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The Roman goddess Venus

Venus (Greek equivalent: Aphrodite) was the Roman goddess of love. According to tradtion, Venus' son, Aeneas, established the city of Rome and for this reason Venus was regarded as the ancestress of the Julian clan. The clan claimed descent from Iulus, Aeneas' son. Thus Julius Caesar (died 44 BC), his adoptive successor Augustus (reigned 31 BC - AD 14) and other emperors could claim divine ancestry.

Roman worship of Venus was linked with the tyche, or fortune of the city of Rome itself, and this was best demonstrated in the massive temple of Venus and Rome built by the emperor Hadrian (reigned AD 117-38) next to the Colosseum.

The goddess is shown in art as young and beautiful, and is sometimes accompanied by Erotes or cupids and doves. Venus was one of the most popular deities in Roman art and numerous representations survive, including sculptures, figurines in terracotta and bronze and representations in mosaics and wall-paintings.

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