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When Hercules heard that, he went to Tiryns and did as he was bid by Eurystheus. First, Eurystheus ordered him to bring the skin of the Nemean lion;1 now that was an invulnerable beast begotten by Typhon. On his way to attack the lion he came to Cleonae and lodged at the house of a day-laborer, Molorchus;2 and when his host would have offered a victim in sacrifice, Hercules told him to wait for thirty days, and then, if he had returned safe from the hunt, to sacrifice to Saviour Zeus, but if he were dead, to sacrifice to him as to a hero.3 And having come to Nemea and tracked the lion, he first shot an arrow at him, but when he perceived that the beast was invulnerable, he heaved up his club and made after him. And when the lion took refuge in a cave with two mouths, Hercules built up the one entrance and came in upon the beast through the other, and putting his arm round its neck held it tight till he had choked it; so laying it on his shoulders he carried it to Cleonae. And finding Molorchus on the last of the thirty days about to sacrifice the victim to him as to a dead man, he sacrificed to Saviour Zeus and brought the lion to Mycenae. Amazed at his manhood, Eurystheus forbade him thenceforth to enter the city, but ordered him to exhibit the fruits of his labours before the gates. They say, too, that in his fear he had a bronze jar made for himself to hide in under the earth,4 and that he sent his commands for the labours through a herald, Copreus,5 son of Pelops the Elean. This Copreus had killed Iphitus and fled to Mycenae, where he was purified by Eurystheus and took up his abode.


1 As to the Nemean lion, compare Hes. Th. 326ff.; Bacch. 8.6ff., ed. Jebb; Soph. Trach. 1091ff.; Theocritus xxv.162ff.; Diod. 4.11.3ff.; Eratosthenes, Cat. 12; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.232ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 30. According to Hesiod, the Nemean lion was begotten by Orthus, the hound of Geryon, upon the monster Echidna. Hyginus says that the lion was bred by the Moon.

2 As to Herakles and Molorchus, compare Tibullus iv.1.12ff.; Verg. G. 3.19, with Servius's note; Martial iv.64.30, ix.43.13; Statius, Sylv. iii.1.28.

3 The Greeks had two distinct words for sacrificing, according as the sacrifice was offered to a god or to a hero, that is, to a worshipful dead man; the former sacrifice was expressed by the verb θύειν, the latter by the verb ἐναγίζειν. The verbal distinction can hardly be preserved in English, except by a periphrasis. For the distinction between the two, see Paus. 2.10.1; Paus. 2.11.7; Paus. 3.19.3; and for more instances of ἐναγίζειν in this sense, see Paus. 3.1.8; Paus. 4.21.11; Paus. 7.17.8; Paus. 7.19.10; Paus. 7.20.9; Paus. 8.14.10-11; Paus. 8.41.1; Paus. 9.5.14; Paus. 9.18.3-4; Paus. 9.38.5; Paus. 10.24.6; Inscriptiones Graecae Megaridis, Oropiae, Boeotiae, ed. G. Dittenberger, p. 32, No. 53. For instances of the antithesis between θύειν and ἐναγίζειν, see Hdt. 2.44; Plut. De Herodoti malignitate 13; Ptolemy Hephaest., Nauck 2nd ed., Nov. Hist. iii. in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, p. 186; Pollux viii.91; Scholiast on Eur. Ph. 274. The corresponding nouns θυσίαι and ἐναγίσματα are similarly opposed to each other. See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 58. Another word which is used only of sacrificing to heroes or the dead is ἐντέμνειν See, for example, Thuc. 5.11, ὠς ἥρωΐ τε ἐντέμνουσι (of the sacrifices offered at Amphipolis to Brasidas). Sometimes the verbs ἐναγίζειν and ἐντέμνειν are coupled in this sense. See Philostratus, Her. xx.27, 28. For more evidence as to the use of these words, see Fr. Pfister, Der Reliquienkult im Altertum (Giessen, 1909-1912), pp. 466ff. Compare P. Foucart, Le culte des héros chez les Grecs (Paris, 1918), pp. 96, 98 (from the Memoires de l' Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, vol. xlii).

4 Compare Diod. 4.12.1, who however places this incident after the adventure with the Erymanthian boar.

5 As to the herald Copreus, compare Hom. Il. 15.639ff., with the note of the Scholiast.

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