In Ancient Greece
, homosexual love
was not only accepted but many also held it in high regard. Even more extreme, Plato
's speakers in the Symposium
held love between men as higher than any other form as it was love between equals; men were held to be on a moral
plane higher than women. One of the most extraordinary features of the period was the homosexualisation of myth
. Included below is a list of some gay
relationships of Greek myth.
Zeus and Ganymede
Zeus, king of the gods, fell in love with Ganymede, a beautiful youth, and carried him off to Mount Olympus
to be his cupbearer and lover.
Apollo and Hyacinthus
Zeus's son Apollo, god of light
and the sun
, had a beautiful
young lover called Hyacinthus. One day the two were practising throwing the discus
when a rejected suitor, the wind-god Zephyrus
catches the discus that Apollo has thrown and whirls it around so that it hits Hyacinthus on the head and kills him. The first hyacinth flower
s sprung from his blood.
Apollo and Cyparissus
Cyparissus was a young Greek boy, beloved by Apollo. He was the owner of a tame stag that he one day accidently killed. At Cyparissus's request, Apollo allowed him to mourn forever by transforming him into the cypress
Achilles and Patroclus
Achilles, a hero of the Trojan War
, had a lifetime lover and soulmate named Patroclus. When Achilles withdrew from the war in the tenth year over an argument, Patroclus continued to lead his troops. The death of Patroclus inspired Achilles to avenge his death and rejoin the war against Troy
Heracles (or Hercules) and Hylas
Heracles, son of Zeus, found Hylas so beautiful that he carried him off to be his squire. They both joined Jason in his search for the Golden Fleece
, until one day when Hylas is sent to draw water from a spring
and is drowned by Nymphs
. Heracles abandoned his mission to search for his lover.
Narcissus and Ameinias
According to the Boeotian legend, Ameinias was the victim of unrequited love for Narcissus. Narcissus gave him a sword
as a present, which Ameinias used to commit suicide in front of his door.
Other figures that had homosexual affairs include Orpheus
("the first man to love boys"), Boreas
(god of the North Wind) and Thamyris.