Cupid origins start with Eros who was the main role in the first story of how man became a boy. The famous Brad Pit movie “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” might have been inspired by, nor more or less, but the tale of an ancient and powerful love deity infantilized due to a fear it was spreading throughout nations.
Tracking Cupid Origins
Cherubic boy with wings, bow, and arrow is an inevitable part of almost every single holiday or tradition related to love. Postcards, videos, cartoons, books and other similarities rarely omit little rascal who, for sports, shoots people with his magic arrows making them fall in love. Such acts of immaturity might be reasonable for a little boy, but Cupid started doing this when he was a grown male.
From the beginning of the recorded history, every religion, heathen or monotheistic, had at least one God or a saint which was delegated a role of settling matters regarding love. Being the cradle of complex societies as well as writing, laws and highly developed culture, Sumerian civilization is a suitable place to start an exploration of love deities and track little Cupid.
Inanna of Babylon
Inanna was the goddess of love, sexuality, prostitution, war, and political power. From just one sentence about the first recorded love deity, we can conclude that she was also connected to other fatalities such as wars and endless body pleasures… In later history, in both Greek and Roman mythologies, as well as Celtic and Germanic ways of worshiping, Gods of love were always given additional important features, such as wisdom, the war power, sensuality, cunningness, etc… Inanna was an inspiration for the creation of both Aphrodite and Venus.
Venus – Roman Goddess of Love
Besides her famous name which was even given to a planet, Venus was known as morning and evening star. During the time of the Roman empire, this deity of love and beauty was highly worshiped and considered for one of the most prominent supreme beings that influenced human lives. Besides the two mentioned attributes, like Inanna from Sumerian civilization, Venus was multi-gifted. Her existence encompassed power over fertility, sex, desire, and victory. Beautiful and seductive as she was, Venus made love with Mars, the god of war. One of the many children they had was Cupid, powerful youngling who was addicted to spreading the love with his arrow shootouts. However, the venture of tracking Cupid’s origins doesn’t end here as both Venus and Cupid were inspired by Greek mythology. Aphrodite and Eros were muses that influenced Romans when they were creating love relating part of their mythology. Eros was a grown man with cupid like powers. The ensuing question of how man became a boy requests acknowledging and understanding the full story of Eros’s origins.
Aphrodite and Eros – Mother and Son Business
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, wisdom, pleasure, and procreation. Born from the sea foam, by some, she was considered to be the daughter of Poseidon. She was known for adultery with Ares and her tremendous love for Adonis, a handsome Cypriot youth who was killed by a boar during one of his hunts. According to history, more than once she had conceived with Ares and gave birth to many sons and daughters. One of them was Eros, God of Love.
Was Love Born From Chaos? Eros as a Primordial God
However, stating that Eros is the son of Aphrodite is one side of the coin. There is another theory. According to Greek mythology, in the beginning, there was only chaos. Eventually, a cosmic Egg formed in its belly and it hatched producing the first deities into the darkness. Gaia(mother earth), Tartarus(underworld), Eros(love), Erebus, Hemera, and Nyx emerged from the void bringing light into the universe. Uranus was both son and husband of Gaia and their primordial love was blessed by the Eros himself. From their union Titans and Cyclops were born. Mentioning this point of view, which observes Eros as one of the primordial group, is going to provide additional logic while explaining how and why a man became an infant.
Life of Eros
Eros was a powerful God. After all, having Aphrodite for the mother and Ares for the father couldn’t result in anything week. Say nothing about being born from chaos. If that was the case his powers would have been close to limitless. On many paintings, he was depicted as a beautiful young man with a bow and arrows. Those arrows had the power to make a person fall blindly in love. Those loves, as great and passionate as they were, would often end in even greater tragedies. Stories of great sorrows would be carried from one generation to another while Eros would keep shooting for the pure sports. To the God of love, it was just another day in which boredom had to be killed. For this, people feared him gravely. But there was little what mortals could do when faced against the deity. Especially if it was of a primordial kind.
How to Fight a God? Infantilization Strategy
Since there was no way to defeat him in a direct confrontation, people started creating stories that would at least provide them relief on a psychological level. This meant negating all claims that connected Eros to primordial Gods and stating that he is the son of Aphrodite. By doing so, a significant decrease in the amount of power God had was achieved. In addition to this, people started saying that Eros does nothing without previously consulting Aphrodite. Since it is only a feature of kids to speak with their mothers about everything they intend to do, Eros started being degraded. First, he descended to the level of a boy which eventually led to the complete infantilization. Who would fear the little chubby baby with bow and arrows? While in the old Greece Eros was only referred to as a boy in speech, Roman mythology took one step further by making a whole representation of God as an infant. Babies need names so Romans gave one to their deity – Cupid. The rest is history.
Additional Notes About Fighting Gods
Infantilization is one of the most effective ways of fighting fear caused by supreme beings. By targeting the core of their powers and limiting it to objects or entities which, if not serving people, at least aren’t threatening them, life on a daily basis becomes much easier. It is how the feared deity became the chubby boy in cartoons and on postcards. People often try to make friends out of fearsome enemies. The development of the cute representation of love symbols could imply the existence of strong fear caused by the mere idea of love which, in most people, invokes some kind of anarchy. By watching the lifeline of Eros which had begun from the chaos itself, and finished masked in an infant, we can confirm the human habit of masking undefeatable opponents into harmless ones and continue to watch and see what will be the nature of next transformation people create.