Who is Cupid?

Latin Cupīdō, personification of cupīdō (“desire, desire of love”), from cupidus (“eager, greedy, passionate”), from cupere (“to desire”).

In classical mythology, Cupid is the god of desire, erotic love, attraction and affection. He is often portrayed as the son of the love goddess Venus and the war god Mars. He is also known in Latin as Amor ("Love"). His Greek counterpart is Eros.

In Roman times, the winged "messenger of love" was sometimes depicted in armour, but no one is sure if that was intended as a sarcastic comment on the similarities between warfare and romance, or a reminder that love conquers all.

Cupid is winged, allegedly, because lovers are flighty and likely to change their minds, and boyish because love is irrational. His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart."

In both Greek and Roman mythology, Cupid always had a bow and arrow, which he used to shoot the power of love wherever he wanted it to go.

Cupid carries two kinds of arrows, one with a sharp golden point, and the other with a blunt tip of lead. A person wounded by the golden arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire, but the one struck by the lead feels aversion and desires only to flee.

Today, Cupid and his arrows have become the most popular love signs and valentine symbols.


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