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What Does Which Love God You Pray to Say About You? Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Roman culture

Salvete Omnes! The day is here. The day some people were dreading, others awaiting, and others ignoring. Happy Valentines Day! No matter which one you are or whether or not you have a special Valentine, you, like all of us, probably would not turn down some god-given guidance in the realm of love. So, today, let’s look at who we might want to be getting this advice from depending on our situations.


Arte romana, mosaico con eros, 03 venere. Courtesy of Sailko and Wikimedia Commons.

Pray to Cupid and…

You’re probably praying for that cupid’s arrow to hit you. Maybe you’ve been out of love for a while, never feeling that spark. You could also be praying for some affection. Cupid was the god of love, affection, erotic desire and love. You might also be more of a traditionalist. Cupid is the one we still, all these hundreds of years later, associate with Valentine’s Day. Around this time of year we see little babies with wings with pink bows and arrows. They’re everywhere; on cards, posters, candies, and so on. Cupid, in the years of the Ancient Romans, was a strong and slender young man. After the Greek adopted him he became younger and chubbier. After the Middle Ages and the Romantic fascination with cherubim, we now have a “Cupid” that seems half Christian angel, half Pagan love deity. Praying to him will cover many bases that would be covered by Venus, but he is, culturally, more traditionally relevant for those in Western society.

Eros brought by Peitho (Persuasion) to Venus as Anteros laughs at his being punished for having chosen the wrong target. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pray to Suadela and…

Maybe you’re caught in a crush or a, as far as you know, one-sided affection. Suadela, the equivalent of the Greek Peitho, is the goddess we do not hear too much about. She was the goddess associated with the persuasion and seduction of love. As a companion and attendant for Aphrodite she was often overshadowed, but the Ancient Greeks took a particular liking to her because a young suitor often had to persuade a potential father-in-law to wed his daughter. Since beautiful young women often attracted several suitors, the young men usually had to rely on their negotiation skills to win their love. Having Suadela/Peitho on your side might have meant you had a lead in the race. Today, this is not how things play out, thankfully. If you were to pray to Suadela today it would probably be because you are looking for the charisma and confidence to “seduce” or, more realistically “attract”, that person who has caught your eye.

Cast iron replica of the famous original bronze head of Aphrodite which is in the British Museum, London, UK. The original is Hellenistic Greek, 1st century bce, discovered at Satala (now Sadak) north-eastern Turkey. (c) image by Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Pray to Venus and…

You could be in any of a dozen situations. Perhaps you’re praying for beauty, either within or without yourself. Maybe for someone beautiful to enter your life. You could be praying for fertility. Maybe you’ve already found that beautiful someone and now its time to start a new life with them. You could be praying for sexual desire, after all her name is venus which means “sexual desire” or “sexual love”, wishing for something short term or long term, who knows. If it feels like you might not know what to choose when praying for Venus, that’s normal. Venus has always been one of the most famous goddesses in the world. Therefore, several things have been attributed to her. She is the goddess of love, of course, but there is so much more: love, beauty, desire, sex, fertility, prosperity and victory. You could pray to her for success at your job interview, for that new promotion you’ve had your eye on, for the success of a favorite sports team. None of these are necessarily about love, but she can help you out with those.

So, if you’re not sure who to pray for for success in love this Valentines Day its probably safe to ask Venus for some guidance, though she might be a little busy. And if you’re extra confused or extra diligent in love, you could pray to all three of these deities, as members of a polytheistic pantheon, we can be sure they’re used to it.

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About the Author: Brittany Britanniae

Hello There! Please feel free to ask me anything about Latin Grammar, Syntax, or the Ancient World.


  1. clio:

    I had always heard that Eros (Greek) was the tall, slender comely young man and it was the Romans who made Cupid a cuddly, plump baby…but you have it here the other way round. Just wondering.: .from your text above “Cupid, in the years of the Ancient Romans, was a strong and slender young man. After the Greek adopted him he became younger and chubbier.”

  2. Hedvig:

    Hi there!
    A quick shout out to let you know that life is not a life without a healthy dose of Latin in it! I am missing the cool stories. Perhaps life got busy for you. In any case, I hope you’ll be back soon!


  3. John R.:

    Hi, there. I taught myself Latin some years ago, out of Wheelock’s Latin, and another book called “Teach Yourself Latin.” I am hoping to go a bit further, and read more in Latin. Are there any online resources that might help me practice Latin?