Sun, Aug 06|
Venus, Queen of Perfumes with J. W. Dotson
Available as an individual ticket, part of the Sunday Day Pass or General Admission Ticket.
Time & Location
Aug 06, 2023, 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT
About the event
Cyprus is an island at the crossroads of the ancient Egyptian and Roman empires, and the birthplace of Aphrodite Kypris, where she arose from the sea and was worshipped as an aniconic black stone at her sanctuary of Paphos. Nearby is the site of Pyrgos-Mavroraki, a 4,000 year old Bronze Age perfume factory. The island was a center for the worship of Astarte, Ishtar and then Aphrodite, where the craft of perfume making became closely associated with her attributes of love and beauty and led to the prestige of Cyprian perfumes throughout the ancient world. Ptolemy, the 2nd century astrologer, said that Aphrodite (the planet Venus) rules over people whose activities “lie in the scents of flowers or of perfumes.” Roman myths portray her divine perfume as a magical weapon that could cause destruction and madness in mortals.
This class will discuss these skilled perfumers that were also associated with the sacred craft traditions of metallurgy and later alchemy, and how these crafts led to the Medieval Islamicate advances in distillation producing perfumes that had both magical and medical uses. Finally, Mary Magdalene assumed the role as patron saint of perfumery continuing the theme of a beautiful long-haired goddess associated with the sin of Luxuria.