Tourists came from near and far to see her. Women visited to pay their respects and beseech her to fulfill their hopes and dreams, while prominent families gave offerings to her on behalf of their female relatives. And at least one man, so the story goes, was so overcome with lust that his worshiping took an indecent turn, the shame of which caused him to throw himself off a cliff.
She was the Aphrodite of Knidos, one of the finest and most famous ancient Greek sculptures created by one of the finest ancient Greek sculptors of the era. She was the first of her kind, the earliest nude sculpture of a woman known in history, and she represented an artistic revolution.
But her reign began nearly 2,400 years ago, and, though the passing millennia have been kind to her legacy, the original Aphrodite of Knidos by the grand sculptor Praxiteles has not survived. While art scholars and admirers still worship the original nude Goddess of Love, all that is left of her are the many copies that pay homage to her memory.