The youngest son of the Spartan king Amyclas and Diomede,1 but according to others a son of Pierus and Clio, or of Oebalus or Eurotas.2 He was a youth of extraordinary beauty, and beloved by Thamyris and Apollo, who unintentionally killed him during a game of discus.3 Some traditions relate that he was beloved also by Boreas or Zephyrus, who, from jealousy of Apollo, drove the discus of the god against the head of the youth, and thus killed him.4
From the blood of Hyacinthus there sprang the flower of the same name (hyacinth), on the leaves of which there appeared the exclamation of woe ΑΙ, ΑΙ, or the letter Υ, being the initial of Ὑάκινθος. According to other traditions, the hyacinth (on the leaves of which, however, those characters do not appear) sprang from the blood of Ajax.5
Hyacinthus was worshiped at Amyclae as a hero, and a great festival, Hyacinthia, was celebrated in his honor.6
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library iii, 10.3; Pausanias. Description of Greece iii, 1.3, 19.4.
- Lucian. Dialogues of the Gods, 14; Hyginus. Fabulae, 271.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 3.3;
- Lucian, l.c.; Servius on Virgil's Eclogues iii, 63; Philostratus of Lemnos. Imagines i, 24; Ovid. Metamorphoses x, 184.
- Scholiast on Theocritus, x, 28; comp. Ovid. Metamorphoses xiii, 395 ff., who combines both legends; Pliny the Elder. Naturalis Historia xxi, 28.
- Dictionary of Antiquities, s.v.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.