Aquarius, the gay constellation (Mythology story)

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Himeros:
This for all of you who haven't known the story behind the gay constellation Aquarius. Yup, it's gay :D If you ahven't known about it, do read. It's taken from WIkipedia.

In Greek mythology, Ganymede, or Ganymedes (Greek: Γανυμήδης, Ganumēdēs) is a divine hero whose homeland was the Troad. He was a Trojan prince, son of the eponymous King Tros of Dardania, and of Callirrhoe. Ganymede was the most handsome among mortals, by reason of which he was abducted to serve as cupbearer to the gods and as Zeus' beloved. For the etymology of his name, Robert Graves' The Greek Myths offers ganyesthai + medea, "rejoicing in virility."

Ganymede was kidnapped by Zeus from Mount Ida in Phrygia, the setting for more than one myth-element bearing on the early mythic history of Troy. Ganymede was there, passing the time of exile many heroes undergo in their youth, by tending a flock of sheep or, alternatively, during the chthonic or rustic aspect of his education, while gathering among his friends and tutors. Zeus saw him and fell in love with him instantly, either sending an eagle or assuming his own eagle nature to transport Ganymede to Mount Olympus. In the Iliad (V.265ff), the Achaean Diomedes is keen to capture the horses of Aeneas: "They are of the stock that great Jove gave to Tros in payment for his son Ganymede, and are the finest that live and move under the sun."

As a Trojan, Ganymede is identified as part of the earliest, pre-Hellenic level of Aegean myth. Plato's Laws was of the opinion that the Ganymede myth had been invented by the Cretans—Minoan Crete being a power center of pre-Greek culture—to account for their "pederastic lusts," imported thence into Greece, as Plato's characters righteously declare. Homer doesn't dwell on the erotic aspect of Ganymede's abduction, but it is certainly in an erotic context that the goddess refers to Ganymede's blond Trojan beauty in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, mentioning Zeus' love for Trojan Ganymede as part of her enticement of Trojan Anchises.

The Argonautica of Apollonius of Rhodes presents a vignette (in Book III) of an immature Ganymede losing to Eros at knucklebones, a child's game. The Roman poet Ovid adds vivid detail - and veiled irony directed against critics of homosexual love: aged tutors reaching out to grab him back, and Ganymede's hounds barking uselessly at the sky (Carmina, x). Statius' Thebaid I:549 describes a cup worked with Ganymede's iconic mythos:
"Here the Phrygian hunter is borne aloft on tawny wings, Gargara’s range sinks downwards as he rises, and Troy grows dim beneath him; sadly stand his comrades; vainly the hounds weary their throats with barking, pursue his shadow or bay at the clouds."
 
In Olympus, Zeus made Ganymede his lover and cupbearer, supplanting Hebe. E. Veckenstedt (Ganymedes, Libau, 1881) endeavoured to prove that Ganymede is the genius of the intoxicating drink mead, whose original home was Phrygia.

All the gods were filled with joy to see the youth, save Hera, Zeus' consort, who despised Ganymede. Her hate of him was applied by mythographers to account for her abandoning the Trojans, an otherwise inaccountable shift in the alliances of the Trojan War, for the Troad was part of the homeland of the Great Goddess, of whom Hera was the main Olympian representative.

In a possible alternate version, the Titan Eos, dawn-goddess and connoisseur of male beauty, kidnapped Ganymede as well as her better-remembered consort, his brother Tithonus, whose immortality was granted, but not eternal youth. Tithonus indeed lived forever but grew more and more ancient, eventually turning into a cricket, a classic example of the myth-element of the Boon with a Catch. Tithonus is placed in the Dardanian lineage through Tros, an eponym for Troy, as Ganymede. Robert Graves (The Greek Myths) interpreted the substitution of Ganymede for Tithonus in a few references to the myth as a misreading of an archaic icon that would have shown the consort of the winged Goddess bearing a libation cup in his hand. (Compare the scholiast on Apollonius of Rhodes, iii:115; Virgil, Aeneid i:32; Hyginus, Fabula 224.) A genesis for the Ganymede myth as a whole has been offered in a Hellene reading of one of the numerous Akkadian seals depicting the hero-king Etana riding heavenwards on an eagle.[1]

Ganymede's father grieved for his son. Sympathetic, Zeus sent Hermes to Tros with a team of two immortal horses, so swift they could run over water (or with a golden vine). Hermes also assured Ganymede's father that the boy was now immortal and would be the cupbearer for the gods, a position of much distinction. The theme of the father recurs in many of the Greek coming-of-age myths of male love, suggesting that the pederastic relationships symbolized by these stories took place with the consent of the father.

Zeus later put Ganymede in the sky as the constellation Aquarius, which is still associated with that of the Eagle (Aquila). However his name would also be given by modern astronomy to one of the moons of Jupiter, who is the Roman counterpart to Zeus. Ganymede was afterwards also regarded as the genius of the fountains of the Nile, the life-giving and fertilizing river. Thus the divinity that distributed drink to the gods in heaven became the genius who presided over the due supply of water on earth.

In poetry, Ganymede was a symbol for the ideally beautiful youth and also for homosexual love, sometimes contrasted with Helen of Troy in the role of heterosexuality.

When pederasty became common in Greece, it was consecrated by being integrated into the myths, with many of the major deities becoming erastes and taking eromenoi. One of the earliest of such myths was Homer's reference to Ganymede in the Iliad; in Crete, where, Greek writers asserted, the love of boys was first systematized and legislated, king Minos, the primitive law-giver, was called the ravisher of Ganymede. Thus the name which once denoted the good genius who bestowed the precious gift of water upon man was adopted to this use in vulgar Latin under the form catamitus: in Rome the passive object of homosexual desire was a catamite. The Latin word is a corruption of Greek ganymedes but retains no strong mythological connotation in Latin: when Ovid sketches the myth briefly (Metamorphoses x:152-161), "Ganymedes" retains his familiar Greek name.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ganymede_(mythology)

Ikki:
I don't think Shaina-san will be too happy after reading this. O_O

Fruitify:
Why?  Is she a homophobic ? 

Gemini Saga:
Quote from: Ikki on August 02, 2007, 12:34:56 AM

I don't think Shaina-san will be too happy after reading this. O_O


That was my first thought when reading the topic.

Shaina [シャイナ]:
LOL! Well, I don't like CamusxMilo slash (just as I am generally not fond of *Saint Seiya yaoi*) as I don't like the "forced gayification" (as we call it in German: "Zwangsverschwulung") of characters that are clearly shown to have interest in girls (most notably shown with Shiryu, Ikki, Hyoga, Seiya - and still they get paired wildly in yaoi stories or artworks). 

But 1. this is about mythology, and I'm quite a mythology buff myself, so I actually know all that stuff already and don't really mind and 2. I don't think anyone can call me homophobic when I'm the webmistress of the Dark Kingdom Home, a website that is centered on Kunzite and Zoisite... :rofl3: (And as a matter of fact, I do even mention one gay pairing in my Saint Seiya fanfics, even though I don't elaborate on it: Aphro+Misty because they both look the part - and I bet they love to exchange make-up tips, too and always fight for the bathroom time XD)

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