Transparent light blue glass paste gem engraved with Ganymede seated on a rock and giving a drink from a bowl to the eagle of Zeus, which grasps his knee with its claw. 1st-3rd centuries CE. 1.3 centimetres in length, 1 centimetre in height. British Museum.

Ganymede was a handsome prince of Troy who found favor with Zeus, and was carried off to Mount Olympus. He took the position of cupbearer to the gods that had been recently vacated by Hebe, daughter of Zeus and Hera, when she married the newly-deified Heracles. Zeus granted to Ganymede the gifts of immortality and eternal youth. 

In myth, Ganymede is often depicted as the companion of Eros. Pausanius described statues of Ganymede at Olympia that had been placed there as votive offerings to Zeus. 


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