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Greek god of beauty and desire / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In Greek mythology, Adonis (Ancient Greek: Ἄδωνις, romanized: Adōnis; Phoenician: 𐤀𐤃𐤍, romanized: Adón) was the mortal lover of the goddess Aphrodite and Persephone, who was famous for having achieved immortality. He was widely considered to be the ideal of male beauty in classical antiquity.

Quick facts: Adonis, Symbol, Festivals, Personal informati...
Mortal lover of Aphrodite & Persephone
The Adonis Uffizi, made from pentelic marble, 2nd century BC, currently held in the
Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
Symbolanemones, as well as lettuce, fennel, and other fast-growing plants
Personal information
ParentsCinyras and Myrrha (by Ovid), Phoenix and Alphesiboea (by Hesiod)
ConsortAphrodite and Persephone
ChildrenGolgos, Beroe
Canaanite equivalentAdon
Mesopotamian equivalentDumuzid

The myth goes that Adonis was gored by a wild boar during a hunting trip and died in Aphrodite's arms as she wept. His blood mingled with her tears and became the anemone flower. Aphrodite declared the Adonia festival to commemorate his tragic death, which was celebrated by women every year in midsummer. During this festival, Greek women would plant "gardens of Adonis", small pots containing fast-growing plants, which they would set on top of their houses in the hot sun. The plants would sprout, but soon wither and die. Then the women would mourn the death of Adonis, tearing their clothes and beating their breasts in a public display of grief.

Antique fresco in Pompeii depicting Adonis, Cupid, and Venus

The Greeks considered Adonis's cult to be of Near Eastern origin. Adonis's name comes from a Canaanite word meaning "lord" and most modern scholars consider the story of Aphrodite and Adonis to be derived from a levantine version of the earlier Mesopotamian myth of Inanna (Ishtar) and Dumuzid (Tammuz).

In late 19th and early 20th century scholarship of religion, Adonis was widely seen as a prime example of the archetypal dying-and-rising god. His name is often applied in modern times to handsome youths, of whom he is considered the archetype.