The myth of Aphrodite and Anchises
The myth of Anchises comes from a Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite. In this hymn we learn about how the mortal Anchises was selected by Zeus to become a lover of the goddess Aphrodite.
The Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite features some lovely descriptions of the manner in which the goddess appears to the mortal man:
“And Aphrodite, the daughter of Zeus, stood before him,
in size and form like an unwed maiden,
so that he might not see who she was and be afraid.
When Anchises saw her, he pondered and marveled,
at her size and form, and at her glistening garments.
She was clothed in a robe more brilliant than gleaming fire
and wore spiral bracelets and shining earrings,
while round her tender neck there were beautiful necklaces…”
(Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, lines 81-88)
In this version of the myth Aphrodite pretended to be a Phrygian princess and seduced Anchises for nearly two weeks of lovemaking, unknown to Anchses that she was a goddess. Anchises learned that his lover was a goddess only Nine months later when Aphrodite revealed herself and presented him with the infant Aeneas only then Anchises realized that his lover was really godesss Aphrodite. Aphrodite then warned Anchises that if he bragged of the affair with Aphrodite he would be blasted by the thunderbolt of Zeus. Anchsies disregarded Aphrodite’s warning and was crippled by Zeus’ thunderbold. In Homer’s Iliad, after the sack of Troy by the Greeks, the elderly Anchises is carried from the burning city by his son Aeneas.