Johann Wilhelm Baur, The abduction of Ganymede, 1641
Johann Wilhelm Baur, The abduction of Ganymede, 1641

Of Erichthonius’ loves
Sprang Tros, the king of Trojans. Tros three young princes bred,
Ilus, renown’d Assaracus, and heav’nly Ganymed
The fairest youth of all that breath’d, whom, for his beauty’s love,
The Gods did ravish to their state, to bear the cup to Jove.

Homer, Iliad, Book 20, English translation by George Chapman (1616)


The herald summons all, and then proclaims
Cloanthus conqu’ror of the naval games.
The prince with laurel crowns the victor’s head,
And three fat steers are to his vessel led,
The ship’s reward; with gen’rous wine beside,
And sums of silver, which the crew divide.
The leaders are distinguish’d from the rest;
The victor honor’d with a nobler vest,
Where gold and purple strive in equal rows,
And needlework its happy cost bestows.
There Ganymede is wrought with living art,
Chasing thro’ Ida’s groves the trembling hart:
Breathless he seems, yet eager to pursue;
When from aloft descends, in open view,
The bird of Jove, and, sousing on his prey,
With crooked talons bears the boy away.
In vain, with lifted hands and gazing eyes,
His guards behold him soaring thro’ the skies,
And dogs pursue his flight with imitated cries,

Virgil, Aeneid, Book 5, English translation by John Dryden (1697)


The king of the gods once burned with love for Phrygian Ganymede, and to win him Jupiter chose to be something other than he was. Yet he did not deign to transform himself into any other bird, than that eagle, that could carry his lightning bolts. Straightaway, he beat the air with deceitful wings, and stole the Trojan boy, who still handles the mixing cups, and against Juno’s will pours out Jove’s nectar.

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 10, English translation by A. S. Kline (2000)

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