Atalanta: I like the myth, but would shy away from the connection of the names through the story. One girl tricking the other into straying from success, and all over men/marriage/beauty?...Not the sisterly story I'd want to tell.
Befana: Not loving the sound...rather beefy to me.
Bellicent: I don't get the nice imagery from this either. I see "belly" and "bellicose" first. And because...
Belphoebe: THIS NAME IS AMAZING. Between Bellicent and Belphoebe, how how how could you pick Bellicent? This goes so beautifully with Aphrodite! I don't think it is too soft at all; it's energetic, bright, scintillating!
Bradamante: I think this is clunky, obscure, and masculine-looking (Brad, Bradley, etc) next to Aphrodite.
Ceridwen: Fingers crossed this grows on your husband! I love this one! I like that it comes from a decidedly different mythology and origin from Aphrodite, but that it is longer and mixes hard and soft sounds like Aphrodite. Beautiful, graceful, intelligent, proud.
Circe: I'm afraid Aphrodite and Circe feel much too Greek-myth-stereotypically-matchy to me, since both were powerful, sometimes treacherous characters known (in some caricatures) for their sex appeal. I feel like the pairing of these names would overpower their individual beauty.
Cleopatra: Ditto from Circe. Lacks the subtlety and power; feels more like a contest of Who's Who in Ancient Female Characters.
Gwenllian: I don't think this is quite as approachable spelling-wise and it is definitely soft-sounding, but I love its sound, meaning, and all of the nicknames I can think to put with it. So while it isn't as high on the Love List as Belphoebe and Ceridwen, I think it has potential :)
Hermione: I like it. I think Harry Potter will rule its primary association for a while, but if you're ok with that, I think it's great.
Hypatia: I like this, too! It strikes me as a bit formal compared to Aphrodite, but I think they're lovely together.
Isolde: I like the sound of this name, but your concerns about the name seem really valid to me. Plus, why make beauty the thing that connects the two sisters when it's one of those over-valued, skewed qualities society sells all wrong. I feel like if there is only one quality to unite the two names, being fierce or independent or intelligent or resourceful or powerful, etc. are the ones to promote.
Jezebel: I don't mind the controversy, but the Biblical vs. Greek mythology thing strikes me as jarring, and once again, for me anyway, pairing Aphrodite and Jezebel puts the emphasis on their sex appeal and wiles rather than other qualities first. I'm not saying we shouldn't embrace and harness those qualities, I suppose, but I have trouble squaring that with two little girls playing make-believe.
Lyonesse: I confess all I see is a tryndeeigh spelling of "lioness."
Lysistrata: Yes, too much. Alas.
Morgana: Love love love. Powerful, exciting heroine; equal to Aphrodite. Love love love.
Musidora: Can see it on a little girl, but seems cutesy for a grown-up.
Nimue: I agree with the pp who said this is "too soft and squidgy and demure next to Aphrodite" but I like it in the middle.
Olympia: Yes, too much with the Greek gods.
Ourania: I actually like Ourania and Orania. Totally
Pandeia/Pandia: Like the association, but all I see is Panda Bear.
Serafina: Hmm. I'm torn on this one. On one hand, I think it works exceptionally well with Aphrodite. And in reality, it is rare. But it's got some notoriety as Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner's daughter's name, and Seraphine is a major character in the YA Beautiful Creatures series, which has been big (at least here in America). That makes Serafina feel a lot more commercial than Aphrodite to me... So I don't know.
Sunniva: I like! Mixes and matches well with Aphrodite! I like its nicknames and personal significance for you, too.
Tinuviel: I like it as a middle, but it feels too soft and floofy against powerful Aphrodite IMO.
Xenia: Eh. I like it. But I don't think it pops like Aphrodite or other choices.
Zenobia: Yes, yes, yes. Awesome with Aphrodite! Cool role model! I like the A and Z their names make, too. Both have cool sounds and powerful women behind them!
In summary, I think Belphoebe, Morgana, Zenobia, and Ceridwen are my faves with Sunniva and Ourania/Orania close behind. If I were to scratch any options, I think Bradamante, Befana, Lyonesse, Jezebel, and Cleopatra would go first.
Those are my long, mull-over-what-you-like-and-ignore-the-rest two cents. And congratulations!!
I adore Zenobia (I see a deep purple), Atalanta (I see scarlet), Gwenllian (sky blue) and Belphoebe (navy blue). I do love Olympia, but sadly it is too weird with Aphrodite.
I second Ariadne, and here are some other suggestions:
Murasaki (it's the Japanese word for purple and Lady Murasaki was the first novelist in history)
Calista/Calixta/Calixto (means most beautiful so could definitely stand up with Roo's name)
Bellicent - this is stunning. has some great sounds. i have never heard it before. may add to my GP list.
Ceridwen - love this
Circe - love the double s sounds
Hermione - Have always loved this name.
Isolde - Love the name, love the story. Have it on my list paired as Ariadne Isolde
Jezebel - always kind of liked this name. I had a best friend with this name so I don't associate it with the negative. I do picture it on someone with olive skin and dark hair.
Morgana - another one I have always loved, but Especially after Katie McGrath's portrayal in the tv series Merlin.
Nimue - again a name i have always loved.
from your list...
Atalanta - I like it but your concerns are valid. I'd probably take it off the list in favor for "the one"
Befana - feels silly and insubstantial to me.
Bellicent - same.
Belphoebe - love it!
Bradamante - the opposite of Befane and Bellicent, this name feels too heavy.
Ceridwen - I love it but if the husband's not feeling it, then maybe this just isn't it.
Circe - also love.
Cleopatra - definitely a bold choice, but so was Aphrodite. It's nms but nothing wrong with it.
Gwenllian - love!
Hermione - it is cute and seems to fit your style. If you don't mind the HP references, it sounds wonderful. My only concern (coming from my own childhood experiences and this could also go for Hypatia) having one child named after a goddess of beauty and love and the other more commonly known as a plain brainy girl...it can cause resentment between sisters.
Hypatia - Admirable indeed! Love her.
Isolde - Isolde is pretty but there's not a lot to her. Middle name potential.
Jezebel - Honestly, I think of the website. Meh.
Lyonesse - I like the Arthurian connection but this feels more middle name to me.
Lysistrata - I'm a fan of Lysistrata.
Morgana - LOVE.
Musidora - It is cool but "Muse" sounds better to my ears.
Nimue - Love
Olympia - Too much.
Ourania - Nope.
Pandeia/Pandia - Nope.
Serafina - This sounds nice with Aphrodite.
Sunniva - I really like this one! But if you already know a little Sunniva... :(
Tinuviel - middle name.
Xenia - There will be confusion.
Zenobia - not my style.
My personal favorites: Belphoebe, Ceridwen, Gwenllian, Lysistrata, Morgana, Nimue and Sunniva.
My favourites are:
Belphoebe - however, she might constantly have to correct people that no, it's not Phoebe. Also, does this mean you would get stuck in the PH name pattern? I doubt it, but it's worth a thought.
I know someone named Alexzena. It's probably not your style with the whole Alex beginning, but I just thought I'd mention it as it's similar to Xenia/Zenobia. Also, I love that you named your daughter Aphrodite. It's so brave and gives your daughter a wonderful namesake. I was just wondering how people react when they hear it? Have you gotten a lot of comments on it? I admire you for your courage in using names you truly love and stepping out of the boundaries!
You have such unique taste in names! May I suggest Xylia? Also Greek, meaning wood dweller
For the niñas:
My favorites are
Circe- I like this a lot. Spunky and cute but meaningful literary ties.
Nimue- I didn't think I'd like this one, but I do. Holds her own with Aphrodite too.
Zenobia- hands down my favorite. Me and this name have come a long way. But I just love Z names and this one has become so beautiful to me. Paired with Aphrodite I think it's stunning. And stealing from your boys list, the idea of an Aphrodite, Zenobia, Rainier sib set just thrills me to my toes.
Morgana- ooooh. So lovely and smooth and decadent. It's in a tight race with Zenobia.
These are my top favorites from your list -- I LOVE Zenobia with Aphrodite!!
My faves from your list:
I'm loving Cleopatra, Hypatia, and Zenobia! Any of those would be beautiful alongside your daughter's name. Honestly, I'm really itching for someone to be cool enough/brave enough to pull off Cleopatra. (Im not it!) It's such a fabulous name and I'd love to meet a Cleopatra!