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Ancient Myths About Roses

Dec 15, 2020

Instances of Roses in Mythology 

In 2020, we view roses as a beautiful gift from nature and a symbol of love and passion. However, a mythological perspective shows that roses may have held many deeper meanings or appeared in myths from long ago.

Greek, Roman, and Chinese mythology all contain fascinating stories about roses. Keep reading to learn about four significant rose-related myths.

Four Myths That Involved Roses

How the Goddess of Flowers Created Roses

No one knows for sure how roses were created, but one myth from Greek and Roman texts offers a beautiful explanation. The story begins with Chloris, the Greek Goddess of Flowers. One day, she went for a walk in the woods and discovered a woodland nymph’s lifeless body. This made Chloris sad, so she transformed the body into a flower.

She asked for extra help from other mythological figures: Apollo would cast down the sun’s rays on her new creation, and she incorporated beauty from Aphrodite and a sweet aroma from Dionysus. The end result was Chloris’ best work: the rose.

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Aphrodite and How Roses Turned Red

Some myths attribute Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, with the creation of the rose. She was born in the ocean, and the myth says that white roses first appeared as the sea foam surrounding her first touched the earth. But how did roses turn red?

One day, Aphrodite’s lover, Adonis, was attacked and killed by wild boars. Aphrodite hurried to his body, where she accidentally scratched herself on a rose bush. Her tears combined with the scar and splashed on the rose bush, turning the roses red.

One Mythical Love Story Made Roses Bloom Around the World

In one Greco-Roman myth, a beautiful, young woman named Psyche was hailed “the second coming of Venus (the Goddess of Love).” This angered Venus, whose jealousy left a curse on Psyche. Luckily, Cupid fell in love with Psyche and freed her from the curse. Their love story impressed Greek Gods so much that they chose to make the world bloom with glowing roses.

The Legend of the Blue Rose

The blue rose is the rarest in the world, and one myth from Chinese folklore offers a lesson about honesty using the rose’s rarity. In this story, many men sought after the affections of an Emperor’s daughter. She would only agree to marry a man who could present a rare blue rose to her. Many men lied to her, offering impostor roses, but she rejected them every time.

After many disappointments, the Emperor’s daughter realized that she was falling in love with a gardener’s son. He could only present her with a white rose, but she insisted that the rose was blue anyway. They married and lived happily ever after.

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Roses are captivating, beautiful gifts from nature. Whether there’s any truth to these myths, or they’re simply creative stories, we’re not surprised to see that people from centuries ago loved roses as much as we do now.

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