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Renaissance panel ceiling by Baldassare Peruzzi entitled "The Rape of Ganymede." ( c. 1509-14). Villa Farnesina, Rome, Italy.
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Image courtesy of PhotoDisc, Inc. All rights reserved. Images provided by (c) 1995 Fototeca Storica Nazionale.

Ganymede

Ganymede was a son of Tros, who was the ruler of the city of Troy. One day, Jupiter saw Ganymede as he tended sheep on the slopes of Mount Ida, and suddenly had a strong desire to make the young man the servant of the gods at Olympus. Jupiter changed his shape into that of an eagle, swooped down onto the slopes of Ida, and carried the boy off to Mount Olympus, home of the gods, to serve as the cup bearer of the gods. Now it so happens that this position was already filled by Hebe,the daughter of Jupiter and his wife Juno. Once Ganymede arrived at the royal court Hebe and Ganymede competed with each other for the honor of serving the gods. Eventually Ganymede won the post, and he also became Jupiter's favorite companion. To honor the events surrounding Ganymede becoming the new cup bearer and servant of the gods, Jupiter placed the eagle, a shape he assumed when carrying Ganymede to Olympus, into the heavens as the constellation Aquila (eagle), and then immortalized Ganymede by placing him in the heavens as the constellation Aquarius (water bearer).

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In Roman mythology, Jupiter (Zeus in Greek mythology) was the king of heaven and Earth and of all the Olympian gods. He was also known as the god of justice. He was named king of the gods in the special...more

The Myth of Jupiter and Callisto

Callisto was a river goddess. Her great grandfather was the river god Inachus. Callisto was the favorite companion of the goddess Diana. She accompanied Diana on the hunt and helped her and looked after...more

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One day the god Jupiter saw the beautiful Callisto and fell in love with her. Knowing that Diana had warned Callisto about men and gods, Jupiter pretended he was the goddess Diana. In this disguise, Jupiter...more

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Europa

Europa was a beautiful princess. According to Greek mythology, Europa was seduced by Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus fell in love with Europa after seeing her gathering flowers by the sea. Zeus changed...more

Apollo

In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Zeus (Jupiter) and Leto (Letona). His twin sister is Artemis (Diana). He was the god of the Sun, and was also a fine musician and healer. He was known as the god...more

Venus (Aphrodite)

Venus was the goddess of love and beauty. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she always wore a smile. ...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA