GANYMEDE, in Greek mythology, son of Tros, king of Dardania, and Callirrhoe.
I.) gives an illustration of Ganymede borne aloft by an eagle.
Heracles, on his way back from the land of the Amazons, offered to slay the monster and release Hesione, on condition that he should receive the wonderful horses presented by Zeus to Tros, the father of Ganymede, to console him for the loss of his son.
Ganymede was afterwards regarded as the genius of the fountains of the Nile, the life-giving and fertilizing river, and identified by astronomers with the Aquarius of the zodiac. Thus the divinity that distributed drink to the gods in heaven became the genius who presided over the due supply of water on earth.
Ganymede being carried off by the eagle was the subject of a bronze group by the Athenian sculptor Leochares, imitated in a marble statuette in the Vatican.