Thursday, July 23, 2015

Word from Mythology: Hyacinth

The name of the flower "hyacinth" comes from the Greek name, Hyacinth, the lover of Apollo. Unfortunately, Hyacinth was loved both by the god Apollo and by the god of the West Wind, Zephyr. One day when playing a discus game with Apollo, Zephyr caused the discus to hit Hyacinth in the head, killing him. Apollo then turned Hyacinth into a flower, and his tears stained the flower's petals.

There was later a famous Christian saint named Hyacinth, and that is the origin of the Spanish name San Jacinto.

You can read more about the Hyacinth legend at Wikipedia, and here is a picture of the flower:

In this painting by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, there is a tennis racket lying beside Hyacinth; you can read more about the "tennis" version of the myth at the Real Tennis website. Here's the detail: