Hebe was the cup-bearer of the gods and the personification of youth, a kind of female equivalent of Ganymede. She was the daughter of Zeus and Hera and the sister of Ares, and there is evidence in a temple at Phlius (a town usually allied with Sparta) that she was locally actually called Ganymeda.

Her name means simply 'youth', 'puberty', and the word hebe implied freshness, vigour, passion and the like - in fact, all the joys of youth. Her rather less exciting Roman equivalent was Juventas.