Theme: Black Madonna
This goes in the direction, that the black color was not intended.Research into the Black Madonna phenomenon is limited due to a wide consensus among scholars that the dark-skinned aspect was unintentional.
Begg has a different view: he links the recurring refrain from the Song of Solomon, ‘I am black, but I am beautiful’ to the Queen of Sheba.
Generally the first wave of Black Madonnas is given to 13th century, when crusaders still were in Eastern regions. They often looked as made with Byzantine style.Monique Scheer, one of these scholars, attributes the importance of the dark-skinned depiction to its connection with authenticity. The reason for this connection is the perceived age of the figures and the idea that these depictions are more accurate to historical Mary, since many of the works are eastern in origin and since Mary herself likely had dark skin.
Theme: Aphrodite came from the East.
The Greek origin of Aphrodite was located at the island Cypern, close to Syria and Libanon and Minor Asia. Naturally one might suspect, that the falling genital of Uranos dropped somewhere there in the water.Syncretism
In many cases Atargatis, ‘Ashtart, and other goddesses who once had independent cults and mythologies became fused to such an extent as to be indistinguishable. This fusion is exemplified by the Carnion temple, which is probably identical with the famous temple of ‘Ashtart at Ashtaroth-Karnaim. Atargatis generally appears as the wife of Hadad. They are the protecting deities of the community. Atargatis, wearing a mural crown, is the ancestor the royal house, the founder of social and religious life, the goddess of generation and fertility (hence the prevalence of phallic emblems), and the inventor of useful appliances. Not unnaturally she is identified with the Greek Aphrodite. By the conjunction of these many functions, despite originating as a sea deity analogous to Amphitrite, she becomes ultimately a great nature-goddess, analogous to Cybele and Rhea: In one aspect she typifies the protection of water in producing life; in another, the universal of other-earth; in a third (influenced, no doubt, by Chaldean astrology), the power of Destiny. She was also identified with Hera by Lucian in his De Dea Syria.
https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10 ... 4603900816THE AETIOLOGICAL CHAPTER: How EUNUCHISM ARISES
Eunuchism means male castration. The term arises from two Greek words meaning "bed" and "guarding" and indicates the principal function of male castrates in ancient times. The ancient Greeks used also a terrm meaning "cut", which in its Latinized form "spado" was used by the Romans.
Eunuchs were employed by ancient Eastern peoples such as the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Chinese and some African peoples as special slaves or servants. Their asexuality, which, however, was not always complete, fitted them for employment as guardians and servants in harems. They were placed also in other confidential posts because, as a passager in Xenophon's Cyropaedia indicates, being distinct from the rest of mankind they could not be distracted by sexual considerations and adventures and would be more firmly attached to the person of their master. Such slaves were procured from prisoners of war, whom their victors castrated as a symbol of complete subjugation.
This war castration was much in vogue among pre-Hellenic barbarians, as shown by ancient sculptures and paintings such as those of Karnak. Later, parents used to castrate their children so as to obtain for them a post and livelihood in the leading families.
Castration for this purpose, a distinct manifestation of Eastern barbarism, was unknown among the ancient Greeks, and also among the Romans as long as thev were under the influence of Greek civilization. In Imperial Rome, however, after Rome had come into contact with the Orient, eunuchs were introduced into the city, and as Gibbon writes:
"The eunuchs who in the time of Augustus had been abhorrent as the monstrous retinue of the Egyptian Queen, were gradually admitted into the families of matrons and senators and of the emperors themselves."' They exerted a certain role. Claudius heaped riches and rewards on his freedman eunuch Posides, who employed his wealth in building ......
From Minor Asia, close to the Cypern of Aphrodite, we have mythologies with eunuchism. Attis and Kybele in the first row. Also Adonis with the double pair Aphrodite/Persephone.
As I've read, Pausanias and Herodot already had the opinion, that Aphrodite came from the East.
Contradictions to "Aphrodite comes from the East"
German Wiki: A German writer for the Pauly, Georg Ferdinand Dümmler, contradicts the theory of a development of the Aphrodite cult from the East and suggests an Pelasgian origin. The argumentation is very complex and also for German readers very cryptic.
Wiki .... https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphrodite
Begin of the argumentation ...Herkunft des Kultes
Antike Schriftsteller wie Herodot und Pausanias sahen den Ursprung des Kults der Aphrodite Urania in Phönizien bzw. dem vorderen Orient. Als mögliche Ursprungsorte des Kults wurden dabei Assyrien und das phönizische Askalon, als frühe Manifestationsorte in der griechischen Welt Paphos auf Zypern und die ionische Insel Kythera hervorgehoben. Dagegen ging Georg Ferdinand Dümmler (1894) in seinem Artikel für Paulys Realencyclopädie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, gestützt auf die Untersuchung der Kultstätten, von einem thessalischen Ursprung des nach ihm zunächst pelasgischen Aphrodite-Kults aus.
The thesis of Dümmler was new to me, but I think, that it is possibly of interest. My notes to this:Aphrodite (Ἀφροδίτη, Ἀφροδείτη, aiol. Ἀφρόδιτα [Hs. Ἀφροδῖτα, corr. Bekker] nach Choiroboskos 1200; vgl. Ahrens Dial. I 109, 2, einmal Ἀφορδιτα, kret. Inschr. Cauer Delect.² nr. 121, 26, ursprüngliche Wortform wohl das kyprische Ἀφοροδίτα; vgl. M. Schmidt Kypr. Inschr. T. XIX 7 Ἀφοροδοδοσιω, S. 529; auch Aprodita Bezzenb. Beitr. X 105; Ἁβροδίτη = ἁβροδίαιτος spielend nur Schol. Eur. Troad. 990: οὐκ οἶδε πολεμικὰ ἔργα; die anderen alten Etymologien s. a. E.), eine ursprünglich in Thessalien heimische, dort wahrscheinlich von dem Volksstamm der Pelasger zuerst verehrte und von diesem in Verbindung mit Aiolern nach Kleinasien, mit Argeiern über Boiotien nach Attika, aus Arkadien nach Kypros verbreitete Göttin. Die hypokoristische Verschleifung des Namens in Thessalien und die daselbst und zwar an den verschiedensten Orten nachweisbare Weihung eines besonderen Monats an die Göttin, zwei anderwärts nur ausnahmsweise beobachtete Erscheinungen (vgl. Thrakien, Bithynien, Iasos, Kypros) beweisen, wie breit und tief ihr Kult im thessalischen Volkstum wurzelt.
Filippo Maria (Michelino) used Jupiter as the father of Venus. In the Hesiod interpretation (which I normally prefer) Uranos as genital is the father of Aphrodite. When Jupiter is noted as father of Aphrodite in the mythological texts, then the mother is Dione, which is called a female Titan (but not in the major Hesiod interpretation, which don't note her; I mean the model with 6 male and 6 female Titans). Occasionally the name Dione is even used for Aphrodite.
Zeus and Dione had an oracle in Dodona. This is called the oldest and second only to the influence of the oracle of Delphi.
There were (probably) 2 locations named Dodona.
The unknown Dodona is said to have been close to the mountain Olympos. It belonged to Thessaly. The other (with the oracle) was in the Western mountains. There some ruins were found, which were identified as the oracle.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Dodon ... 20.7735053
Here is a story about the origin of the cult.
And Herodot himself.Herodotus (Histories 2:54–57) was told by priests at Egyptian Thebes in the 5th century BCE "that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians; one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas; these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries." The simplest analysis of the quote is: Egypt, for Greeks as well as for Egyptians, was a spring of human culture of all but immeasurable antiquity. This mythic element says that the oracles at the oasis of Siwa in Libya and of Dodona in Epirus were equally old, but similarly transmitted by Phoenician culture, and that the seeresses – Herodotus does not say "sibyls" – were women.
Herodotus follows with what he was told by the prophetesses, called peleiades ("doves") at Dodona:
that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona; the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there; the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine. The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon; this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra; and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true.
But about the oracles in Hellas, and that one which is in Libya, the Egyptians give the following account. The priests of Zeus of Thebes told me that two priestesses had been carried away from Thebes by Phoenicians; one, they said they had heard was taken away and sold in Libya, the other in Hellas; these women, they said, were the first founders of places of divination in the aforesaid countries.  When I asked them how it was that they could speak with such certain knowledge, they said in reply that their people had sought diligently for these women, and had never been able to find them, but had learned later the story which they were telling me.
That, then, I heard from the Theban priests; and what follows, the prophetesses of Dodona say: that two black doves had come flying from Thebes in Egypt, one to Libya and one to Dodona;  the latter settled on an oak tree, and there uttered human speech, declaring that a place of divination from Zeus must be made there; the people of Dodona understood that the message was divine, and therefore established the oracular shrine.  The dove which came to Libya told the Libyans (they say) to make an oracle of Ammon; this also is sacred to Zeus. Such was the story told by the Dodonaean priestesses, the eldest of whom was Promeneia and the next Timarete and the youngest Nicandra; and the rest of the servants of the temple at Dodona similarly held it true.
But my own belief about it is this. If the Phoenicians did in fact carry away the sacred women and sell one in Libya and one in Hellas, then, in my opinion, the place where this woman was sold in what is now Hellas, but was formerly called Pelasgia, was Thesprotia;  and then, being a slave there, she established a shrine of Zeus under an oak that was growing there; for it was reasonable that, as she had been a handmaid of the temple of Zeus at Thebes , she would remember that temple in the land to which she had come.  After this, as soon as she understood the Greek language, she taught divination; and she said that her sister had been sold in Libya by the same Phoenicians who sold her.
I expect that these women were called “doves” by the people of Dodona because they spoke a strange language, and the people thought it like the cries of birds;  then the woman spoke what they could understand, and that is why they say that the dove uttered human speech; as long as she spoke in a foreign tongue, they thought her voice was like the voice of a bird. For how could a dove utter the speech of men? The tale that the dove was black signifies that the woman was Egyptian1. 
The fashions of divination at Thebes of Egypt and at Dodona are like one another; moreover, the practice of divining from the sacrificed victim has also come from Egypt.
http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/tex ... apter%3D54 .... ff
Well, this story of Dodona knows "2 black doves". Filippo Maria Visconti (or Martiano) had 2 doves (dove and turtle dove) for their Michelino deck. Dodona had Zeus paired with a Dione, who either was the mother of Aphrodite/Venus or Aphrodite/Venus herself. Filippo Maria knew Zeus and Dione/Aphrodite/Venus from his ancestor trees.
... that are strange accidents.
Filippo Maria Visconti got Genova in 1421 ...
storiadimilano.it1421 2 novembre: Assedio e conquista di Genova da parte dei milanesi guidati dal Carmagnola.
The possession of Genova formed a reason, why Filippo Maria was confronted with Greek circumstances.
https://www.wildwinds.com/coins/greece/ ... iae/i.html
Thespiai, Boeotia, AR hemidrachm, early-mid 4th C. BC. 2.91 g. Boeotian shield / ΘEΣ beneath head of Aphrodite Melainis right, vertical crescent facing left in right field. SNG Cop 404; Pozzi 1460; Weber 3316; BMC 10; BCD Boiotia 607; Traite III 366.
https://nomosag.com/default.aspx?page=u ... pe=auction