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Pompeiian fresco of Peitho (left) taking Eros to Venus and Anteros, circa 25 BCE, Naples National Museum.

In Greek mythology, Peitho (Ancient Greek: Πειθώ, translit. Peithō, lit. 'Persuasion') is the goddess who personifies persuasion and seduction. Her Roman name is Suadela or Suada.

Pausanias reports that after the unification of Athens, Theseus set up a cult of Aphrodite Pandemos and Peitho on the south slope of Acropolis of Athens. According to the same author, they had also a sanctuary and a cult at Sicyon. In her role as an attendant or companion of Aphrodite, Peitho was intimately connected to the goddess of love and beauty. Ancient artists and poets explored this connection in their works. The connection is even deeper in the context of Ancient Greek marriage because a suitor had to negotiate with the father of a young woman for her hand in marriage and offer a bridal price in return for her. The most desirable women drew many prospective suitors, and persuasive skill often determined their success.

Aphrodite and Peitho were sometimes conflated to a certain extent, with the name Peitho appearing in conjunction with, or as an epithet of, Aphrodite's name. This helps to demonstrate how the relationship between persuasion and love (or desire) was important in Greek culture. Peitho's ancestry is somewhat unclear. According to Hesiod in the Theogony, Peitho was the daughter of the Titans Tethys and Oceanus,[1] which would make her an Oceanid and therefore sister of such notable goddesses as Dione, Doris, and Metis. However, Hesiod's classification of Peitho as an Oceanid is contradicted by other sources.

When Zeus ordered the creation of the first woman, Pandora, it was Peitho and the Charities who put golden necklaces around her neck, and the rich-haired Hours crowned Pandora's head with spring flowers.[2] Peitho is identified as a member of the Charites by Hermesianax,[3] and Nonnus, in his Dionysiaca, describes them as including Peitho, Pasithea, and Aglaia, all three of them daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite.[4] She is most commonly considered a daughter of Aphrodite. Nonnus also lists Peitho as the wife of Hermes, the messenger of the gods.[5][6] However, in another source, Peitho is the first wife of Phoroneus, and the mother of Aegialeus and Apia[7]


  1. ^ Hesiod, Theogony, 346-349.
  2. ^ Hesiod, Works and Days, 69-82.
  3. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 9.35.1.
  4. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 24.261.
  5. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 8.220.
  6. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca, 48.230.
  7. ^ Scholiast on Euripides' Orestes 920.


  • Grimal, Pierre (1996). Dictionnaire de la Mythologie Grecque Et Romaine. Wiley. p. 349. ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1.
  • North, Helen F. (1993). "Emblems of Eloquence". Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society. 137 (3): 406–430. ISBN 978-1-4223-7018-6.
  • Smith, William; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873). "Peitho" 1.

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