• Adonis was a handsome young man, of beauty comparable to that of Endymion, Ganymedes, Narcissus, Hyacinthus 1, Atlantius (also called Hermaphroditus), Hylas or Chrysippus 2. Incest Adonis' mother Smyrna conceived an incestuous passion for her father, and with the complicity of her nurse shared the bed of her father (Cinyras 1 according to some or Thias according to others). When he learned that he had been deceived by his daughter, he pursued her with a sword and, being overtaken, she prayed to the gods that she might be invisible; so the gods in compassion turned her into the tree called smyrna (myrrh). Born from a tree -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adonis' birth -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ten months afterwards the tree burst and Adonis was born. Some say: "A new tree was not worth so great a price." (Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.310). But Smyrna's thought had been: "Human civilization has made spiteful laws, and what nature allows, the jealous laws forbid." (Ovid, Metamorphoses 10.329). It is said that because of the different opinions about these love matters, there were in Thebes three different wooden images of Aphrodite. One of them they called Urania (Heavenly), and it signified a clean love free from bodily lust. Another one was called Pandemos (Common), and it denoted simple sexual intercourse. And the third was called Apostrophia (Rejecter), meaning that mankind should reject this kind of passions and acts. Love sessions All this was possible because Smyrna's mother Cenchreis (though some say Orithyia 3) was busy celebrating the annual festival of Demeter, along with other married women. Smyrna, some say, attempted to commit suicide to avoid becoming the incestuous lover of her own father, but she was discovered by her nurse (Hippolyte 6, according to Lib.Met.34.10) before she was able to take her life, and this nurse promised her to help her. So one dark night, when the nurse noticed that the king was drunk with wine, she told him of one who loved him truly, and later she guided Smyrna to her father's bedroom. The scene repeated several nights until the king became curious concerning the identity of the young girl. Birth of Adonis Some say that she wandered in several countries until she prayed to the gods to be refused both life and death and, as they listened, they changed her into the tree known as myrrh. That is why she is also called Myrrha. In time the tree cracked open and Adonis was born. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Adonis and Aphrodite -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Loved by goddesses Some say that when Adonis was still an infant Aphrodite, for the sake of his beauty, hid him in a chest unknown to the gods and entrusted it to Persephone. But when Persephone beheld him, she would not give him back. The case being tried before Zeus, the year was divided into three parts, so that Adonis should stay by himself for one part of the year, with Persephone for one part, and with Aphrodite for the remainder. However Adonis made over to Aphrodite his own share in addition. For this reason Adonis may be counted among those who were in the Underworld and came back to be among the living. Others say that Zeus appointed the Muse Calliope as judge of this dispute, and that the way in which she administrated her office led to the death of Orpheus. For Calliope decided that each of the goddesses should possess him half of the year, but Aphrodite, disliking this verdict, which she felt robbed her of her right, stirred the Thracian women against Orpheus, son of Calliope, who tore him limb from limb. Aphrodite and Adonis spent many hours together, as lovers do, hunting and telling tales. Aphrodite also told Adonis not to hunt wild beasts but to hunt only those which are safe to hunt, like hares, stags or does. Death of Adonis But Adonis met a boar and he attacked it, and the boar fought him back, wounded him and killed him. Adonis died in Aphrodite's arms, who came to him when she heard his groans. When he died she sprinkled the blood with nectar and the short-lived anemone, which takes its name from the wind which so easily makes it fall, was produced. Famous city called after their daughter After their daughter, Beroe 5, the city Berytos (Beyrut) in Lebanon was called. Both Dionysus 2 and Poseidon fell in love with her. There is also a river Adonis near the city of Byblos. Addendum Abbreviations | Dictionary Still other parentages have been attributed to Adonis: Son of King Agenor of Phoenicia; son of Thias and Aoa; son of Zeus (without intercourse with any female). Roscher, Lex. 1.69.44. According to some, Adonis was born from the tree into which Smyrna had transformed either when his father clove it with his sword, or when a boar opened it with his tusks. Roscher, Lex. 1.70.49, 1.71.15. Adonis died of a wound in his knee caused by a boar. Some have said that this boar was sent by Ares, who was jealous, or that the boar was Ares himself. According to Apollodorus 3.14.4, it was the anger of Artemis that caused Adonis' death. Still others say that Apollo turned himself into a boar and killed Adonis to avenge his son Erymanthus (only known for this), whom Aphrodite had blinded for having seen her while she bathed. Adonis died either in Idalium (Cyprus), or in Lebanon. Roscher, Lex. 1.71.31, 1.71.40, 1.71.51, 1.71.60. Adonis was and is the Lord. A Strikingly beautiful young man while on Earth. But he is also Lord of this world. The true one who created all, there is and will be. He is the true love of all, and we search through life and each being knows they are missing something until they finally find their true love Adonis. If a persn does not find Adonis while alive then speculation is to whether they will be reborn to this world again until they do, or whether they will be judged according to what they did as to finding Adonis while walking this Earth. That is Adonis, the One who is and who is to come. The Lord of all beings. drcarol Mythology » Europe » Greek mythology » Adonis Cite/copy/print/rate article Send comment References Adonis by Morgan Upright Adonis is a complex figure, for the outlines of his tale were fully as a part of the sub-Olympian Greek mythology by Greek and Roman authors, and yet he also retains many deep associations with his Semitic origins. The name "Adonis" is a variation of the Semitic word "Adonai", which means "lord", and which is also one of the names used to refer to YHWH in the Old Testament. At the beginning of his appearance in Greek myth, there is some confusion as to his parentage and his birth. Hesiod considers this Greek hero to be the son of Phoenix and Aephesiboea, while Apollodorus calls him the son of Cinyras and Metharme. The generally accepted version is that Aphrodite compelled Myrrha (or Smyrna) to commit incest with Theias, her father, the king of Assyria. Her nurse helped her with this trickery to become pregnant, and when Theias discovered this he chased her with a knife. To avoid his wrath the gods turned her into a myrrh tree. The tree later burst open, allowing Adonis to emerge. Another version says that after she slept with her father she hid in a forest where Aphrodite changed her into a tree. Theias struck the tree with an arrow, causing the tree to open and Adonis to be born. Yet another version says a wild boar open the tree with its tusks and freed the child; this is considered to be a foreshadowing of his death. Once the child was born Aphrodite was so moved by his beauty that she sheltered him and entrusted him to Persephone. She was also taken by his beauty and refused to give him back. The dispute between the two goddesses, in one version, was settled by Zeus; in others it was settled by Calliope on Zeus' behalf. The decision was that Adonis was to spend one-third of every year with each goddess and the last third wherever he chose. He always chose to spend two-thirds of the year with Aphrodite. This went on till his death, where he was fatally wounded by a wild boar, said to be caused by Artemis. In some versions his death was caused not by Artemis, but by Aphrodite's lover, Ares, who was jealous of Adonis. Apollo is also said to be responsible because his son, Erymanthus, had seen Aphrodite naked and she blinded him for it. The story of Adonis provides a basis for the origin of myrrh and the origin of the rose, which grew from each drop of blood that fell. The story of Adonis, despite its variants, is certainly another example of the dying vegetation god (see: Tammuz). The close association with Aphrodite or Persephone also brings his myth into line with the many other mated couples, where the male partener dies and is reborn, that is spread across North Africa and the Near East.

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