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Ganymede (mythology)

In Greek mythology, Ganymede (Roman equivalent: Catamitus) was a beautiful human boy who became the cupbearer of the gods.

Ganymede was kidnapped by Zeus while tending to a flock of sheep. Zeus had seen him and fell in love with him instantly, either sending an eagle or turning himself into an eagle and taking Ganymede to Mt. Olympus.

An alternative version says that Eos, the dawn-goddess and nymphomaniac, kidnapped Ganymede and also Tithonus to be her lovers. Zeus decided he wanted the beautiful youth Ganymede for himself but to repay Eos he promised to fulfill one wish. She asked for Tithonus to be immortal, but forgot to ask for eternal youth. Tithonus indeed lived forever but grew more and more ancient, eventually turning into a cricket.

In either version, Ganymede's father grieved for his son. His father was either Tros or Laomedon. Sympathetic, Zeus sent Hermes with two horses so swift they could run over water. Hermes also assured Ganymede's father that he was immortal and would be the cupbearer for the gods, a position of much distinction.

Zeus later put Ganymede in the sky as the constellation Aquarius.

In poetry, Ganymede was a symbol for the ideally beautiful youth and also for homosexual love, sometimes contrasted with Helen of Troy in the role of heterosexuality.

Alternative: Ganymedes[?]



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