Marble statue of Aphrodite at her bath, with one arm across her torso.

Event information

26 Jul 2021


Online event


Please note this is an online event and will require you to use the video conferencing system Zoom.

These events are free however donations are greatly appreciated.

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Join Professor Bettany Hughes for an exclusive Members' lecture on the Roman goddess Venus and her Greek counterpart Aphrodite. 

Charting Venus's origins in powerful ancient deities, Hughes demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than first meets the eye.

Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess's mythical birthplace, she decodes Venus's relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite. In turn, Hughes explores Aphrodite's mixed-up origins both as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and procreation, but also as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East: Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte. 

On this journey of discovery, Hughes reveals the truth behind Venus and how this mythological figure is so much more than nudity, romance and sex. This is both the remarkable story of one of antiquity's most potent forces and the story of human desire  exploring how it transforms who we are and how we behave.

To attend this online event

Join the discussion from 18.15 on Monday 26 July. We're hosting the event on Zoom, a free video conferencing system.

Once you've accessed this event, one of the Membership team will be ready to greet you and explain how to ask questions and take part. After the initial presentation and discussion, we'll be inviting questions from the audience.

Before the meeting, if you have any queries relating to the event or need help, please email us at

Please note once maximum capacity is reached on Zoom, Members can watch the event streamed on YouTube and will be redirected from the same 'Join the discussion' link. A recording of the event will be circulated shortly afterwards in a Members' email. 

About the speaker

Professor Bettany Hughes is an award-winning historian, author and broadcaster who has devoted the last 25 years to the vibrant communication of the past. Her speciality is ancient and medieval history and culture. A Scholar at Oxford University, she has taught at Oxford and Cambridge Universities and lectured at Cornell, Bristol, UCL, Maastricht, Utrecht and Manchester. She has written and presented over 50 TV and radio documentaries and her programmes have now been seen by over 250 million worldwide.