Hyacinthus, Greek mythology, Greek Culture

Hyacinthus was a beautiful Greek boy who was greatlyloved by Apollo,Apollo often laid aside his golden lyreand his arrows,and came down from Mount Olympus to Join Hyacinthus in his boyish games. The two were often busy all day long,following the huntingdogs over the mountains or setting fish nets in the river or playing at various games.

Greek Culture

Their favourite exercise was the throwing of the discus . The discus was a heavy metal plate about a foot across, whichwas thrown somewhat as the round ring is thrown. One dayApollo threw the discus first,and sent it whirling high up amongthe clouds for the god had great strength. It came down in afine,strong curve,and Hyacinthus ran to pick it up. Then as it fell on the hard earth,the discus bounded up again and struck the boy a cruel blow on his white forehead. South Island

Apollo turned as pale as Hyacinthus,but he could not undo  what had been done. He could only hold his friend in hisarms,and see his head bend down like a lily on a broken stem ,while the purple blood from his wound was dropping down to the earth.

 

Hyacinthus, Greek mythology

Hyacinthus, Greek mythology

 

There was still one way by which Apollo could make Hyacinthus live,and this was to change him into a flower. So,quickly,before it was too late,he whispered over him certainwords the gods knew,and Hyacinthus became a purple flower,a flower of the colour of the blood that had flowed from his forehead. As the flower unfolded,it showed a strange mark on itspetals ,which looked like the Greek words meaning woe! woe!

Apollo never forgot his boy friend; but sang about him to the accompaniment of his wonderful lyre till the name of Hyacinthus was known and loved all over Greece.

 



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