Monday 2 June 2014


In Greek mythology, Hermaphroditus was was the son of Hermes, messenger of the gods, and Aphrodite, goddess of love (Hermes and Aphrodite). Hermaphroditus's name is derived from those of his parents Hermes and Aphrodite. All three of these gods figure largely among erotic and fertility figures, and all possess distinctly sexual overtones. Sometimes, Hermaphroditus is referred to as Aphroditus.

Hermaphroditus and Salmacis
                       Hermaphroditus had inherited the beauty of both his parents, and was brought up by the nymphs of Mount Ida. At the age of fifteen, he grew bored with his surroundings and traveled to the cities of Lycia and Caria. It was in the woods of Caria, near Halicarnassus that he encountered the nymph, Salmacis, in her pool. She was overcome by lust for the boy, who was very handsome but still young, and tried to seduce him, but was rejected.

Hermaphroditus and Salmacis
                             When he thought her to be gone, Hermaphroditus undressed and entered the waters of the pool. Salmacis sprang out from behind a tree and jumped into the pool. She wrapped herself around the boy, forcibly kissing him and touching his breast. While he struggled, she called out to the gods that they should never part. Her wish was granted, and their bodies blended into one form, "a creature of both sexes".  A person with the figure and breasts of a woman but with the sex organs of a man.
Statues of Hermaphroditus

                                                  In some versions, Hermaphroditus prayed to Hermes and Aphrodite that anyone else who bathed in the pool would be similarly transformed, and his wish was granted.


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