Hebe, the daughter of Juno (Hera), and goddess of youth, was cup-bearer to the
gods. The usual story is that she resigned her office on becoming the wife of
But there is another version
which sculptor Crawford, has adopted in his
group of Hebe and Ganymede, now in the Athenaeum gallery.
According to this, Hebe was dismissed from her office in
consequence of a fall which she met with one day when in
attendance on the gods.
Her successor was Ganymede, a Trojan boy,
whom Jupiter (Zeus), in the disguise of an eagle, seized and carried off
from the midst of his playfellows on Mount Ida, bore up to heaven,
and installed in the vacant place. A prince and hero, Ganymede was considered
the most attractive of mortals, a prime qualification thought Zeus for a new
Tennyson, in his "Palace of Art," describes among the
on the walls a picture representing this legend:
"There, too, flushed Ganymede, his rosy thigh
Half buried in the eagle's down,
Sole as a flying star shot through the sky
Above the pillared town."
And in Shelley's "Prometheus" Jupiter calls to his cup-bearer
"Pour forth heaven's wine, Idaean Ganymede,
And let it fill the Daedal cups like fire."
One of the moons of the planet Jupiter is named after Ganymede.