|Collection:||Olympia Archaeological Museum|
|Title:||Olympia Hydra Metope|
|Findspot:||Excavated at Olympia|
|Summary:||Herakles and the Lernean Hydra|
|Placement:||West Metope 2|
|Original or Copy:||Original|
|Date:||ca. 470 BC - ca. 457 BC|
H 1.60 m (approximately square)
|In Group:||Olympia Metopes|
The second of the canonic Labors was the struggle with the Hydra of Lerna, depicted in the second metope over the West "porch". Herakles, represented by a head fragment, a battered torso and well-preserved right calf, faced right to meet the Hydra, a many-headed snake which normally produced two new heads for every one lost. The Hydra occupies most of the metope. Little of it remains, but the fact that several of the snake heads have dropped to the ground or are otherwise limp suggest that, like the Lion episode, this metope illustrates a moment late in the battle if not after it has ended.
The story is related by Hesiod (
Herakles: top of head, fragments of torso and legs; Hydra: several large fragments from the center and lower left corner of the metope.
Associated Building: Olympia, Temple of Zeus