Labor I: The Nemean Lion (page 384 upper, with art)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia 50406 (M472): Attic black-figure amphora with Herakles wrestling lion, his bent, useless sword beneath lion; Iolaos (on left) and Athena (on right) encourage Herakles


P. Mingazzini, Vasi della Collezione Castellani: Catalogo (1930), pl. 65.1

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Digital LIMC

Munich, Antikensammlungen 2085 (J563): Attic black-figure cup with Herakles reaching with his right hand into and skinning inverted, dead lion, while he holds the lion’s hind legs with his left hand

E. GerhardAuserlesene Griechische Vasenbilder, hauptsächlich Etruskischen Fundorts (Band 2): Heroenbilder (1843) pls. 132-3.1-2

Beazley Archive Pottery Database

Digital LIMC

♦ Olympia Museum: metope from the Temple of Zeus with young, weary Herakles, young Athena and dead lion; Hermes can be restored on the right

Reconstruction drawing (left) of Herakles and lion, from Ernst Curtius [Editor]; Friedrich Adler [Editor]; Georg [Oth.] Treu, Olympia: die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung (Tafelband 3): Die Bildwerke von Olympia in Stein und Thon (1894), pl. 45.1; color reconstruction (right) of metope with Herakles and lion, from G. Nagy, “Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology IV, Reconstructing Hēraklēs backward in time,” Classical Inquiries August 15, 2019

BenQ Digital Camera


Detail of beardless head of Herakles, from Flickr

Digital LIMC

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser

Samos, Vathy Museum B 2518: detail of bronze pectoral for horse, dedicated to Hera, with Herakles in lionskin slaying Geryoneus; dead guard dog Orthos lies on ground between the two combatants

Detail from K. Tsakos and M. Viglaki-Sofianou, Samos: The Archaeological Museums (John S Latsis Public Benefit Foundation, 2012), fig. p. 156

Digital LIMC

Theokritos 25.153-281

Greek Text

Tibullus 3.7.12-13

Indeed, even Alcides, a god who would ascend to Olympus,

placed his auspicious footprints in the house of Molorchos. (Transl. E. Bianchelli) Latin Text


ApB 2.5.1 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

When Hercules heard that, he went to Tiryns and did as he was bid by Eurystheus. First, Eurystheus ordered him to bring the skin of the Nemean lion; now that was an invulnerable beast begotten by Typhon. On his way to attack the lion he came to Cleonae and lodged at the house of a day-laborer, Molorchus; and when his host would have offered a victim in sacrifice, Hercules told him to wait for thirty days, and then, if he had returned safe from the hunt, to sacrifice to Saviour Zeus, but if he were dead, to sacrifice to him as to a hero. And having come to Nemea and tracked the lion, he first shot an arrow at him, but when he perceived that the beast was invulnerable, he heaved up his club and made after him. And when the lion took refuge in a cave with two mouths, Hercules built up the one entrance and came in upon the beast through the other, and putting his arm round its neck held it tight till he had choked it; so laying it on his shoulders he carried it to Cleonae. And finding Molorchus on the last of the thirty days about to sacrifice the victim to him as to a dead man, he sacrificed to Saviour Zeus and brought the lion to Mycenae. Greek Text

Scholia to Pindar: Nemean Odes Hypothesis – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, 3, pp. 1-5, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1927.

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Artistic sources edited by  Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, March 2023

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, December 2020

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