Roman God Of Love 4 Letters
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Roman God Of Love 4 Letters – “Love Venus”: Praying to an Ancient Goddess at the Getty Villa This summer we invited visitors to the Getty Villa to write and share prayers to the ancient goddess Venus. Here are the themes that emerged
Venus (Greek Aphrodite) was a goddess close to the heart of her people. From archaeological, artistic, and written sources we know Venus was one of the most frequently depicted gods in domestic shrines. Her field was vast, including love, sexuality, fertility, sexual maturity, marriage, harmony, war and seafaring, among many other aspects of Greek culture. As part of Roman Holidays, this summer visitors to the Getty Villa are invited to communicate with our touch statue, a replica of Antonio Canova.
Roman God Of Love 4 Letters
Roman Holidays is designed to introduce visitors to a Roman version of a holiday, generally in the context of a religious festival. Venus allowed visitors to explore the ritual and personal aspects of daily life by answering one question: What would you pray for? We hoped they would get an immersive and intimate experience while learning how ancient people negotiated structured ritual to form relationships with their gods. The response has been overwhelming – we estimate around 2,000 prayers a week.
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In the ancient world the relationship between people and their gods was based on a system of reciprocity. Suppliants may approach the gods with proper ritual and offerings to ask for help or thank them for granting a previous request. Based on this system, we have provided a guide for visitors to write their prayers.
Shrine to Venus: This sign greets visitors to the Getty Villa this summer as part of Roman Holidays. Download this sign as a PDF.
Given the means to engage with a 2,500-year-old goddess and some instructions on how to show good manners, what did people ask for today? There are some broad patterns we would like to share; They reveal a strong overlap with the concerns of ancient suppliers. (General conclusions are made from the thousands of tags we received during the program, but specific images of prayers (marked with a crown) were taken during days when visitors were advised about their potential posting on social media.)
A large percentage of people have used their prayers to reflect, asking for confidence, happiness, strength, guidance, health and inner peace. In conjunction with wishes for self-improvement, many wrote prayers for the happiness, health, well-being and success of their loved ones.
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“Venus, I’m sure there’s no way Canova could have captured your true beauty. I pray for wisdom and peace. The result of this will be talent enough (you know). —S.
Many visitors asked Venus to give them a romantic partner, and some went to great lengths to describe their perfect partner, usually in hopeful or serious tones, using words like rich, attractive, intelligent, confident, funny and kind. Other visitors named their man of choice, while some simply asked for “true” and “eternal” love. Some even left their phone numbers and Instagram handles in an attempt to attract other visitors!
Those who have been partners asked to repair struggling relationships or strengthen healthy ones. Other couples simply signed their names as a testament to their experience at the villa.
“I wish for a man who is a partner and a friend. Someone who does not play games with something as precious as my heart. Someone who trusts and is trusted who laughs and brings laughter, who argues but does not fight and who loves with His whole. Most of all I wish to love him completely in return – BF”
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Couples asked for help conceiving children, or prayed Venus would bless them with an easy and safe delivery. Sometimes relatives pray for Venus to intervene in the fertility of loved ones. Both new and experienced parents prayed to Venus for the skills to be better parents.
Left: “Dear and beautiful Aphrodite Queen of the hearts of men, please grant me the knowledge, the patience and the strength to be a good husband for all the years to come. My gift to you will be my continued devotion and self reflection in loving your humble admirer. I will also grow a special flower for you in my garden.” Center: “Venus, goddess of peace, grace, love and fertility, grant us a child to love and cherish to fill our home with laughter and smiles.” Right: “Dear Venus, I’m asking you to give me more patience when it comes to my children. I want to be a better mother to them. Thank you!”
As in ancient times, prayers today can take the form of social and political commentary. During the Imperial period, Venus served an important role in civic affairs, used as a political authority by figures such as Julius Caesar and Augustus. They called upon her as their patron goddess, ancestor, and mother of the state. (1) Similarly, visitors asked Venus to intervene in the state of the world. Some visitors took a direct approach and wrote “world peace,” while others wrote more specific criticisms or support of political leaders, governments, and social movements from both the US and the US.
Left: “Dear Venus, make everything okay, please.” Right: “Dear Venus, goddess of love and beauty, make this a better world for all. With equality and love. For all living things. Thank you.”
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Visitors across the spectrum prayed for wealth. While a few wanted financial independence and the resources to overcome poverty, many prayed to greed. They wanted millions of dollars, winning lotto tickets, sports cars, mansions and high numbers of lower-status items.
Besides material wealth, visitors from kindergartens to PhD candidates prayed for academic success for themselves and others. Many also prayed to get into college, get jobs after college, land their dream jobs, or advance in their current professions.
Left: “Can I have 2000 pizzas?” Center: “Help me in my thesis research and give me clarity of mind and smoothness in all my travels ahead.” Right: “You look nice. Give more money that the world’s richest man. I will use it for good purposes such as buying a Lambo!
There were some prayers that did not fit with the spirit of the program. Some of the prayers consisted of sexually explicit wishes. Others are written with disrespectful language, or contain direct attacks on Venus as an irrelevant, conquered, false, and imaginary god. As in antiquity, the nudity of Venus can still shock people. She received many criticisms to “put some clothes on!”
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Dogs, cats, and unicorns, or possess powers of flight and invisibility. Children’s wishes ranged from good grades to no school, ice cream buffets to ending world hunger, and a billion dollars to simply not be poor. Children also wanted trending toys and smartphones.
At the most heartbreaking prayers of children who have experienced the death of a loved one, are bullied or have a difficult home life. They prayed for comfort and peace for themselves and their families.
Left: “Meow meow meow meow meow.” Second from the left: TK. Second from right: “I love the garden.” Right: “I love turtles.”
In exchange for fulfilling all the wishes, visitors offered to visit Venus again here in the villa, and some even pledged to bring gifts like flowers, fruit or jewelry. Those who prayed for self-improvement often promised to share their newfound insight with their loved ones and their communities. Visitors also offered to honor Venus through their work or through specific acts of ritual worship, and children often left artwork on their tags for the goddess.
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Visitors sometimes offered Venus real gifts. She received sea shells, toys, jewelry, snacks, and children’s drawings, often of animals. She even got a traffic-camera photo of someone running a red light. They signed their name on the back, perhaps so Venus would know what to protect in court!
Visitors to the Getty Villa left creative offerings to our touch statue of Venus. Here she shined with a beaded band. Below, feathers, fruit, flowers and gems.
This project showed us that people’s desires have not fundamentally changed in the last 2,000 years. As demonstrated in the hymn below, there is much overlap between ancient and modern prayers to Venus. People want to love and be loved in successful and happy relationships with their friends and family. They want wealth, glory, success, health and beauty. They want to live a long life, and be close to their gods.
The experience did not end with the written prayers. When the visitors hung their prayers, read the wishes of their peers and responded aloud, they contributed to a greater response to history, spirituality and public vulnerability. These tags were a testament to how much of Venus’ identity has (or hasn’t) translated into the 21st century, as our visitors fully embraced the opportunity to learn through emotional experience. As a guest-driven program, its success is measured in the richness and diversity of their collective interpretation and response to our program. We could not be more grateful and proud that our visitors feel that the Getty is a place to connect the past to their present in a personal and meaningful way.
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“My you with