Centuries ago, on the peak of Mount Olympus, Aphrodite and Zeus frolicked, lounged, and loved together. However, their romance was brief and ill-fated: it was only two years from the blossoming of their romance to its tragic end, when Aphrodite realized she could do better. Meanwhile, Aphrodite’s most consistent and beloved companion, Athena, welcomed a sweet cherub into the world. Dionysus, the boy’s father, and Athena became engaged later in the year.
Two years later, Zeus has found a new love: Hera. The two had been friendly, gallivanting among the columns and temples of pure white for years. Soon, Zeus was spotted enjoying ambrosia with Hera’s family, who produced a biographical weekly play at the local amphitheatre: Keeping Up with the Argeias. The townspeople knew that Zeus and Hera were seriously enamoured when Hera was seen commandeering Zeus’s $500,000 chariot.
Despite their obvious blissful love, something – or someone – was still on Zeus’s mind. Zeus composed a song, entitled “krýo” about his former love, Aphrodite, and her new lover, Hephaestus, stating that there were no hard feelings between the two couples, both prominent in the social scene of Olympus and nearby Thessaloniki. All were in good spirits, and Aphrodite and Hephaestus welcomed their first child into the world, and quickly thereafter had a secret, private wedding ceremony.
Never one to miss out on trends, Zeus soon fathered a child as well, and later had a wedding befitting a god of his importance. There was one notable absence from the wedding: Hera’s brother, Poseidon, left the wedding early after months of displaying a stormy disposition.
Athena and Hera bonded over their motherhood, as well as trying to get back to their fittest in time for nude beach season – the ancient Greeks did love their nudity. Initially, the split between Dionysus and Athena did not alter this, as they remained friends, and Dionysus and Zeus were close as well. However, the situation quickly escalated.
Aphrodite and Hephaestus split only 14 lunar cycles after their secret wedding, and Aphrodite experienced a heartache unlike any she had ever felt before. In even more shocking news that shook the ground the ancient Greeks stood on, Dionysus and Hera’s younger sister, Demeter, began a period of courtship, despite a ten-year age gap between the two gods. This shattered any possible friendship between Athena and Hera, and Athena turned to Aphrodite for solace.
It was at this time that Aphrodite issued a 140-character decree about the Argeia family and its drama: she explained her concern about young Demeter and decried Dionysus for leaving Athena for such a young child. The Argeia family was quick to reply, making accusatory statements about Aphrodite’s own past – it was common knowledge that she had been a dancer at 15, two years younger than Demeter when she entered her relationship with Dionysus. Aphrodite, not one to be shamed for her sexuality, retaliated with a pointed jab at Hera’s own past, which included a rather explicit play; this remark brought down Zeus’s wrath, although Aphrodite continued to speak positively about her sexuality, ignoring these negative remarks.
This long-lasting drama came to a cliff hanger as Poseidon and Athena confirmed their romance, and Zeus and Hephaestus engaged in a public battle. What will happen next? Find out in the next edition of The Mount Olympus Weekly.