- The magical girdle of Aphrodite had the power to inspire the passion of desire. Hera, in her role as the goddess of marriage, occassionally borrowed it from Aphrodite to reunite quarrelling spouses in love and to inspire the bridal contests of suitors.
From the Iliad:
- She [Aphrodite] spoke, and from her breasts unbound the elaborate, pattern-pierced zone (himas), and on it are figured all beguilement (philotes), and loveliness is figured upon it, and passion of sex (himeros) is there, and the whispered endearment (oaristos) that steals the heart away even from the thoughtful. She put this in Hera’s hands, and called her by name and spoke to her: ‘Take this zone, and hide it away in the fold of your bosom. It is elaborate, all things are figured therein. And I think whatever is your heart’s desire shall not go unaccomplished.'