Alkyoneus (page 419 lower, with art)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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Is 6.31-35 – Pindar, Isthmian Odes

and with Telamon’s help he slew the tribes of Meropes, and the herdsman Alcyoneus, huge as a mountain, whom he found at Phlegrae, and he did not keep his hands off the deep-voiced bow-string, not [35] Heracles.  Greek Text

Is 4.25-30 – Pindar, Nemean Odes

when he came as a friend to friends, to the prosperous court of Heracles, [25] with whom once powerful Telamon destroyed Troy and the Meropes and the great and terrible warrior Alcyoneus, but not before that giant had laid low, by hurling a rock, twelve chariots and twice twelve horse-taming heroes who were riding in them.  Greek Text

fr 985 PMG – Poetae Melici Graeci, pp. 522-23, ed. D. L. Page. Oxford 1962.

Σ Is 6.47 – Scholion at Pindar, Isthmian Odes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, 3, pp. 254-55, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1927.

Σ Nem 4.43 – Scholion at Pindar, Nemean Odes – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, 3, pp. 70-71, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1927.

ApB 1.6.1 – Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library)

But Earth, vexed on account of the Titans, brought forth the giants, whom she had by Sky. These were matchless in the bulk of their bodies and invincible in their might; terrible of aspect did they appear, with long locks drooping from their head and chin, and with the scales of dragons for feet. They were born, as some say, in Phlegrae, but according to others in Pallene. And they darted rocks and burning oaks at the sky. Surpassing all the rest were Porphyrion and Alcyoneus, who was even immortal so long as he fought in the land of his birth. He also drove away the cows of the Sun from Erythia. Now the gods had an oracle that none of the giants could perish at the hand of gods, but that with the help of a mortal they would be made an end of. Learning of this, Earth sought for a simple to prevent the giants from being destroyed even by a mortal. But Zeus forbade the Dawn and the Moon and the Sun to shine, and then, before anybody else could get it, he culled the simple himself, and by means of Athena summoned Hercules to his help. Hercules first shot Alcyoneus with an arrow, but when the giant fell on the ground he somewhat revived. However, at Athena’s advice Hercules dragged him outside Pallene, and so the giant died.  Greek Text

Paestum, metope from the Heraion alla Foce del Sele.  Herakles, Alkyoneus.


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Artistic sources edited by R. Ross Holloway, Elisha Benjamin Andrews Professor Emeritus, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Univ., and Frances Van Keuren, Prof. Emerita, Lamar Dodd School of Art, Univ. of Georgia, November, 2017

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, April 2022

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