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The Italian Cupid or Amor was equivalent to the Greek god Eros, the god of love. He was the son of Aphrodite fathered by Zeus, Ares, or Hermes. Cupid was thought to be a beautiful but wanton boy with a quiver full of "arrowed desires." According to a late legend, Venus (the Roman equivalent of Aphrodite) became jealous of Psyche, the soul, and ordered her son to inspire her to fall in love with an ugly and wretched man. It so happened that Cupid, himself, had fallen in love with Psyche and, invisibly visited her each night. He ordered her not to try to see him, and when overcome with curiosity, she violated his command. He deserted her. Psyche wondered the world over seeking him, and overcoming many obstacles by Venus until Jupiter granted her immortality and the lovers were reunited. A.G.H.
Cotterell, Arthur, A Dictionary of World Mythology,
New York, G. P. Putman's Sons, 1980, p. 136
Jordan, Michael, Encyclopedia of Gods, New York, Facts On File, Inc. 1993, pp. 14-15