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Cupid, and Other Classical Myths

Learn more about Cupid, the ancient Roman god of love.
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Cupid (or Amor) is the son of Venus (goddess of love) and either Mars or Mercury. This ancient Roman god of love is commonly represented as a winged, naked, infant boy with a bow and quiver of arrows. Cupid appears in many myths and is best known for shooting arrows at gods and humans that make them fall in love. The name Cupid comes from the Latin word cupido, which means "desire."

Students may be interested in learning about Eros, Cupid's counterpart in Greek mythology. The story "The Golden Ass," by Lucius Apuleius (a Roman writer), tells the story in which Eros (EE ros) falls in love with Psyche (SI kee), a mortal maiden.

Use these classical myths to entertain your students
Orpheis (OR foos) and Eurydice (u RID ih see): Orpheus tried to rescue his wife Eurydice from the Underworld. Using his lyre, he persuaded the King of the Dead to release Eurydice. However, he was not permitted to look back at Eurydice while he was leading her back to the land of the living. They were almost to safety when Orpheus looked back and lost his wife forever.

Echo and Narcissus (nar SIS us): Echo was condemned by Hera to speak only when echoing the words of others. In this myth, Narcissus was excessively proud of his appearance and, in the end, he was destroyed by his love for himself.

Suggested reading
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D'Aulaire
Heroes, Gods and Monsters of Greek Myths by William Hofmann