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Zeus & Ganymede

January 23, 2009
tags: , ,

I spent some time the other day cruising http://www.stoa.org/sol/ . I had put Zeus in as a search term and popped up some interesting info. Some of which got put into my epithets list (up to over 140 epithets for Zeus). Other information I just tallied. Below is some of the info I found on Ganymede. Here is another example of a myth being used to immortalize someone. It makes more sense to me now as I always thought the myth of Ganymede was a bit odd.  Some conflicting stories but it seems to boil down to Ganymede dying some how and then being immortalized by poets by saying he was taken by Zeus to be his cupbearer.

Aiolopolos epithet is used only of the Phrygians (Homer, Iliad 3.185 = 2.798a,
a papyrus fragment, and the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite 137). They were famous
for their horses, as was, of course, the Trojan plain, where they were a gift
of Zeus in payment for Ganymede.

In the territory of the Phrygians Tros, the father of Ilus and Ganymede, was
king after founding Troy in his own name and Ilium in his son’s name. After
filling all the cities he won over the local rulers from Tantalus, the King of
Thrace. And after some time he sent his son Gannymede, strongly loved by him,
with 50 men, to take sacrifices and gifts to European Zeus for thanksgiving.
So Tantalus, thinking that he was sent to spy on his kingdom, overpowered him
before he reached the temple. And after learning the real reason he nursed
him. But he (Gannymede) after a short while was overcome by disease and died.
Tantalus in grief placed him in a coffin, and sent men to tell his father of
his death. The poets wrote that Gannymede was kidnapped by Zeus, turning the
bitterness of his death into myth.

Minos ruled the seas and sailed to all sorts of foreign [places] and commanded
many [men]. Arriving in Asia and hearing of the great fame, in Phrygia, of
Tros the king of Troy and of his sons, he went to the city of Dardanos where
Tros lived. Tros had three sons: Ilos, Assarakos, and Ganymede, [the last] of
whom had a great name for beauty. So Minos stayed as a guest with Tros, both
giving and receiving presents, and he ordered Tros to summon his sons, so that
he might see them and give them presents too. But Tros said that they had gone
on a hunt. [So] Minos too wanted to hunt with them. At first [Tros] sent one
of his attendants into the place where the boys were hunting, around the
Granikos river;[1] but Minos, having sent out his ships a little beforehand to
the river, came later to the sons and saw Ganymede and fell in love with him.
And having given out orders to the Cretans and snatched the boy, he him in the
ship and sailed away. The place was called Harpagia.[2] Minos took the boy and
went to Crete. The boy to ease his pain killed himself with a sword,[3] and
Minos buried him in the temple. Hence, of course, it is said that Ganymede
serves with Zeus.[4]

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