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In Roman Mythology, the Roman goddess of love, beauty, seduction and female charm is Venus. The equivalent in Greek Mythology is Aphrodite. In Greek Mythology, there is a male counterpart - Adonis. However, in Roman Mythology there is no male counterpart to Venus, only the cherub Cupid, the son of Venus, whose Greek counterpart is Eros.
Symbols associated with Venus include roses and myrtle, the latter thought to be a potent aphrodisiac (stemming from the word Aphrodite). She inspired the name of the planet Venus, the neighbouring planet to ours in the direction of the Sun in the solar system. Venus is the second brightest object in the night sky after the Moon and is sometimes referred to as the Evenstar (similar to the character Arwen in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings tale). It is also sometimes referred to as the Earth's 'sister planet' as it is similar in size and mass and similarly has a central core, molten mantle and crust.
Several works of art have depicted Venus, and Venus with Cupid. Famous examples of the former include the statue Venus de Milo (with a missing arm, c 130 BC, held in the Louvre Paris) and the painting The Birth of Venus by Boticelli (c 1485-1486, held in the Uffizi Florence), and an example of the latter being Venus and Cupid with a Lute-Player (c 1555-1556, held in the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge). In more popular, mainstream culture, pop songs have been written about Venus, including Venus in Blue Jeans by Jimmy Clanton (1962) and products associated with the name have been made, including a razor by Gilette.
The original Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was co-opted by Roman civilization into the goddess called Venus. The enduring legacy of the two is obvious, as Venus' name is now attached to a well known planet of our solar system. The planet itself is similar to Earth in composition, despite a much higher surface temperature due to a runaway greenhouse effect in Venus' atmosphere.
Venus is also established in the world of art, the most famous of which is the work of Botticelli, depicting the goddess' birth from sea foam and arrival to land.
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