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Characters in Love Event: Valentines Trivia with Jessie Harrell

Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Valentines Trivia ~ From Smokin’ Hottie to Chubby Baby – What Happened to Cupid?
Jessie Harrell

As the author of Destined, a retelling of the Eros and Pysche myth, you probably think I already knew how Eros/Cupid went from being a stud to an infant. Actually, I didn’t. But I looked it up and it’s interesting. Ready for your daily dose of Valentine’s trivia?

Let’s begin. In ancient Greece, Eros was one of the words used for love, and meant romantic or intimate love. We get our word “erotic” from Eros. [And Cupid comes from the Latin cupida, meaning desire.] And while depicted that way in my novel, Eros was not always considered to be Aphrodite’s son. In the earliest myths, Eros was one of the original gods from which all other gods descended. Eros’s role among the primordial gods was procreation and there were no descendants until Eros caused the other primordial gods to “mingle.”

So yeah, right there, I’m not buying that he was always a dough boy in a diaper. In fact, sculptures like these prove that was not always how Eros was envisioned. And the classic figure of Eros holding Psyche in his arms is much closer to how I imagined their love in Destined. If I had to guess, I’d say this statute represents the scene from the original myth where Psyche has been rendered unconscious by divine beauty and Eros is scooping her into his arms, afraid that he’s lost her forever. [The scene may or may not be slightly different in Destined and the characters may or may not be wearing more than loosely draped sheets.]


But back to the trivia. Later Greek poets thought it was amusing to characterize Eros as a baby in a blindfold (love being blind, and often infantile). Then, once Eros became Cupid (when the Romans took over from the Greeks), Cupid started to be accompanied by Amoretti. The Amoretti (can you hear “amorous” in there?) was a group of winged infants. You can see how it went downhill from there.

Once the Renaissance artists came about, who loved painting angels and cherubs, our current vision of Cupid solidified. And much like other pagan practices, the concept of Cupid was folded into Christianity, and he became an icon of St. Valentine’s Day.
Zac Efron
So there you have it. What started as a joke among traveling poets turned the sexiest Greek god into a diapered baby. Thanks anyway… I think Psyche and I will stick with the original version. He’s way cuter. Besides that, you’re not going to get one of the most romantic love stories of all time (and the myth that inspired Beauty and the Beast), where the “beast” could double as a Kindergartner. So before you pick up the original myth (or may I humbly suggest Destined?), wipe that image from your brain, and picture this guy instead.

About Jessie
By day, I'm an appellate lawyer. By night, I'm a wife, mother of two, and author/lover of all things Greek mythology. I'm a native Floridian, frustrated world traveler, unrepentant dreamer, lover of acoustic music and not-so-closet geek. Destined, released November 17, 2011, is my first novel. Stay tuned for Beneath the Surface, co-written with the amazing Nikki Katz.

Find her at her websiteblog ❘ Goodreads ❘ FacebookTwitter
Find Destined: GoodreadsAmazon hardcopyKindleB&NBook Depository


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14 comments on "Characters in Love Event: Valentines Trivia with Jessie Harrell"
  1. I always wondered how the god of love looked like an over-coddled kid!!

    Very interesting post! And you're right, the original version, where Eros was a hot guy, makes so much more sense:))

  2. I once saw an exhibition in a museum in Greece about the history of Eros, and it covered parts of what you said, especially the Eros-Psyche complex. Apparently Eros tortured Psyche, turning her into a butterfly or tying her up. I guess that's how tortured love began.

  3. Wow - Christina - I'd never heard that take on the Eros/Psyche myth before. Trust me, if you read Destined, you won't find any bondage. LOL!

  4. Whoa- I just learned something new today! :P Seriously, I never knew that "the sexiest Greek god turned into a diapered baby", lol! I really wanna read Destined now!

  5. There is also a myth that Eros could not grow (he was childlike) unless Aprhodite had a brother for him, which was Anteros. He was the god of requited love. Basically, love has to be returned in order to flourish. :D

    Side note, Anteros differed from Eros in that he had butterfly wings. :)

  6. Haha this is a really great post! and very informational :) I can't wait to read Destined! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  7. @Jessie The exhibition was really interesting. Eros was, like you said, one of the original gods, part of the hesiogeny(?), and Aphrodite was his mother although I don't think she directly gave birth to him.

    But they had a great little statue with Aphrodite chasing Eros with a slipper because he was naughty!

  8. Oh! And the exhibition was about Eros and Love throughout the ages, from the gods to the Roman times.

    They even had little pottery shards with some of the first love letters ever found.

    Eros and Psyche were a huge part of it. There was a beautiful statue of them, you would've loved i, it was so lifelike

  9. This is why I love end up learning things that you didn't know before. thanks for this cool info. I can't wait to read this. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

  10. Zac Efron as Cupid makes a lot of sense! How can you not fall in love with him around?


  11. @Jessie

    Here's a link to a website that shows the statue of Eros and Psyche I was talking about. It was awesome!

  12. I agree, I much prefer the more classical approach to Cupid/Eros. Research is so important.

  13. I love Greek mythology! and yeah I prefer classical instead of flyin diaper babies :)


  14. I love mythology retellings so much, and I can't wait to read this one!


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