(BLSB) - The Myth of Ganymede as Depicted in a Passage from a Poem by Theognis

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Zeus Carries Away a Sleeping Ganymede. Attic red-figure cup by Douris, c. 490–480 B.C. Paris, Musée du Louvre, G 123.


From The Cambridge Companion to Archaic Greece, edited by H. A. Shapiro (Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Likewise, in the poetic corpus of Theognis, we find a number of erotic addresses to and encomia of boys. Thus, for example,

there is some pleasure in loving a boy (paidophilein), since once in fact even the son of Cronus [Zeus], king of the immortals, fell in love with Ganymede, seized him, carried him off to Olympus, and made him divine, keeping the lovely bloom (anthos) of boyhood (paideia). So, don’t be astonished, Simonides, that I too have been revealed as captivated by love for a handsome boy.

(1345–50)


Zeus abducting Ganymede (detail). Terracotta sculptural group from Olympia, Greece, ca. 480–470 BCE. Archaeological Museum of Olympia.

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