Labor IX: The Belt of Hippolyte (page 398, with art)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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 fr 76 KaibelEpicharmos, Herakles Ho Epi Ton Zostera (Herakles in the Quest of the Zôstêr)Comicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 1, p.  104, ed.  G. Kaibel. Berlin 1899.

Greek Text

Pindar fr 172 SM – Pindarus 2, pp. 126-27, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

Nem 3.38-39 – Pindar, Nemean Odes

and once he [Peleus] followed him to meet the bronze-bowed strength of the Amazons. And fear, the subduer of men, never dulled the edge of his mind. Greek Text

Σ Nem 3.64 – Scholia to Pindar, Nemean Odes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, 3, p. 52, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1927.

Il 4.132-39 – Homer, Iliad

and of herself she guided it where the golden clasps of the belt were fastened and the corselet overlapped. On the clasped belt lighted the bitter arrow, and through the belt richly dight was it driven, and clean through the curiously wrought corselet did it force its way, and through the taslet which he wore, a screen for his flesh and a barrier against darts, wherein was his chiefest defence; yet even through this did it speed. So the arrow grazed the outermost flesh of the warrior. Greek Text

DP 8.32 – Dion Chrysostomos of Prusa, Orationes

And when he found Busiris​ very diligently training, eating the whole day long, and exceeding proud of his wrestling, Heracles burst him open like an over-filled bag by dashing him to the ground. He loosed the girdle of the Amazon,​ who tried to coquet with him and thought to win by means of her beauty. For he both consorted with her and made her understand that he could never be overcome by beauty and would never tarry far away from his own possessions for a woman’s sake.  Greek Text

ApB 2.5.9 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

 Now Hippolyte had the belt of Ares in token of her superiority to all the rest. Hercules was sent to fetch this belt because Admete, daughter of Eurystheus, desired to get it. Greek Text

Delphi, Athenian Treasury: metope in Delphi Museum with hero wearing chlamys/cloak (Theseus? or Herakles?) about to deliver death blow to falling Amazon

Treasury of Athenians, Delphi—3d reconstruction, by Ephorate of Antiquities of Phocis

Reconstruction of metope with hero and Amazon, from Treasury of Athenians, Delphi—3d reconstruction, by Ephorate of Antiquities of Phocis



Digital LIMC, Scene 5

Palermo, Museo Nazionale Archeologico 3921A: metope from Temple E, Selinous, with Herakles in lionskin, who seizes cap of Amazon; Amazon raises axe in her right hand 

History of Ancient Rome

O. Benndorf, Die Metopen von Selinunt: mit Untersuchungen über die Geschichte, die Topographie und die Tempel von Selinunt (1873) pl. 7

Digital LIMC

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser (Temple E)

Olympia Museum: fragmentary metope from Temple of Zeus with Herakles seizing belt? from fallen Amazon (Hippolyte?)

Paus 5.10.9 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

Above the doors of the rear chamber he is taking the girdle from the Amazon. Greek Text

E. Curtius [Editor] and F. Adler [Editor] and G. Treu, Olympia: die Ergebnisse der von dem Deutschen Reich veranstalteten Ausgrabung (Tafelband 3): Die Bildwerke von Olympia in Stein und Thon (1894) pl. 45.6

Reconstruction from Hellenica World

David Gill

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser

Digital LIMC

Temple of Hephaistos (Hephaisteion), Athens: metope from east frieze with Herakles standing over kneeling Amazon (Hippolyte?) and possibly reaching for her belt

Reconstruction of east facade, showing metope in its current position (seventh); from J. Stuart and N. Revett, The Antiquities of Athens, Vol. 3 (1827) pl. 6

Herakles and Amazon from east frieze, with reconstruction drawing overlaid on surviving metope; B. Sauer, Das sogenannte Theseion und sein plastischer Schmuck (1899) detail of pls. 6* and 6

Herakles and Amazon from east frieze; B. Sauer, Das sogenannte Theseion und sein plastischer Schmuck (1899) detail of pl. 6

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser (Temple of Hephaistos)

Digital LIMC (scene 2, Amazones 99)

HF 408-18 – Euripides, Herakles Mainomenos (Hercules Furens)

Then he went through the waves of heaving Euxine against the mounted host of Amazons dwelling round Maeotis, the lake that is fed by many a stream, having gathered to his standard all his friends from Hellas, to fetch the gold-embroidered raiment of the warrior queen, a deadly quest for a girdle. Hellas won those glorious spoils of the barbarian maid, and they are safe in Mycenae. Greek Text

Euripides, Ion 1143-45

First, overhead he spread out wings of cloth, a dedication of the son of Zeus, which Herakles brought from the Amazons as spoils for the god. These pictures were woven in it: Heaven gathering the stars into the circle of the sky. The Sun was driving his horses to the last flare, drawing on the light of Evening. Dark-robed Night was shaking her two-horse chariot by means of the yoked pair, and stars attended her. A Pleiad hastened through the middle sky, with Orion and his sword; above, Arktos turned his golden tail on the pole; the full moon, that divides the months in half, shot forth her beams above, with the Hyades, the clearest sign for sailors, and light-bearing Dawn, pursuing the stars. Greek Text

Hellanikos 4F106 FGrH Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker 1, p. 134, ed. F. Jacoby, 2d ed. Leiden 1957.

Greek Text

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#Herakles, #Amazones, #Hippolyte

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

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, January 2021

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