Dione vs. Venus

From: Marcus Rossberg (Marcus.Rossberg@phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de)
Date: Wed Nov 03 1999 - 13:01:45 PST

Date: Wed, 3 Nov 1999 22:01:45 +0100
From: "Marcus Rossberg" <Marcus.Rossberg@phil-fak.uni-duesseldorf.de>
To: cp@opus.hpl.hp.com
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3685$foo@default>
Subject: Dione vs. Venus

Dear all,

now that I've put my cps to sleep for winter the time of year has begun
to think a little about some startling question that sometimes come my
way (since I'm doing philosophy in 'real life' that happens quite
often). I always wondered about the name _Venus_ Fly Trap but even more
about it's latin name _Dionaea_. Well, in most cp-books you read, that
Dione is (one of) the greek name(s) for Venus. That's not true. Her
Greek name is Aphrodite, but, according to Homer, her mother is Dione.
Even more surprising, Dione is the goddess of the oaks. So how is that?
It already gave my sleepless nights, so if anybody knows, when the VFT
was first named, how and why, I'd be very thankful for the information.
I would guess that some 18th century scholar, who wasn't actually an
expert in greek mythology (if you read some sources from this time
you're sometimes downright shocked how poor the knowledge we consider
'classic' and lost just in our century already was in this time - and
even before) gave it both names right from the start, actually thinking,
Dione was Greek for Venus. Common wisdom is, that Venus is born from
sea spray (that is what 'Aphrodite' means translated literally), so -
one could think - she has no mother, and so Dione has to be another name
for Venus. (Read Homer, Hym to Aphrodite, for the trick! ;-) ) The
other question: Why did he pick this name at all? Does anybody know or
do I have to read 200-years-old latin botanic books?

(Anybody interested anyway???)

Greetings, Marcus

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