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On the Wings of Love

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

A single passage in Hesiod's Theogony describes Aphrodite's abduction of Phaethon. At first glance, this Phaethon appears to have little in common with his namesake, who famously rode the chariot of the sun god for a day. Accordingly, various reputable scholars have treated them as two unrelated characters. This article argues that the underlying theme of apotheosis through catasterism—reinforced through comparison with ancient Near Eastern traditions—forges a link that allows for the ultimate unity of these divergent traditions concerning Phaethon.


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