Adonis





In Greek mythology, Adonis was an extremely handsome youth who died and was reborn. Like many other mythological figures who are resurrected, Adonis became associated with the annual cycle of the seasons in which vegetation dies in the fall and grows again in the spring. Adonis's counterpart in Near Eastern mythology was the god Tammuz.

resurrect to raise from the dead

According to tradition, Adonis was the son of Myrrha and her father, Theias, the king of Assyria. So attractive was the infant Adonis that Aphrodite (Venus), the goddess of love, fell in love with him. She hid the baby in a box and gave him to Persephone, goddess of the underworld, for safekeeping. When Persephone saw Adonis, however, she also fell in love with him and refused to return him to Aphrodite.

Zeus * settled the dispute by ordering Adonis to divide his time between the two goddesses. During spring and summer, the time of fertility and fruitfulness, Adonis stayed with Aphrodite. He spent fall and winter, the period of barrenness and death, with Persephone.

Adonis adored hunting. While out on a chase one day during his time with Aphrodite, he was killed by a wild boar. Some stories say that the boar was Hephaestus (Vulcan) *, Aphrodite's husband, in disguise—or perhaps it was Ares, the god of war and Aphrodite's jealous lover. Beautiful red flowers called anemones grew and bloomed where Adonis's blood fell on the soil.

underworld land of the dead

Each year in ancient Greece, the worshipers of Adonis, mostly women, celebrated his rebirth by planting "gardens of Adonis" for festivals held in his honor. The god has become a symbol of male beauty, and a handsome young man is sometimes called an Adonis.

See also Aphrodite ; Ares ; Greek Mythology ; Persephone ; Vulcan .



User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

CAPTCHA


Adonis - Myth Encyclopedia forum