Eros was the son of Venus and Mars. He
was her constant companion. Mischievous, he shot darts
of love into men and caused all the trouble resulting
from the desire of the gods for the children of men.
The darts, which represent the flame of desire,
brought the gods down in consciousness.
was the avenger of slighted love. Venus had
complained to Themis (justice) that Eros remained a
child and never grew up. Themis said he should have
a brother and then he would grow up. Anteros is also
the champion of reciprocal affection. These two are
like Cain and Abel: Eros is "love"; Anteros is
from "Anteros, Love of Virtue, conquering the
other Love" by Andrea Alciato (1536):
Aligerum aligeroque inimicum
arcum, atque ignes igne domans Nemesis:
quae aliis fecit patiatur, at hic puer olim
spuit inque sinus imos (res mira) crematur
ignis, furias odit Amoris Amor.
Nemesis has fashioned a form
with wings, a foe to Love with his wings,
subduing bow with bow and flames
so that Love may suffer what he
has done to others.
But this boy, once so bold when
he was carrying his arrows,
now weeps in misery and has spat
three times low on his breast.
A wondrous thing - fire is being
burned with fire,
Love is loathing the frenzies of
the painting above, the heavenly Anteros burns the
arrows of the worldly Eros in tranquility, and we
can see the instruments floating closer for the
music which usually is the prelude for the triumph
the notion of a blindfolded child with hands tied
who seems to be weeping and winding in misery stirs
up a distinct anxiety.