Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of Beauty and Love. (Words like 'aphrodisiac' refer to her name). In Rome, she was known as Venus. She was the wife of Hephaistos (Vulcanus), and the daughter of Ouranos (spelled Uranus in Latin), the Greek primordial god of the sky. The legend tells that she was born out of Ouranos' testicles, which were thrown into the sea, after he was castrated by Chronos. At the actual birth, Aphrodite is said to have come out of a shell that rose out of the sea (on a beach near Paphos, in Cyprus). She was one of the Olympian Twelve.
Many men tried to seduce her, and indeed, she is said to have had many affairs, several of which were with her husband's brother Ares (Mars). The result of one of these illicit affairs, was Eros (or Cupid), the God of Love.