The pan-Hellenic mythological hero Hercules (or Herakles) was famed for his great strength and endurance and celebrated as an extraordinary mortal who, through success in seemingly impossible labours, won his immortal place amongst the Olympian gods. Being the greatest of Greek mythological heroes, he has been ascribed a multitude of adventures and heroic exploits... [continue reading]
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Metope from the west side of the Temple of Zeus, Olympia. Here Hercules tames the Cretan Bull. (470-460 BCE) Olympia Archaeological Museum.
This Attic vase shows Hercules wrestling the Nemean Lion in one of his 12 labours. Late 6th, early 5th century BCE. Athena looks on from the right.(Archaeological Museum, Milan).
Mary Harrsch (Photographed at the Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence)
published on 05 October 2012
A statue by Giambologna depicting Hercules fighting the centaur Nessos following the latter's attack on Hercules' wife Deianeira as they crossed the river Evenus. 1599 CE (Loggia dei Lanzi, Florence, Italy).
The pan-Hellenic mythological hero Jason was famed for his expedition with the Argonauts in search of the Golden Fleece aboard the ship Argo, one of the most popular and enduring legends of Greek mythology. Jason was believed to have been educated by the wise centaur Cheiron in the forests of Mount Pelion. He had been placed under the centaur’s... [continue reading]
Smarthistory, Art History at Khan Academy
published on 04 April 2014
More free lessons at: http://www.khanacademy.org/video?v=T-Yv4mp5yp8 Lysippos, Farnese Hercules, 4th century B.C.E. (later Roman copy by Glycon)(Archaeological Museum, Naples) Speakers: Dr. Beth Harris & Dr. Steven Zucker
Silver tetradrachm from the reign of Alexander the Great, 336-323 BCE. O: Head of Hercules. R: Zeus seated on a throne holding an eagle.
Silver stater from Stymphalos, Arcadia, 360-350 BCE. O: Head of Artemis Stymphalia. R: Hercules with club.
The Temple of Vesta is the popular name given to the round temple near the Tiber River in Rome (now Piazza Bocca della Veritá). The association with Vesta is due to the shape of the building but in fact it is not known to which god the temple was dedicated. It may have been dedicated to Hercules Olivarius, patron of the Portus Tiberinus oil merchants... [continue reading]
A 2nd century CE Roman sculpture depicting the infant Hercules strangling the snake put into his cradle by Hera jealous of her husband Zeus' infidelity with Alkmene which produced Hercules. (Capitoline Museums, Rome).
Until Sir Arthur Evans unearthed the palace of Knossos, the half-man-half bull killed by Theseus was considered just a popular legend; archaeology changed that perception. King Minos, of Crete, fought hard with his brother to ascend the throne and, having won the kingship and exiled his brother, prayed to the god of the sea, Poseidon, for a snow white... [continue reading]