Labor X: The Cattle of Geryoneus (page 407, with art)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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Stesichoros 12 SLG Supplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, pp. 8-9. Oxford 1974.

Stesichoros 13 SLG Supplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, pp. 9-10. Oxford 1974.

Stesichoros 11 SLG Supplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, pp. 7-8. Oxford 1974.

Stesichoros 15 SLGSupplementum Lyricis Graecis, ed. D. Page, pp. 10-11. Oxford 1974.

♠ Ag 869-73 – Aischylos, Agamemnon

Or if he had died as often as reports claimed, then truly he might have had three bodies, a second Geryon, and have boasted of having taken on him a triple cloak of earth [ample that above, of that below I speak not], one death for each different shape. Greek Text

Aischylos, Herakledai fr 74 R – Tragicorum Graecorum Fragmenta 3, p. 192 ed. S. L. Radt. Göttingen 1985.

Pindar fr 169a SM – Pindarus 2, pp. 122-26, ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

Pindar fr 81 SM – Pindarus 2, p. 84 (= p. 75), ed. B. Snell and H. Maehler. Leipzig 1975.

I on my part praise you, Geryoneus, but were you not dearest to Zeus, I would be completly silent. (Transl. E. Bianchelli)

Is 1.13 – Pindar, Isthmian Odes

Alcmena bore her fearless son, before whom the bold hounds of Geryon once trembled. Greek Text

Hdt 4.8.1 – Herodotos, Historiae

But the story told by the Greeks who live in Pontus is as follows. Heracles, driving the cattle of Geryones, came to this land, which was then desolate, but is now inhabited by the Scythians. Greek Text

HF 422-24 – Euripides, Herakles Mainomenos (Hercules Furens)

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

Delphi, Athenian Treasury: multiple metopes in Delphi Museum with battle of Herakles and Geryoneus

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

J. Boardman, Greek Sculpture: The Archaic Period: A Handbook (1978) Fig. 213 (drawn by Marion Cox)

Metopes 23-25 from Boardman’s drawings: Cattle of Geryoneus; Metope 26: dead Orthos, with left foot of Herakles, who was shooting at triple-bodied Geryoneus (metope 27)

Digital LIMC (Scene 16; see image 15 for Orthos and Herakles’ left foot)

Olympia Museum: metope from temple of Zeus with Herakles clubbing triple-bodied Geryoneus

Paus 5.10.9 – Pausanias, Description of Greece

Most of the labours of Heracles are represented at Olympia. Above the doors of the temple is carved… his exploit… against Geryones at Erytheia. 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. 45.9

David Gill

Perseus Art & Archaeology Artifact Browser

Digital LIMC

Temple of Hephaistos (Hephaisteion), Athens: two metopes from east frieze with Herakles and Geryoneus; metope 8 with Herakles shooting at Geryoneus; behind Herakles’ legs, dead Eurytion on ground; metope 9 with triple-bodied Geryoneus

Reconstruction of east facade, showing metopes in their current positions (eighth and ninth); from J. Stuart and N. Revett, The Antiquities of Athens, Vol. 3 (1827) pl. 6

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

Herakles and Geryon 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; see image 2 for photo of Geryon)

DS 4.18.2 – Diodoros Siculus, Library of History

And after Heracles had visited a large part of Libya he arrived at the ocean near Gadeira, where he set up pillars on each of the two continents. His fleet accompanied him along the coast and on it he crossed over into Iberia. And finding there the sons of Chrysaor encamped at some distance from one another with three great armies, he challenged each of the leaders to single combat and slew them all, and then after subduing Iberia he drove off the celebrated herds of cattle. Greek Text

ApB 2.5.10 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

As a tenth labour he was ordered to fetch the kine of Geryon from Erythia. Now Erythia was an island near the ocean; it is now called Gadira. This island was inhabited by Geryon, son of Chrysaor by Callirrhoe, daughter of Ocean. He had the body of three men grown together and joined in one at the waist, but parted in three from the flanks and thighs. He owned red kine, of which Eurytion was the herdsman and Orthus, the two-headed hound, begotten by Typhon on Echidna, was the watchdog. So journeying through Europe to fetch the kine of Geryon he destroyed many wild beasts and set foot in Libya, and proceeding to Tartessus he erected as tokens of his journey two pillars over against each other at the boundaries of Europe and Libya. But being heated by the Sun on his journey, he bent his bow at the god, who in admiration of his hardihood, gave him a golden goblet in which he crossed the ocean. And having reached Erythia he lodged on Mount Abas. However the dog, perceiving him, rushed at him; but he smote it with his club, and when the herdsman Eurytion came to the help of the dog, Hercules killed him also. But Menoetes, who was there pasturing the kine of Hades, reported to Geryon what had occurred, and he, coming up with Hercules beside the river Anthemus, as he was driving away the kine, joined battle with him and was shot dead. And Hercules, embarking the kine in the goblet and sailing across to Tartessus, gave back the goblet to the Sun. Greek Text

Pherekydes in Str 3.5.4 – Strabo, Geography

Pherecydes appears to have given to Gades the name of Erythia, the locality of the myths concerning Geryon: others suppose it to have been the island situated near to this city, and separated from it by a strait of merely one stadium. Greek Text

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#cattle, #Herakles#Geryoneus, #Orthos#Eurytion

Artistic sources edited by Frances D. Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, January 2024

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

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