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Herakles rescues Theseus from the Underworld - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Herakles rescues Theseus from the Underworld. Achilles Herakles. father is mortal : Peleus father is immortal : Zeus mother is immortal: Thetis mother is mortal: Alcmena (“foster” father is mortal: Amphitryon

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Achilles herakles
Achilles Herakles

father is mortal: Peleus father is immortal: Zeus

mother is immortal: Thetis mother is mortal: Alcmena

(“foster” father is mortal: Amphitryon

cf. Aegeus, mortal father of Theseus, while Poseidon is his “biological” father)


The paradoxical herakles
The paradoxical Herakles

  • Hounded by Hera, his name, “Herakles,” nevertheless means “glory of Hera”


Herakles nurses at the breast of hera and from the spilled milk originated the milky way
Herakles nurses at the breast of Hera… and from the spilled milk originated the milky way


Hera’s opposition to Herakles starts early on: she sends deadly snakes, which baby Herakles chokes with his own hands


The incident also serves to highlight Herakles’ physical superiority over his twin and half brother Iphikles


Herakles as a symbol of excess in all its forms
Herakles as a Symbol of Excess … in all its Forms superiority over his twin and half brother Iphikles


Herakles is sold as slave to omphale queen of lydia to atone for the murder of his guest iphitus
Herakles is sold as slave to Omphale, Queen of Lydia (to atone for the murder of his guest, Iphitus)


Herakles as a symbol of the human condition
Herakles as a Symbol of the Human Condition atone for the murder of his guest, Iphitus)


Plan of Temple Zeus at Olympia atone for the murder of his guest, Iphitus)The Labors of Herakles are depicted on the metopes, six on the east end, six on the west


  • A: triglyph atone for the murder of his guest, Iphitus)

  • B: metope


The 12 labors on the 12 metopes
The 12 labors on the 12 metopes atone for the murder of his guest, Iphitus)



Zeus and the Fatal Chariot Race (between Pelops and Oinomaos) on the East pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympia


The 12 labors of herakles the successful victorious athlete is a civilizing force
The 12 Labors of Herakles Oinomaos) on the East pediment of the temple of Zeus at Olympiathe successful/victorious athlete IS a CIVILIZING FORCE



Herakles fights the Lernaean Hydra, whose hundred serpent heads he cuts with a sickle and cauterizes with fire


The Keryneian Hind, whose horns were made of gold and who was sacred to Artemis. Entrusted not to kill the hind, Herakles tried to outrun it but failed, and ended up wounding the animal with his arrow




The Stymphalian birds, whom Herakles defeats with castanets (made by Hephaistos) given to him by Athena


Herakles and the cretan bull
Herakles and the Cretan Bull (made by Hephaistos) given to him by Athena


The defeat of the Cretan Bull is a bit like defeating the Minotaur (in some versions, this is the very bull, whom Minos refused to sacrifice to Poseidon and who mated with his wife Pasiphae


The mares of diomedes devour human flesh
The Mares of Diomedes devour human flesh Minotaur (in some versions, this is the very bull, whom Minos refused to sacrifice to Poseidon and who mated with his wife Pasiphae


Herakles claims the war belt of Hippolyte, Queen of the Amazons:the male culture hero symbolically defeats/subdues female anti-order


Herakles against the triple-bodied Geryon, whose cattle he has stolen (note the fallen dog, the 2-headed Orthos, offspring of Typhon and Echidna)


The Golden Apples of the Hesperides (located in Hyperborea) guarded by a serpent: the impossible object of desire, the eternally young, virgin woman



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