Re: Dione vs. Venus

Date: Thu Nov 04 1999 - 08:48:47 PST

Date:          Thu, 4 Nov 1999 08:48:47 
Message-Id: <aabcdefg3697$foo@default>
Subject:       Re: Dione vs. Venus

Dear Marcus,

> 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?

No reason for sleepless nights, I am afraid. Divine genealogy is just
one aspect of the story. The name of Venus' mother has been used as a
(not quite legitimate) synonym for her own name (Aphrodite). After
all, love is apparently a much more interesting phenomenon than oaks
(e.g. judging from the number of publications devoted to these
subjects, respectively), and I guess even in ancient Greece people
were more fascinated by a mother of the goddess of love (which, by an
easy - albeit not entirely correct - simplification translates to
something like "super-goddess of love") than by some dull goddess of
oaks, even if both were in fact one and the same.

This must have been Ellis' impression as well, when he proposed the
name _Dionaea_ for a plant actually devoted to Venus. You should also
note that the plant is not called "Dione" but "Dionaea" (i.e. a
female item of or gift from Dione), so while Dione's gift to mankind
was her daughter Aphrodite, her gift to the Botanists was (sensu
Ellis) this little plant (certainly much more interesting than oaks,
but ... hmm).

Kind regards

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