Hundreds of years of traditions and customs have made it into the holiday that we observe today. Here are nine interesting facts about the holiday dedicated to love. During the festival of Lupercalia , Roman priests would sacrifice goats and dogs and use their blood-soaked hides to slap women on the streets, as a fertility blessing. According to legend, women would later put their names in an urn and be selected to be paired with a man for a year.
Although the only extended narrative from antiquity is that of Apuleius from 2nd century AD, Eros and Psyche appear in Greek art as early as the 4th century BC. The story of Cupid and Psyche was known to Boccaccio in c. Ever since, the reception of Cupid and Psyche in the classical tradition has been extensive. The story has been retold in poetry, drama, and opera, and depicted widely in painting, sculpture, and even wallpaper. The tale of Cupid and Psyche or "Eros and Psyche" is placed at the midpoint of Apuleius's novel, and occupies about a fifth of its total length. Transformed into a donkey by magic gone wrong, Lucius undergoes various trials and adventures, and finally regains human form by eating roses sacred to Isis.
One of the first authors to mention Eros circa B. But later accounts of the lineage of Eros vary, describing him as the son of Nyx and Erebus; or Aphrodite and Ares; or Iris and Zephyrus; or even Aphrodite and Zeus—who would have been both his father and grandfather. Armed with a bow and a quiver filled with both golden arrows to arouse desire and leaden arrows to ignite aversion, Eros struck at the hearts of gods and mortals and played with their emotions. In one story from ancient Greek mythology , which was later retold by Roman authors, Cupid Eros shot a golden arrow at Apollo, who fell madly in love with the nymph Daphne, but then launched a leaden arrow at Daphne so she would be repulsed by him.
The myth of Eros and Psyche is probably one of the best love stories in classical mythology. Eros, son of Aphrodite, was the personification of intense love desire and he was depicted throwing arrows to people in order to hit their heart and make them fall in love. Psyche, a beautiful maiden, personifies the human soul. In fact, she is the symbol of the soul purified by passions and misfortunes and who is, from now on, prepared to enjoy eternal happiness.