The Labors of Heracles - I በ egisto.sani
On the front of sarcophagus are represented the nine of the twelve Labors of Heracles. The exposition follows the chronological sequence of the ancient sources. From left:
-the victory against the Nemean Lion;
-the fight against the Hydra of lerna;
-the killing of the Erymanthean Boar with the famous scene of the frightened King Eurystheus hidden inside a buried pithos;
- the struggle against the hind of Ceryneia;
-hunting for the Stymphalian birds;
-the victory over Hippolyta the queen of the Amazons;
-the labor at the stable of Augeas;
-the Cretan bull;
-the horses of the kind Diomedes.
This sarcophagus shows an interesting feature. Sarcophagi's sculptors represented always the male characters of the Myths as young and beautiful heroes. They can be considered as an example of a real cult of youth and beauty. In such of repertoire the mature men are secondary characters.
Just Heracles interrupts this tradition, and for the rendering of his labors, some sculptors of sarcophagi show the hero's aging. As here shown, while in his first deeds the hero has the expected appearance of a young man, the last ones show a mature-old man. The artists probably wanted allegorically to refer to the difficulties the men have to overcome during their life.
The dead man is shown at the center. He is portrayed as Heracles shooting arrows toward the birds of Stymphalus. The portrait features set the sarcophagus date at 240 – 250 AD.
Source: Zanker P. “Vivere Con I Miti – L’iconografia dei sarcofagi romani”
Approx. 240-250 AD
Rome, Museo Nazionale Romano, Palazzo Altemps
Nemea (ελληνικά: Δήμος Νεμέας) is a tourist attraction, one of the Archaeological sites in Heraklion, ግሪክ. It is located: 60 km from Argos, 250 km from Piraeus, 267 km from Peristeri, 276 km from Athens, 295 km from Patras. Read further