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Herakles 3rd labor: the Hind of Keryneia/ My latest labor


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M22.3Elaphos(1)2.jpg.3eaeeb02be1873c233a5e9c29f255c1d.jpg(Heracles, Artemis and the Cerynitian Hind, Athenian black-figure amphora C6th B.C., British Museum)

You could be forgiven for thinking that Herakles third labor was a bit of a gimme. Go fetch a hind/female deer from a couple of towns over. But this hind had golden horns and hoofs of bronze. As well, the deer was sacred to the goddess of hunting and the moon, Artemis. Ain't that a son of a hind!


Heracles and Apollo struggling over the Hind, as depicted on a Corinthian helmet (early 5th century BC)

An entire year of skilful hunting, cat and mouse, and hinding on and Herking off and Herakles nearly losses the hind! But decides he has to either shoot it or it will get away. So, he shoots it a mortal shot. 

Enter Artemis. Yeah, Herakles is about to get it bad...like big sister beat down bad. When he does something shocking for him, and to the ancient Greeks; he tells the truth. He explains to his half sister the oracle, his labors and the fact that hemorrhoids even existed in ancient times. And to everyone's surprise Artemis angry melts, she heals the golden hind and gives her back to kid brother so he can complete this, his third labor. 


(It was a terribly cold stream that Herakles waded through to get to the hind)

Cut to, my new coin!


PONTUS (Bronze, 12.68g, 31.2mm) Sebastpolis, Gallienus (253-268) AE Year 266=263/4 AD. Obv: AYT KAI ΠO ΛIK ΓAΛΛIHNOC - Bust laureate, draped, cuirassed right, with oversize, elaborately rendered shoulder flap of cuirass, flanked by two folds of cloak falling from a round clasp.

Rev: CEBACTO HPAK around clockwise on right, ET (ligate) S - ΞC around counterclockwise on left - Herakles standing left, nude except for lion skin flying out from his back and hanging down beside his left leg, capturing the Ceryneian hind, which rears up left beside him, by grasping its horns and placing his right knee on its back

Amandry/Remy 72 (D20/R54). SNG von Aulock 134.

*Only 2 examples on AC search



Please share your coins of Herakles, his labors, Gallienus, Pontus, though or whatever grinds your hinds!

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I have many coins of Herakles laboring, unfortunately all at the same jobsite. So since I've already posted so many Nemean lions I'll just go with the hero preening...

Herakleia, Lucania

330/25 - 281 BC
AR Didrachm (20mm, 7.55g)
O: Head of Athena right, wearing crested Attic helmet decorated with Skylla throwing stone; K to right.
R: Herakles standing facing, holding club in right hand and bow in left, lion's skin draped over left arm, Nike crowning from above; AΛ to left, Σ to right.
Van Keuren 80; SNG ANS 68; Hands Period II, 6; HGC I, 981; HN Italy 1383

~ Peter 


Edited by Phil Anthos
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Very good re cold stream!

I'm off piste a bit  here,  but  Herakles, UK-style.

Britain,  Regni & Atrebates. Epaticcus. A.D. 20-40AD .  EPATI, head of Herakles right, wearing lion's skin headdress; behind, pellet-in-annulet / Eagle standing on serpent, head left, with displayed; in upper right field, pellet-in-annulet.

(Epaticcus  was brother of the great Cunobelinus.)




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Very cool coin! Here is my latest Heracles, arrived last week.

Arabia, Adraa. Elagabalus. AE 16 mm, 5.65g, 6 h. Laureate head of Elagabalus r./ Heracles seated on rock, l., resting on club. RPC 9238, Spijkerman 13. Very rare, the fourth known and the only one in private hands.


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