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His symbols are the arrow and torch, "because love wounds and inflames the heart." These attributes and their interpretation were established by late antiquity, as summarized by Isidore of Seville (d. Cupid is also sometimes depicted blindfolded and described as blind, not so much in the sense of sightless—since the sight of the beloved can be a spur to love—as blinkered and arbitrary.
The Romans reinterpreted myths and concepts pertaining to the Greek Eros for Cupid in their own literature and art, and medieval and Renaissance mythographers conflate the two freely.A variation is found in The Kingis Quair, a 15th-century poem attributed to James I of Scotland, in which Cupid has three arrows: gold, for a gentle "smiting" that is easily cured; the more compelling silver; and steel, for a love-wound that never heals.complaining that so small a creature shouldn't cause such painful wounds.Nor hath love's mind of any judgement taste; Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.And therefore is love said to be a child Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.Although other extended stories are not told about him, his tradition is rich in poetic themes and visual scenarios, such as "Love conquers all" and the retaliatory punishment or torture of Cupid.
In art, Cupid often appears in multiples as the Amores, or in the later terminology of art history, the equivalent of the Greek erotes.Cicero, however, says that there were three Cupids, as well as three Venuses: the first Cupid was the son of Mercury and Diana, the second of Mercury and the second Venus, and the third of Mars and the third Venus.This last Cupid was the equivalent of Anteros, "Counter-Love," one of the Erotes, the gods who embody aspects of love.Although Eros is generally portrayed as a slender winged youth in Classical Greek art, during the Hellenistic period, he was increasingly portrayed as a chubby boy.During this time, his iconography acquired the bow and arrow that represent his source of power: a person, or even a deity, who is shot by Cupid's arrow is filled with uncontrollable desire.In the Greek tradition, Eros had a dual, contradictory genealogy.