Anteros (love-for-love) In Greek mythology, god of passion, mutual love, and tenderness; son of Aphrodite and Ares; brother of Eros, Delmos, Enyo, Harmmia, Pallor, and Phobos. Aphrodite was told by Themis that her son Eros would grow only if he had another brother. As soon as Anteros was born, Eros began to grow, and his strength increased, but whenever Eros found himself at a distance from Anteros, he returned to his baby form. Often Anteros and Eros were portrayed striving to seize a palm tree from one another, to symbolize that true love endeavours to overcome by kindness and gratitude. Anteros and Eros were always portrayed in Greek academies as a symbol that students should love their teachers. Anteros is cited in Pausanias’s Description of Greece.


Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow -Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante




Anteros is the spirit of requited love, literally “love returned.” He is Ares and Aphrodite’s son, brother of Eros. According to myth, Eros was a lonely boy who needed someone to love and so his parents gave him a brother. The brothers are frequent companions.

Anteros was a favourite subject of Victorian sculptors who perceived that he represented mature, responsible love, unlike the frivolous, ephemeral emotions generated by Eros. The statue soaring above the Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain in London’s Piccadilly Circus portrays Anteros but is commonly mistaken for Eros or even “the angel of Christian charity.”

Anteros is petitioned for happy, reciprocal relationships. He also avenges unrequited love and may be petitioned by the bitter, disappointed, and vengeful.


He looks very much like his brother, Eros; they are easily confused. He is a handsome, winged, usually naked male spirit holding a bow and arrows. Anteros may be distinguished by butterfly wings.


He may appear on his own or with his mother and brother: Aphrodite holds scales; Eros sits in one pan, while Anteros sits in the other.


Lead arrows, golden club



Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.

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