Gaia and Pontos (page 22, with art)

Chapter 1: The Early Gods

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Stesichoros, 186 PMGPoetae Melici Graeci, p. 101 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Geryoneus is the son of Okeanos’ daughter Kalliroe and of Chrysaor. Stesichoros says that he has six hands and six feet and that he is winged. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Stesichoros 10-15 SLG – Supplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, pp. 7-11. Oxford 1974. 

Hesiod, Theogony 300-03

And in a hollow cave she bore another monster, irresistible, in no wise like either to mortal men or to the undying gods, even the goddess fierce Echidna who is half a nymph with glancing eyes and fair cheeks, and half again a huge snake, great and awful, with speckled skin, eating raw flesh beneath the secret parts of the holy earth. And there she has a cave deep down under a hollow rock far from the deathless gods and mortal men. Greek Text

Epimenides, Theogony 3B6 Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker 1, p. 34, ed. H. Diels and W. Kranz. 6th ed. Berlin 1951.

Greek Text

Hesiod, Theogony 304-25

There, then, did the gods appoint her a glorious house to dwell in: and she keeps guard in Arima beneath the earth, grim Echidna, a nymph who dies not nor grows old all her days. Men say that Typhaon the terrible, outrageous and lawless, was joined in love to her, the maid with glancing eyes. So she conceived and brought forth fierce offspring; first she bore Orthus the hound of Geryones, and then again she bore a second, a monster not to be overcome and that may not be described, Cerberus who eats raw flesh, the brazen-voiced hound of Hades, fifty-headed, relentless and strong. And again she bore a third, the evil-minded Hydra of Lerna, whom the goddess, white-armed Hera nourished, being angry beyond measure with the mighty Heracles. And her Heracles, the son of Zeus, of the house of Amphitryon, together with warlike Iolaus, destroyed with the unpitying sword through the plans of Athena the spoil driver. She was the mother of Chimaera who breathed raging fire, a creature fearful, great, swift footed and strong, who had three heads, one of a grim-eyed lion, another of a goat, and another of a snake, a fierce dragon; in her forepart she was a lion; in her hinderpart, a dragon; and in her middle, a goat, breathing forth a fearful blast of blazing fire. Her did Pegasus and noble Bellerophon slay. Greek Text

Hesiod, Theogony 319

She was the mother of Chimaera who breathed raging fire. Greek Text

Akousilaos 2F13 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 51, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F7 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 60, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Hesiod, Theogony 769-74

A fearful hound guards the house in front, pitiless, and he has a cruel trick. On those who go in he fawns with his tail and both his ears, but suffers them not to go out back again, but keeps watch and devours whomever he catches going out of the gates of strong Hades and awful Persephone. Greek Text

Homer, Iliad 8.367-68

when Eurystheus sent him [Herakles] forth to the house of Hades the Warder, to bring from out of Erebus the hound of loathed Hades. Greek Text

Homer, Odyssey, 11.620-26

I [Herakles] was the son of Zeus, son of Cronos, but I had woe beyond measure; for to a man far worse than I was I made subject, and he laid on me hard labours. Yea, he once sent me hither to fetch the hound of Hades, for he could devise for me no other task mightier than this. The hound I carried off and led forth from the house of Hades; and Hermes was my guide, and flashing-eyed Athena.’ Greek Text

Bakchylides 5.60-62

to bring up into the light from Hades the razor-toothed dog, son of the fearsome Echidna. Greek Text

Pindar fr 249a SM = Dithyrambos 2 – Pindarus 2, p. 143 = pp. 73-75, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

London, British Museum B194: Attic black-figure amphora by Group E with one-headed Orthos in contest of Herakles and Geryoneus

British Museum

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Once Collection Laborde: Tyrrhenian black-figure amphora with two-headed Orthos in contest of Herakles and Geryoneus

M. de Witte, “Hercule et Géryon— Explication d’un vase peint appartenant à M. le vicomte Léon de Laborde,” Bulletins de l’Académie royale des sciences et belles-lettres de Bruxelles vol. 8 pt. 1 (1841), fig. facing p. 440

From Argos, now lost: Middle Corinthian kotyle with Herakles and Hydra (left) and Herakles and Kerberos (right)

Drawings from H. Payne, Necrocorinthia: A Study of Corinthian Art in the Archaic Period (1931), p. 127 fig. 45B

Paris, Louvre E701: Caeretan hydria with Herakles and Kerberos

Wikimedia Photo


Perseus Art and Archaeology Artifact Browser

Once London, Erskine Collection: Laconian black-figure cup with Kerberos

Photo courtesy of the Beazley Archive Pottery Database, Classical Art Research Centre, University of Oxford

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#Kerberos, #Orthos

Artistic sources edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, November 2017

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, University of Georgia, July 2020

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