Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Erymanthian boar

Erystehus hiding in a pithos, rendered unusually humouristicly. Detail from a Roman sarcophagus.

The view from the Mycenae citadel - the place where Heracles brought the boar.

The forth labor yet again involved Heracles capturing a beast, this time the Erymantioan boar. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the first labor connected to a minor deed caller a pererga – the fight against the centaurs.
It is said that the hero went out to search for the boar but was unable to capture it and thus went to the centaurs for advice. There he found Pholus that told him to drive the boar into deep snow, where it couldn’t get away. The centaur unfortenately had one other thing that Heracles wanted; a jar of excellent wine, a gift from Dionysus. Heracles persuaded the centaur to open the jar and all the other centaurs came running to them as they felt the smell. Now a fight broke out, as it commonly does when alcohol in involved, and Heracles drove the centaurs to the house of Cheiron (an old friend of the hero) who was hit by an arrow.

Now, anyone mortal would be killed by the arrow, but Cheiron was an immortal at this point. The pain being too much however, he asked Zeus to take his immortality and he thus died after the incident.

Heracles went on with the chase after the fight with the centaurs and drove the boar into deep snow where he caught it. Erystheus was so scared when the hero returned to Mycenae with it that he hid in a Pithos (large jar). This is a common scene in pottery painting.


Björn Nilsson said...

Hallå, det har hänt något med den översta bilden! Borta!

Patrik Klingborg said...

Underligt, det fungerar fint för mig. I alla fall, här är en ny länk: