Herakles and the Gods: Minor Tales (page 455, with art)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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Homer, Iliad 5.395-402

And so suffered monstrous Hades even as the rest a bitter arrow, when this same man, the son of Zeus that beareth the aegis, smote him in Pylos amid the dead, and gave him over to pains. But he went to the house of Zeus and to high Olympus with grief at heart, pierced through with pains; [400] for into his mighty shoulder had the shaft been driven, and distressed his soul. But Paeëon spread thereon simples that slay pain, and healed him; for verily he was in no wise of mortal mouldGreek Text

Scholion A at Homer, Iliad 5.397 – Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem I, p. 216, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1875.

At the gate of Hades, when he wanted to fetch Kerberos  (Transl. E. Bianchelli)  Greek Text

Scholion bT at Homer, Iliad 5.395 – Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem 3, p. 250, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1877.

Greek Text

Pindar, Olympian 9.29-35

For [30] how could Heracles have wielded his club against the trident, when Poseidon took his stand to guard Pylos, and pressed him hard, and Phoebus pressed him hard, attacking with his silver bow; nor did Hades keep his staff unmoved, with which he leads mortal bodies down to the hollow path [35] of the dead.  Greek Text

Scholion at Pindar, Olympian 9.43 – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, Scholia in Olympionicas, Vol. 1, pp. 276-77, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

Scholion at Pindar, Olympian 9.44a – Scholia vetera in Pindari carmina, Scholia in Olympionicas, Vol. 1, p. 277, ed. A.B Drachman. Leipzig 1903.

Greek Text

Scholion A at Homer, Iliad 5.392 – Scholia Graeca in Homeri Iliadem I, p. 216, ed. W. Dindorf and E. Maass. Oxford 1875.

Greek Text

Apollodoros, Bibliotheke (Library) 2.7.3

And he slew Neleus and his sons, except Nestor; for he was a youth and was being brought up among the Gerenians. In the fight he also wounded Hades, who was siding with the Pylians.  Greek Text

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6.25-2-3

The sacred enclosure of Hades and its temple (for the Eleans have these among their possessions) are opened once every year, but not even on this occasion is anybody permitted to enter except the priest. The following is the reason why the Eleans worship Hades; they are the only men we know of so to do. It is said that, when Heracles was leading an expedition against Pylus in Elis, Athena was one of his allies. Now among those who came to fight on the side of the Pylians was Hades, who was the foe of Heracles but was worshipped at Pylus. [3] Homer is quoted in support of the story, who says in the Iliad:“And among them huge Hades suffered a wound from a swift arrow,
When the same man, the son of aegis-bearing Zeus,
Hit him in Pylus among the dead, and gave him over to pains.
Hom. Il. 5.395-397 If in the expedition of Agamemnon and Menelaus against Troy Poseidon was according to Homer an ally of the Greeks, it cannot be unnatural for the same poet to hold that Hades helped the Pylians. At any rate it was in the belief that the god was their friend but the enemy of Heracles that the Eleans made the sanctuary for him. The reason why they are wont to open it only once each year is, I suppose, because men too go down only once to Hades.  Greek Text

Hesiod, Aspis (The Shield of Herakles) 359-67

Another time ere this I declare he has made trial [360] of my spear, when he defended sandy Pylos and stood against me, fiercely longing for fight. Thrice was he stricken by my spear and dashed to earth, and his shield was pierced; but the fourth time I struck his thigh, laying on with all my strength, and tore deep into his flesh. [365] And he fell headlong in the dust upon the ground through the force of my spear-thrust; then truly he would have been disgraced among the deathless gods, if by my hands he had left behind his bloody spoils.”  Greek Text

London, British Museum B57.  Pontic amphora.  Herakles and opponent.

British Museum online

Rome, Museo Nazionale di Villa Giulia 20842.  Attic amphora. Herakles, Poseidon.

Beazley Archive (side A only)

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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, September, 2017.

Literary sources edited by Elena Bianchelli, Retired Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, December 2023.

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