|The cult of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of beauty and love, started in Cyprus and later spread to the other areas of the Greek world. |
According to mythology, Aphrodite was born rising from the foams of the waves on the south-western coast of Cyprus, near ancient Paphos. The exact spot is believed to be near the rocks now known as "Petra tou Romiou". Her temple in Paphos was famous in ancient limes. Unfortunately, however, scant remains of that temple exist today. An idea of the temple may be formed by stylised representations of it on Cypriot coins of the Roman period. Aphrodite was the supreme goddess of ancient Cyprus and for this reason her temples existed everywhere - at Idalion, Amathus, Tamasos, Soloi, Kythrea, Curium, Golgi, the hilltop now known as Stavrovouni and on the north-eastern peninsula of the island.
In Homer, in Hesiodos and in many other ancient writers, Aphrodite is called "Cypris" or "Paphia" and is referred to as the goddess of beauty, love and fertility, as well as the patron of marriage and family, and she has been the source of inspiration of numerous sculptures and paintings as well as poetry, especially to the ancients who regarded the beauty of face and body as a revelation of the divine.
The set of stamps of Aphrodite is being issued with the aim of emphasizing the contribution of Cyprus to the creation of the ancient Greek spirit that continues to guide and inspire humanity and of presenting masterpieces of sculpture and painting inspired by the Cypriot goddess. This set consists of two stamps, the one depicting the statue of the goddess (1 B.C.) found at Soloi, Cyprus, and the other depicting the goddess from the famous Botticelli painting "The Birth of Aphrodite", with the coast where according to the legend Aphrodite rose from the foam of the waves in the background of both.
Source: Department of Postal Services, Republic of Cyprus.