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Greek Mythology

The Death of Hyacinthus (carried by Apollo), 1801 by Jean Broc (1711 - 1850), Poitiers, Musée des Beaux-Arts .

In Greek mythology, Hyacinth (or Hyacinthus ) was the son of Clio and Pierus, King of Macedonia. Hyacinth was a beautiful youth beloved by the god Apollo. According to myth, the two attempted to beat each other in discus. They took turns throwing it, until Apollo, to impress his lover, threw it with all his might. Hyacinth ran to catch it, to impress Apollo in turn, and was struck by the discus as it fell to the ground - he died.

Greek Mythology

Zephyrus and Hyacinth; Attic red figure cup from Tarquinia, circa 480 BC. Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Greek Mythology

The Death of Hyacinth, Peter Paul Rubens

Greek Mythology

The Death of Hyacinth, Giovanni Battista Tiepolo

Greek Mythology

Death of Hyacinthus , Merry Joseph Blondel

There is another myth which adds that it was the wind god Zephyrus who was actually responsible for the death of Hyacinth. Zephyrus blew the discus off course, out of jealousy, so as to injure and kill Hyacinth. When he died, Apollo made a flower, the hyacinth, spring out from his spilled blood. However, the flower of the mythological Greek youth Hyacinth slain by Apollo's discus has been identified with a number of plants other than the true hyacinth, such as the iris.

Although the mythical Hyacinth was male, Hyacinth is currently in use as a female name.

Greek Mythology

Hyacinth. Marble, 1817 , François Joseph Bosio (French, 1768-1845)
Dimensions H. 47 cm (18 ½ in.), W. 1.26 m (4 ft. 1 ½ in.), D. 43 cm (16 ¾ in.)
Credit line Purchased by Louis XVIII , Accession number LL 52
Location Department of Sculptures, Richelieu wing, ground floor, room 31, Photographer Jastrow (2006)

Greek Mythology

Apollo and Hyacinth, Andrea Appiani

See also

Apollo et Hyacinthus

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