P. 394 upper (with art)

Diodoros Siculus, Description of Greece 4.13.2

Heracles then received a Command to drive the birds out of the Stymphalian Lake, and he easily accomplished the Labour by means of a device of art and by ingenuity. The lake abounded, it would appear, with a multitude of birds without telling, which destroyed the fruits of the country roundabout. Now it was not possible to master the animals by force because of the exceptional multitude of them, and so the deed called for ingenuity in cleverly discovering some device. Consequently he fashioned a bronze rattle whereby he made a terrible noise and frightened the animals away, and furthermore, by maintaining a continual din, he easily forced them to abandon their siege of the place and cleansed the lake of them. Greek Text

Pherekydes 3F72 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 80, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

Hellanikos 4F104 – Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 133, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

ApB 2.5.6 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

The sixth labour he enjoined on him was to chase away the Stymphalian birds. Now at the city of Stymphalus in Arcadia was the lake called Stymphalian, embosomed in a deep wood. To it countless birds had flocked for refuge, fearing to be preyed upon by the wolves. So when Hercules was at a loss how to drive the birds from the wood, Athena gave him brazen castanets, which she had received from Hephaestus. By clashing these on a certain mountain that overhung the lake, he scared the birds. They could not abide the sound, but fluttered up in a fright, and in that way Hercules shot them. Greek Text

London, British Museum 3204.  Boiotian fibula. Herakles and Stymphalian Bird.  See p. 383.

Copenhagen, Private Collection.  Man chasing birds.

London, British Museum B163.  Attic amphora, Group E.  Herakles and Stymphalian Birds.


British Museum on line

Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum 1841. Atttic lekythos.  Herakles and Stymphalian Birds.


Munich, Antikensammlung 1842.  Attic lekythos.  Herakles and the Stymphalian Birds.


Olympia Museum.  Metope from the Temple of Zeus.  Herakles presenting birds to Athena.



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, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2021


 628 total views,  1 views today