Myth of the Month Monday: Ganymede

This month’s first Flash Friday featured the Greek hero, Ganymede. I’ve also written several poems about this guy, including this tanka poem here. As you can probably guess, I’m a little obsessed with this one. I thought it would be a good place to start off Myth of the Month Monday. The story of Ganymede is one of the more, shall we say, messed up ones out of the Greek Canon. And there are Greek Myths about a dude who chops off his son’s arm and tries to feed it to the gods (more on that another day). So I’m going to try to be a bit light about this.

Ganymede was a prince and also a shepherd and most definitely underage. I guess his dad’s kingdom was really poor for him to have to be both a shepherd and a prince, or maybe he was bored, or maybe his dad was like “I just finished reading thefirst issue of Thor and I believe I should teach my son a lesson in humility by making him do a job that will end with being covered in bodily fluids.” Either way, Ganymede was out with his sheep, taking a nap on a rock, when the father of all perverts (figuratively and probably literally), Zeus, spotted him.
Zeus was instantly in lust with Ganymede, and decided that he was going to abduct Ganymede and make sweet non-consensual love to him. So he turned into an eagle, swooped down, and carried Ganymede off to Olympus. After all, he was the father of the gods, who was going to stop him or say boo about it? Understandably, Ganymede’s dad Tros had boo to say about it. So Zeus said “I have truly been enjoying your son’s luscious body and I really don’t want to stop getting it on. Whatcan I give you for your son?”
Tros said something like “Like a dowry? Are you suggesting that my son is a woman?”
Zeus said “I’m Zeus fool. EVERYONE is going to be my woman at some point.”
Tros said “fair enough. I could do with some cows, since now one has been watching my sheep and they all ran away. Does 40 sound good?”
Zeus was like “DONE” and Ganymede’s dad got 40 cows and Zeus got a new toy. All Ganymede got was a sore butt and a new job serving ambrosia to the gods for eternity. At least the other gods thought he was cool. Except for Hera, but she hated everyone.
CONTEXT AND INFLUENCE
While most people now believe that an adult having sexual relations with a youth is wrong (and if you don’t, see me after class because you did not understand the lesson), in Ancient Greek times normal part of society. It was a tradition for older men to sexually initiate underage boys. It isn’t recorded if the boys were actually okay with this or just lying back and thinking of Greece.
Ganymede’s latin name, Catamitus, is the origin of the modern word “catamite” (source: According to AMHER (2000), catamite, p. 291.)  A moon of Jupiter is named after this Greek hero, though I feel he’s a hero for having to live with his rapist for eternity and not hurling himself off of Olympus.
That was the first Myth of the Month Monday post. Please let me know what you think in the comments!
God bless,
Kelsey J.

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