HYACINTHUS, a mythological figure connected with the Hyacinthia, a festival celebrated by the Spartans in honour of Apollo of Amyel, whose primitive image, stand ing on a throne, is described by Pausanias (iii. 19, 4). The legend attached to the festival is to the effect that Hyacinthus, a beautiful youth beloved by the god, was accidentally killed by him with a discus. From his blood sprang a dark-coloured flower called after him hyacinth, on whose petals is the word alai, alas. The myth, like that of Linus (v. Brugsch, Die Adonis-Klage and des Linos-Lied), is one of the many popular representations of the beautiful spring vegetation slain by the hot sun of summer (which is here and in many other legends denoted by the symbol of a discus). The sister of Hyacinthus is Polyboea, the much nourishing fertility of the rich Amychean valley ; while his brother is Cynortas, the rising of the dog (the hot) star. But with the death of the spring is united the idea of its certain resuscitation in a new year ; like Dionysus, the hero is not merely dead but elevated to heaven. The festival took place on the three hottest clays of summer, 7th to 10th of the month Hecatombeus (which was called in Sicily Hyacinthius), and its rites were a mixture of mourning and rejoicing (Athen., iv. 17).