Reviewed by Geraldine Charles
The best quick overview of the book I can give you is the publisher’s own:
“The Bearded Goddess alludes to the ancient literary texts, describing the cult of a bearded Aphrodite. The famous Ayia Irini hermaphrodite (cover) is sometimes considered to be an image of Aphroditos, the name of the goddess with a beard.”
I was excited to see this book appear; having long been curious about the bearded goddess images occasionally seen (not to mention some bearded female saints as well, of course).
As suggested by its title, however, the book doesn’t just deal with theidea of bearded goddesses but is more concerned with Cyprus as a centre of the particular cult of what the author believes to be an androgynous form of Aphrodite. I’m not sure about the monsters, but goddess has been forced to keep company with far worse in the last few thousand years.