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Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations Bettany Hughes shows why this immortal goddess endures through to the twenty-first century, and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans.


Charting Venus's origins in powerful ancient deities, Bettany demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess's mythical birthplace, Bettany decodes Venus's relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and, in turn, Aphrodite's mixed-up origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation - but also, as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte. On a voyage of discovery to reveal the truth behind Venus, Hughes reveals how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance and sex. It is the both the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces, and the story of human desire - how it transforms who we are and how we behave.

'a lively work recommended for both researchers and casual readers'

Library Journal 


'thoroughly enjoyable history of Venus the Goddess of love and her many manifestations through history...extensively documented...entertaining..Fun and fascinating history.'

Book List


'this informative and entertaining history deserves a wide readership' 'a brisk and incisive cultural history of the mythological goddess of sexual love'

Publisher's Weekly

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