"one of those wanton smiles, which Homer would have you conceive came from Venus "
Venus, most beautiful of the goddesses, and her son Cupid
Public DomainVenus, most beautiful of the goddesses, and her son Cupid - Credit: Jan Saenredam

Venus is a Roman goddess, embodying beauty, sex, enticement, seduction and persuasive female charm.  Her male counterparts are Vulcan and Mars, who vie for her attentions. Venus can bestow military victory, sexual success, good fortune and prosperity. In some accounts, she is the goddess of prostitutes, in others she turns men and women away from sexual vice to virtue. 

Homer’s Odyssey tells the tale of Mars/Ares and Venus/Aphrodite, conducting an affair in the house of Vulcan/Hephaestus, her husband. The sun tells Vulcan what is taking place under his roof. Vulcan, enraged, forges magical unbreakable and invisible chains with which he sets a trap for the lovers.  Vulcan calls down the wrath of the gods upon the cheating pair, but the gods all agree that they too would sleep with Venus if they had the chance, and they prevail upon Vulcan to set the couple free.

 

The Odyssey on Book Drum