Ganymede | Greek Hero

Ganymede Greek Mythology

Ganymede (European Portuguese) or Ganymede (Brazilian Portuguese) (Greek: Γανυμήδης; romaniz.: Ganymédēs, from γάνος, transl. ganos, 'brightness' + μήδεα, transl. médea, ambiguously, 'cunning' or genitalia), in Greek mythology, was a prince of Troy, whom Zeus took to Olympus to become a cupbearer of the gods.

He was the son of Tros and Chalírroe, and the brother of Ilo II and Asáraco. In the vicinity of Troy, the young man was tending his father's flocks when he was spotted by Zeus. Stunned by the mortal's beauty, Zeus transformed himself into an eagle and kidnapped him. He became the cupbearer of the gods, Homer reports:

" Ganymede was the most charming born of the race of mortals, and therefore,
the gods took him for themselves, to serve wine to Zeus, because of his beauty, so he might be among the immortals.

Ganymede was taken to Olympus and, despite Hera's hatred, replaced the goddess Hebe and proceeded to serve the nectar to the gods, a drink that offers immortality, then pouring the remains over the earth, serving it to men.

In honor of the beautiful young man, Zeus placed him in the constellation of Aquarius. The symbol of the sign of Aquarius is a water tank, which, in some versions, would be Ganymede.

According to another version of the legend, Ganymede was kidnapped by the goddess Eos, the goddess of the dawn.

It seems that this was the original version of the legend, because the goddess Eos is represented in other legends doing the same with other young men, because she had been bewitched by Aphrodite, with an insatiable desire to have sex with young men. This version is presented by writers such as Apollonius of Rhodes.


On the etymology of the word Ganimedes Robert Graves proposes, in The Greek Myths, that the word is formed from two Greek words: γανύησθαι (ganýesthai) meaning to rejoice, to be filled with joy, and μῆδηα (médea) meaning the man's pudenda parts or his nakedness, giving a possible translation as 'one who rejoices in manhood'.

It is also possible that the name Ganymede means "to rejoice in the intellect," originating from ganu-, "to rejoice," and mēd-, "mind."