Hyacinthus was a Spartan prince whose beauty attracted not one, but two gods.

Zephyrus, the personification of the West Wind, fought over him with music god Apollo.

Because Hyacinthus preferred being the beautiful Apollo’s lover, he rejected the wind every time he felt it trying to caress him.

One day, Apollo and his mortal lover were throwing a discus.

Zephyrus got so enraged by their playing that the wind blew Apollo’s discus off course, hitting Hyacinthus’s head hard and killing him.

The boy’s death saddened Apollo so much that he refused to bring Hyacinthus’s soul to the underworld.

Instead, the god mixed his divine tears with his lover’s blood and let the mixture flow into the earth.

From the soil, a sweet-smelling flower emerged, the hyacinth.

The Death of Hyacinth by Alexandre Kisseliov

second half of 19th century

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