What Would Aphrodite Have Held In Her Missing Left Hand?


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Jason Schwarzmann Profile
The statue famously known 'Venus de Milo' or Aphrodite of Melos; depicts the Greek Goddess of beauty and was sculpted in the Hellenistic period (323-31 BC). It was found on the Greek Island of Melos in 1820, but it is strongly believed the sculpture was created in circa 100BC.

A notable feature of the sculpture is the absence of Aphrodite's left hand, which is more likely than not due to damage over the years than any kind of artistic decision. It is highly likely that Aphrodite would be holding an APPLE in her left hand if the statue was still fully intact, and this is down to a story in Greek mythology known as 'The Judgement of Paris'. This story is as follows:

"The gods and goddesses as well as various mortals were invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles). Only the goddess Eris (Discord) was not invited, but she arrived with a golden apple inscribed with the word kallistēi ("to the fairest one"), which she threw among the goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, and thus the rightful owner of the apple.

The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeus, who, not wanting to favor one of the goddesses, put the choice into the hands of Paris. After bathing in the spring of Mount Ida (where Troy was situated), the goddesses appeared to Paris, but Paris couldn't decide, so they resorted to bribes. Hera tried to bribe Paris with control over all Asia and Europe, while Athena offered wisdom, fame and glory in battle, but Aphrodite came forth and presented herself to Paris naked. She whispered to Paris that if he were to choose her as the fairest he would have the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, and he accordingly chose her. This woman was Helen, who was, unfortunately for Paris, already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. The other two goddesses were enraged by this and through Helen's abduction by Paris they brought about the Trojan War."

This could also explain the decision behind displaying the sculpture in the Louvre Museum in Paris, as both the story and the city in which the museum is based share the same name.
Ray Ottewell Profile
Ray Ottewell answered
I was going to say apple, and an apple it is
Caroline Jackson Profile
Ummm.. An ice-cream I think....  :) xx

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