Adônis (Brazilian Portuguese) or Adónis (European Portuguese) (in classical Greek: Ἄδωνις), in Phoenician and Greek mythology, was a young man of great beauty who was born from incestuous relations that King Cíniras of Cyprus had with his daughter Mirra.
Adonis went on to arouse the love of Persephone and Aphrodite. Later the two goddesses began to dispute the boy's company and had to submit to Zeus' judgment.
He stipulated that he would spend a third of the year with each of them, but Adonis, who preferred Aphrodite, would remain with her for the remaining third. From this myth is born the idea of the annual cycle of vegetation, with the seed remaining under the ground for four months.
Adonis and the goddesses
The Greek goddess Aphrodite, of love and sensual beauty, fell in love with him. However, Aphrodite's lover Ares, the goddess of war, upon learning of the goddess' betrayal, decides to attack Adonis by sending a boar to kill him. The animal delivered a fatal blow to Adonis' hip, and the blood that gushed out turned into an anemone flower.
Aphrodite, who was running through the jungles to rescue her lover, was wounded, and the blood that oozed from her wounds dyed the white roses red. Another version of the myth tells that Aphrodite transmuted the blood of her lover into an anemone.
The dead young man then descended to the underworld, where he ruled alongside Hades and his wife, the goddess Persephone - the queen of the underworld, who also fell in love with him. This caused Aphrodite great grief, and the two goddesses became rivals.
Initially, Persephone, sympathetic to Aphrodite's suffering, promised to return him on one condition: Adonis would spend six months in the underworld with her and another six months on Earth with Aphrodite.
Soon the agreement was broken, which provoked another argument between the two goddesses, which only ended with the intervention of Zeus, who determined that Adonis would be free four months of the year, spend another four with Aphrodite and the remaining four with Persephone.
Adonis became the symbol of vegetation that dies in winter (descending to the underworld and joining Persephone) and returns to Earth in spring (to join Aphrodite).
Eastern god of vegetation, kthonic deity (who fulfills the seed cycle).