God of love, Eros was the son of Zeus and Aphrodite, and is represented at the beginning of creation as sorting out the formation of the world, bringing order from chaos, and causing that which was previously barren to become fruitful. He held sway not only over the hearts and minds of men but of gods too, and as such is seen as perhaps one of the most powerful deities in Greek and Roman mythology. The Romans knew him as Amor, or Cupid, and it is in this latter aspect that he figures in the story of Psyche.

She was a king's daughter, and most beautiful, so much so that Aphrodite became jealous of her, and sent Cupid to inflame her heart with love for some common man. But the god of love was himself struck by the beauty of Psyche, and carried her off to a secret place, where they spent happy hours together, with the proviso that Psyche was not allowed to look upon her lover with her mortal eyes. However, her sisters ribbed her about this, stirring up curiosity in the young princess's breast, and one night she finally gave in to temptation, taking a lamp and stealing into the god's sleeping chamber. In leaning over to see him, she dropped a hot drip of oil onto his shoulder, and Cupid, awakening and angry that she had disobeyed him, left her. Psyche searched everywhere in vain for her lover, until finally she arrived at the palace of Aphrodite, who charged her to descend to Hades and obtain a vial of beauty ointment from Persephone. Bringing this back, she became overpowered by its odour, sank to her knees and died. Cupid could resist no longer, and intervened, bringing her back to life, and thereafter marrying her, obtaining for her immortality.

Eros was originally represented as a figure of youth and beauty, but in later times became more well-known as the chubby, angelic boylike being, with his mass of curly hair and armed with his bow and arrow, the shafts of which when piercing a human (or divine) heart infused that person with unremitting love for the first person they saw.