Ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, desire, and all aspects of sexuality, Aphrodite could entice both gods and men into illicit affairs with her good looks and whispered sweet nothings. Born near Cyprus from the severed genitalia of the sky god Uranus, Aphrodite had a much wider significance than the traditional view as a mere goddess of love and sex. Worshipped by men, women, and city-state officials, she also played a role in the commerce, warfare, and politics of ancient Greek cities. In addition, Aphrodite was honoured as a protector of those who travelled by sea and, less surprisingly, courtesans and prostitutes. The goddess’ Roman equivalent was Venus.