Paeon of Amathus
Theseus and Ariadne
Plutarch recounts a story he attributes to Paeon concerning Theseus and Ariadne. Theseus and Ariadne were driven off course by a storm and onto the island of Cyprus. Theseus put Ariadne, who was pregnant and in great distress from the motion of the ship, ashore alone but was himself swept out to sea again. The Cyprian women cared for Ariadne, comforting her in her loneliness, giving letters to Ariadne, which they had written, saying the letters had come from Theseus. But Ariadne died in childbirth. When Theseus returned, greatly distraught, he gave the island money, asking them to make sacrifices to Ariadne, and had two small statuettes, one silver, one bronze, set up in her honor. According to Plutarch, Paeon says that at the sacrifices made in Ariadne's honor on the second day of the month Gorpiaes, a young man lies down and imitates the cries and gestures of a woman in the pains of labor and that they call the place where the sacrifices were held the grove of Ariadne Aphrodite.
Paeon of Amathus, quoted by Theophrastus, who said that the Cypriot goddess could take the shape of a man. Macrobius describes the statue of Venus in Cyprus as being bearded and having male genitals, but clad in female dress and holding a scepter. Aristophanes knew of the existence of this androgynous deity called Aphroditos. Hesychius confirmed that Aphroditos was a hermaphrodite.
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- Mitford, Terence Bruce, "The Cults of Roman Cyprus" in Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt: Geschichte und Kultur Roms im Spiegel der neueren Forschung, Volume 1, Walter de Gruyter, 1972. ISBN 978-3-11-001885-1.
- Parpola, Simo, Robert M. Whiting, Sex and gender in the Ancient Near East: Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2–6, 2001, Part 1, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2002. ISBN 978-951-45-9054-2.
- Plutarch. Plutarch's Lives. with an English Translation by. Bernadotte Perrin. Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. London. William Heinemann Ltd. 1914
- Harris, J. Rendel, The Origin of the Cult of Aphrodite, in Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, Volume 3, John Rylands Library, Henry Guppy, Manchester University Press, 1917.
- Hill, Sir George Francis, A History of Cyprus, Volume 1, University Press, 1952