How Did the Planet Venus Get Its Name and What Does Venus Mean In Latin?

The Romans who derived their religious pantheon from the Greek tradition, named the planet Venus after their goddess of love.

On Venus, all topographical features except one are named for women, Venus being a goddess of womanhood.

For instance, the main craters include Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), the prima ballerina of her lifetime; Sacajewea (c. 1789-1812), the Shoshone tribeswoman who explored the West with Lewis and Clark; and Sappho (fl. 610-580 B.C.), the greatest female poet in ancient Greece.

Some regions carry other names for Venus: the Greek Aphrodite, the Syrian and Palestinian Ishtar, and Venus in her role as creator, Thetis.

The only feature not named for a woman is the Maxwell mountain range, after the Scottish mathematician James Clerk Maxwell.

Why? The mountains were named before it was decided to use only women’s names.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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