Ring with a Woman Weighing Eros Figures / Greek
In both myth and art, Aphrodite's beauty was often embellished with precious jewelry. The goddess's adornment served as a model for mortal women, and this aspiration can be seen on items of jewelry such as earrings and finger rings that are decorated with Aphrodite, her companion Eros, or her sacred bird, the dove.

On the ring at right, a seated woman—perhaps Aphrodite—holds out a balance. In each pan is a figure of Eros. The erotostasia (weighing of love) is open to a variety of interpretations; it is possibly akin to our own "he loves me, he loves me not." Evidently the outcome lies outside human control.

Mirror Cover with Erotic Scenes / Greek
Aphrodite and Eros's close association with the arts of beautification is underscored by their recurrent depiction on objects that were used by women for these purposes, such as perfume vessels and mirrors.

On the front of this mirror cover, a man and a woman have sex on a couch. The woman turns her head back to be kissed as her lover penetrates her from behind. Fittingly, the scene takes place in the presence of Eros, who flies above the couple with a victory ribbon.

The interior of the mirror cover features an engraved scene of another sexual encounter, in which the woman—perhaps the same as on the exterior—is very clearly in control. The mirror's decoration leaves no question that the goal of beautification was sexual allure.


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