ANTEROSFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anteros (Anterôs) was the son of Ares and Aphrodite in Greek mythology, given to his brother Eros, who was lonely, as a playmate. He is the personification of unrequited love and punisher of those who scorn love, and is depicted as similar to Eros in every way, but with long hair and butterfly wings. The term was also used for the love which arises in the beloved boy in a pederastic relationship.
An altar to this god was put up by the metics in Athens in commemoration of the spurned love of the metic Timagoras who was rejected by the young Athenian Meles. Upon hearing Timagoras' declaration of love for him, the young man mockingly ordered him to throw himself down from the top of a tall rock. Seeing Timagoras dead the youth repented and threw himself down from the same rock. [Pausanias 1.30.1]
Describing the nature of the emotion, Plato asserts that it is the result of the great love that a lover has for a boy. The lover, inspired by the beauty of the boy, is filled with divine love and it overflows from him to the boy, "filling the soul of the loved one with love in return." As a result, the boy falls in love with his lover, though he neither thinks nor speaks of it as love, but as friendship. His experience of pain when the two are apart, and relief when they are together, the mirror image of the lover's feelings, is anteros, or "backlove." [Phaedrus.255]
Anteros is the subject of the Shaftesbury Memorial in Piccadilly Circus, London, where he symbolises the selfless philanthropic love of the Earl of Shaftesbury for the poor. The memorial is sometimes given the name The Angel of Christian Charity, and is popularly called Eros.