Believed to have been born close to Cyprus, Aphrodite was especially worshipped in Paphos on the island - a geographic location which hints at her eastern origins as a fertility goddess and possible evolution from the Phoenician goddess Astarte or the Near Eastern Inanna (Ishtar). The two areas of Greece and the Near East witnessed intense cultural exchange prior to the 8th-century BCE Archaic Period, and it is perhaps significant that the 5th-century BCE Greek historian Herodotus states that the most ancient cult site to Aphrodite was at Ascalon in Syria. It is also possible that the goddess derived from an entirely local Cypriot deity. The strong association with the island is evidenced in her common name, Cypris, meaning ‘of Cyprus’
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Gallery Of Myths
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