Statue of Ganymede used as garden ornament in Vaux-le-Vicomte, France.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Corel Corporation.
Ganymede was a son of Tros, first king of the classical land known as Troy.
He lived on the island of Crete, and tended sheep there on the slopes of Mount
Ida. One day Zeus caught a glimpse of the young boy and was overwhelmed with a desire to bring Ganymede to Olympus to serve
as the cup bearer of the gods. Zeus
thereby changed his shape into that of an
eagle, swooped down and carried the boy off to the home of the gods.
Now it so happens that this position was already filled by
Hebe,the daughter of Zeus and his wife Juno.
Once Ganymede arrived at the royal court a competition began between Hebe and Ganymede for the honor of serving the gods. Eventually Ganymede won the post, and stayed on
also as the favored companion to Zeus.
To honor the events surrounding the elevation of Ganymede to "cup bearer and servant of the gods," Zeus placed the eagle, a shape he assumed when abducting Ganymede to
Olympus, into the heavens as the constellation Aquila (eagle), and immortalized
Ganymede as the constellation Aquarius (water bearer). One of Jupiter's moons is also named after Ganymede.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, classroom activities in The Earth Scientist
specimens, and educational games
You might also be interested in:
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god for the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four directions, or cardinal points, are supported by a giant. Each direction is symbolized...more
Amphitrite was one of the sea-nymphs called the Nereids. One day the sea god Poseidon saw her dancing and fell desperately in love with her. He promptly asked her to marry him but unfortunately she refused....more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek...more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
According to Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the mischievous behavior of the god, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars in the...more