And I aver that even in the case of Ganymede, it was not his person but his spiritual character that influenced Zeus to carry him up to Olympus. This is confirmed by his very name. Homer, you remember, has the words,“He joys to hear;1” Perhaps Homeric Poems that is to say, ‘he rejoices to hear;’ and in another place,“‘harbouring shrewd devices in his heart.’ ” Perhaps Iliad, 7.278, 17.325, 18.363, 24.88, 282, 674 or Odyssey, 2.38, 11.445, 19.353, 20.46. This, again, means ‘harbouring wise counsels in his heart.’ So the name given Gany-mede, compounded of the two foregoing elements, signifies not physically but mentally attractive;2 hence his honour among the gods.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
1 Nothing like the first expression, except the bare occurrence of γάνυται (“he joys”), is to be found anywhere in the extant Homeric poems. The second phrase, also, is not in these poems, although several different expressions much resembling it are to be seen in the Iliad, vii. 278, xvii. 325, xviii. 363, xxiv. 88, 282, 674 and the Odyssey, ii. 38, xi. 445, xix. 353, xx. 46. Either Xenophon's memory is faulty or he is quoting from some of the lost epics.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.