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Paphos Mosaics 3 – Ganymede

June 29, 2013

Camera at 01.09.08 535

This is the third in my series of posts on the Paphos Mosaics (links to the previous posts are found below).

This mosaic represents the abduction of Ganymede by Zeus, in the guise of an eagle.

The myth recounts that Ganymede was abducted whilst tending his flock of sheep on Mount Ida near Troy. Zeus then brought Ganymede to Olympus to serve as the cup bearer of the Gods. Ganymede’s  heritage is demonstrated in the mosaic, he holds a staff and wears the traditional Phrygian cap. In the Iliad Homer tells that Zeus provided horses of the immortals to Tros by way of compensation for the abduction of his son. Tros was also comforted at the thought that his son was immortal and as such would retain his youth.

The mosaic is in exceptional condition in comparison to others and captures the moment of Ganymede’s abduction perfectly. It is probable that the myth of Ganymede was used to justify the relationship between male erastes and eromenos.


From → Art

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