Aphroditus or Aphroditos
- April 30, 2013
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
Aphroditus or Aphroditos (Ancient Greek: Ἀφρόδιτος) was a male Aphrodite originating from Amathus on the island of Cyprus and celebrated in Athens in a transvestite rite.
Aphroditus was portrayed as having a female shape and clothing like Aphrodite’s but also a beard and phallus, and hence, a male name.
This deity would have arrived in Athens from Cyprus in the 4th century BC. In the 5th century BC, however, there existed hermae of Aphroditus, or phallic statues with a female head.
According to Macrobius, who mentions the goddess in his Saturnalia, identifies this male-female god with the Moon and says that; at its sacrifices men and women exchanged clothing.
Philostratus, in describing the rituals involved in the festivals, said that the image or the impersonator of the god was accompanied by a large train of followers in which girls mingled with men because the festivals allowed “women to act the part of men, and men put on woman’s clothing and play the woman.”
In the western culture of theater, acting and dram, this god was worshiped as the inspiration of theatrical expressions.