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Love gift
Man presents a leg of mutton to a youth with a hoop, in an allusion to boylove.[1] Athenian red-figure vase, ca. 460 BC

The hoop held symbolic meanings in Greek myth and culture. A bronze hoop was one of the toys of the infant Dionysus,[2] and hoop driving is an attribute of Ganymede, often depicted on Greek vase paintings from the 5th century BC. Images of the hoop are often presented in the context of boylove in ancient Greece.[3]

The Greeks referred to the hoop as the trochus. Hoops, also called krikoi, were probably made of bronze, iron, or copper, and were driven with a stick called the elater.[4]



Zeus and Ganymede

BERLIN PAINTER -495c Zeus holding a scepter (Louvre G175) 1234x1388.jpg
BERLIN PAINTER -495c Ganymede holding a hoop and a cock (Louvre G175) 1874x1998.jpg


  1. Antike Welten: Meisterwerke griechischer Malerei as dem Kunsthistorischen Museum Wien, 1997, pp.110-111
  2. Forerunners and Rivals of Christianity: Being Studies in Religious History from 330 B.C. to 330 A.D. by Francis Legge; 1915 p. 125
  3. The ancient Olympics By Nigel Jonathan Spivey; p48
  4. Athletics and Games of the Ancient Greeks By Edward M Plummer; p50