Once in Breslau (now Wroclaw), now lost: Early Corinthian aryballos with Herakles and Hydra
Drawing of Herakles and Hydra from H. Payne, Necrocorinthia: A Study of Corinthian Art in the Archaic Period (1931), p. 127 fig. 45A
Drawing of aryballos with Herakles and Hydra from H. Payne, Necrocorinthia: A Study of Corinthian Art in the Archaic Period (1931), p. 287 fig. 123 bis
Jena, University 137: Middle Corinthian cup with Herakles and Hydra
Drawings from H. Payne, Necrocorinthia: A Study of Corinthian Art in the Archaic Period (1931), p. 127 fig. 45B
Basel, Antikenmuseum BS 425: Middle Corinthian aryballos with Herakles and Hydra
iconiclimc (main characters)
From Argos, now lost: Middle Corinthian kotyle with Herakles and Hydra
Drawings from H. Payne, Necrocorinthia: A Study of Corinthian Art in the Archaic Period (1931), p. 127 fig. 45C
Paris, Louvre CA 3004: Middle Corinthian skyphos with Herakles and Hydra
Louvre (detail of Herakles and Hydra)
Chest of Kypselos from temple of Hera at Olympia (known through Pausanias’ description and modern reconstructions)
♠ Pausanias Description of Greece 5.17.11
Iolaus, who voluntarily helped Heracles in his labours, is shown as a victor in the chariot-race [or as Heracles’ helper]. At this point the funeral games of Pelias come to an end, and Heracles, with Athena standing beside him, is shooting at the hydra, the beast in the river Amymone. Heracles can be easily recognized by his exploit and his attitude, so his name is not inscribed by him. (Greek Text).
Detail with Herakles and Hydra, from reconstruction of chest of Kypselos by W. von Massow, “Die Kypseloslade,” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung vol. 41 (1916), pl. 1.
Throne of Apollo at Amyklai (known through Pausanias’ description and modern reconstructions)
♠ Pausanias Description of Greece 3.18.13
Next to these have been wrought two of the exploits of Heracles—his slaying the hydra, and his bringing up the Hound of Hell. (Greek Text).
Reconstruction of whole throne by A. Furtwängler, from J.G. Frazer, Pausanias’s Description of Greece, vol. III, Commentary (2nd ed. 1913), p. 352
Athens, Acropolis Museum: limestone pediment (gable) with Herakles and Hydra
Once Berlin F1801, now lost: Attic black-figure Little Master cup with Herakles and Hydra
E. Pfuhl, Malerei und Zeichnung der Griechen vol. 3 (1923) pl. 64 fig. 250
Rome, Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia 74989: Attic black-figure Tyrrhenian amphora with Herakles and Hydra?
Malibu, J. Paul Getty Museum 83.AE.346: Caeretan hydria with Herakles and Hydra
Paris, Louvre CA 598: Attic black-figure white-ground lekythos with Herakles and Hydra
G. Perrot and C. Chipiez, Histoire de l’art dans l’antiquité vol. 10: La Grèce archaïque, la céramique d’Athènes (1914), p. 690 fig. 376
Collection of Shelby White and Leon Levy: Attic red-figure with Herakles, Hydra and Iolaos
♠ Pausanias 2.37.4
It had, however, in my opinion, one head, and not several. It was Peisander of Camirus who, in order that the beast might appear more frightful and his poetry might be more remarkable, represented the hydra with its many heads. Greek Text
♠ Peisandros fr 2 PEG – Poetae Epici Graeci 1, p. 168, ed. A. Bernabé. Leipzig 1987.
♠ Scholion to Hesiod, Theogony 443 LP – Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta, p. 291, ed. E. Lobel and D.L. Page. Oxford 1955.
♠ Simonides 569 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, p. 294 ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.
Alkaios says that the Hydra had nine heads, but Simonides says that it had fifty. (Transl. E Bianchelli)
♠ Stesichoros, Geryoneis 15 SLG –Supplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, pp. 10-11. Oxford 1974.
♠ Sophokles, Trachiniai 573-74
If you gather with your hands the blood clotted round my wound, at the place where the Hydra, Lerna‘s monstrous growth, imbued the arrow with black gall, you will have a charm for the heart of Heracles. Greek Text
♠ Euripides, Herakles Mainomenos (Hercules Furens) 419-24
He burned to ashes Lerna‘s murderous hound, the many-headed hydra, and smeared its venom on his darts, with which he slew the shepherd of Erytheia, a monster with three bodies. Greek Text
♠ Euripides, Herakles Mainomenos (Hercules Furens) 1274-75
or how when I had killed the hydra, that monster with a ring of heads with power to grow again. Greek Text
Artistic sources edited by Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, September, 2017.
Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, December 2020
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