Venus - the Roman goddess
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Venus

Venus

Venus was the goddess of growing things, gardens, love and fertility for the Romans. People sacrificed to her when they wanted to have babies, or to make somebody fall in love with them. People thought of Venus as watery and fluid - she was pictured as being born out of the ocean foam. Our word "venereal disease" also comes from Venus - those are sicknesses you catch through making love.

The Romans thought of Venus as being a lot like the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

The Roman name for Friday was "dies Veneris", the day of Venus. In Italian, Friday is still "venerdi", and in French it is "vendredi". In English, people translated it to the name of the German goddess Freya, so we call it Friday.

Learn by doing: learn the days of the week in Spanish
More about Aphrodite

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Bibliography and further reading about the Roman goddess Venus:

Aphrodite
Jupiter
Minerva
Juno
Castor and Pollux
Roman religion
Ancient Rome
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Professor Carr

Karen Eva Carr, PhD.
Assoc. Professor Emerita, History
Portland State University

Professor Carr holds a B.A. with high honors from Cornell University in classics and archaeology, and her M.A. and PhD. from the University of Michigan in Classical Art and Archaeology. She has excavated in Scotland, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Tunisia, and she has been teaching history to university students for a very long time.

Professor Carr's PSU page

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Now that the weather's nice, try some of these outdoor activities! How about bicycle polo, or archery for a Medieval Islam day? Or kite flying or making a compass for a day in Medieval China? How about making a shaduf for a day in Ancient Egypt? Holding an Ancient Greek Olympic Games or a medieval European tournament? Building a Native American wickiup?