By Sherry Zhang
It is an undeniable fact that Cupid is one of the most popular symbols—along with roses and hearts—used to signify love and romance, but who is Cupid?
To start, Cupid is the Roman name for the Greek god Eros—the god of erotic love, desire, and attraction. Additionally, Eros is the son of Aphrodite—the goddess of love and beauty—and Ares—the god of war. In mythology, Eros is portrayed as a powerful god as he was able to use his arrows to positively or negatively affect the emotions of both gods and mortals. In one of the Greek stories, Eros cursed Apollo to fall in love with the naiad nymph Daphne, who Eros also cursed. However, Eros cursed Daphne to despise and refuse Apollo and his love for her.
While Eros was initially described as a handsome and alluring god, during the Hellenistic period, he took on the form of the chubby child we see today. Some claim the transformation occurred because people were feared and intimidated by a sexually powerful man who could control the love between others. Regardless of Eros’ appearance, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, he will always be known as a little chubby baby with a pair of white wings, a bow, and a couple of arrows.