Aphrodite Greek goddess of love was the most beautiful among the Olympian goddesses. Her Roman name was Venus.
(If you're in a hurry to see pictures of Aphrodite, you'll find some when you scroll down the page and others when you click here.)
There are two versions about her birth. According to one of them, she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione.
The other version is better known: Aphrodite Greek goddess of love was born from the foam of the sea. When Cronos emasculated his father, Uranus, the blood drops that fell into the sea generated the goddess. The Zephyr gently blew and pushed her to the shore of the island of Cyprus, where she was received and dressed by the Hours, and after that she was taken to Mount Olympus.
As she was so beautiful, she refused all the gods, because none of them was good enough for her. That's why Zeus punished her and decided to marry her to Hephaestus, the lame and ugly blacksmith god (or maybe Zeus just decided that because otherwise the gods would have turned one against the other). Of course, the result was that she would always cheat on her husband.
She also loved Adonis, a young man of extreme beauty. She spent all the time going hunting with him. When he was killed by a boar, she looked for his body and mourned over him. Her delicate feet were hurt by thorns and the drops of blood turned into beautiful flowers, the anemones.
Aphrodite Greek goddess of love also loved a mortal, Anchises, and helped him and their son, Aeneas, flee from the city of Troy to Italy, so she might be considered the "foremother" of the Romans.
Aphrodite represented the power of love, from which no one can escape. She would bestow her blessings on those who worshipped her, but she would also be ruthless with those who despised love.
She wanted to punish Eos, the goddess of dawn for having accepted Ares' courtship (after all, he was her ex-lover), so she inspired Eos an unnatural love for Orion.
Aphrodite Greek goddess of love punished the women of Lemnos, who didn't want to worship her, and gave them an awful smell, so their husbands, disgusted, preferred other women.
Narcissus refused to worship the goddess, so she punished him to fall in love with his own image.
When Paris had to choose the most beautiful between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite, in order to decide who deserves the golden apple thrown by Eris, each of the goddesses promised him something. The goddess of love promised him - what else? - the love of the most beautiful woman on Earth, Helen (there was a little detail about her - she was married to Agamemnon, but it didn't matter for the goddess - and neither did for Paris!) - and that's how the war of Troy began (I guess Frenchmen are right when they say "Cherchez la femme"). This was intended as a blessing, I suppose, but it lead to grief and death for a lot of pleople, as well as to Paris's death.
But here are some real blessings she bestowed on people who were in love:
Aphrodite gave Melanion the golden apples with which he conquered Atalanta.
Pygmalion, a sculptor who hated women, made a beautiful statue, so beautiful that he fell in love with his creation. Aphrodite Greek goddess of love gave life to that statue, and they lived happily ever after.