortly after he was born, all the gods on Olympus took this pitiable, ugly newborn with a huge penis and cast him out of the Elysian fields, down the mountain. The other gods were all perfect, good looking, and without flaw except, perhaps, for a significant lack of empathy. The baby landed in a pasture where he was found by shepherds. The shepherds brought him into their home and raised him.
Worshiping of Priapus
When Priapus grew older, he became more sexually aggressive, although he was never able to perform a sexual act because of the impotence Hera cursed him with. He had a constant erection except when he tried to copulate. He was thrown out when the shepherds couldn’t stand him anymore. He wandered to Asia Minor and found a home in Lampsacus on the Hellespont. There, he was honored as a god of gardens and husbandry, and, of course, a god of fertility as well.
Priapus and Lotis
Lotis was a beautiful nymph who had no interest in Priapus, as this was the nature of the curse. The little god, however, adored and lusted after her. He thought that, despite Hera’s curse, if he could sneak up on the nymph while she was asleep, he might be able to rape her. He found her sleeping in a garden and crept closer and closer. Then just as he was about to throw himself upon her, Lotis’ donkey brayed a warning. The nymph arose and ran away. Priapus ran after her, pursuing her until the gods felt sorry for her and turned her into a lotus blossom.
Priapus is one of the few gods that ancient Grecians routinely ridiculed. He was actually honored and worshipped in the rural areas where fertility is critical to the welfare of the farmers. But in the cities, urban dwellers thought he was a joke and made humorous plays of his failed love life, and regularly mocked him.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston