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As a third labour he ordered him to bring the Cerynitian hind alive to Mycenae.1 Now the hind was at Oenoe; it had golden horns and was sacred to Artemis; so wishing neither to kill nor wound it, Hercules hunted it a whole year. But when, weary with the chase, the beast took refuge on the mountain called Artemisius, and thence passed to the river Ladon, Hercules shot it just as it was about to cross the stream, and catching it put it on his shoulders and hastened through Arcadia. But Artemis with Apollo met him, and would have wrested the hind from him, and rebuked him for attempting to kill her sacred animal.2 Howbeit, by pleading necessity and laying the blame on Eurystheus, he appeased the anger of the goddess and carried the beast alive to Mycenae.

1 Compare Pind. O. 3.28(50)ff.; Eur. Herc. 375ff.; Diod. 4.13.1; Tzetzes, Chiliades 11.265ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 30. Pindar says that in his quest of the hind with the golden horns Herakles had seen “the land at the back of the cold north wind.” Hence, as the reindeer is said to be the only species of deer of which the female has antlers, Sir William Ridgeway argues ingeniously that the hind with the golden horns was no other than the reindeer. See his Early Age of Greece 1. (Cambridge, 1901), pp. 360ff. Later Greek tradition, as we see from Apollodorus, did not place the native land of the hind so far away. Oenoe was a place in Argolis. Mount Artemisius is the range which divides Argolis from the plain of Mantinea. The Ladon is the most beautiful river of Arcadia, if not of Greece. The river Cerynites, from which the hind took its name, is a river which rises in Arcadia and flows through Achaia into the sea. The modern name of the river is Bouphousia. See Paus. 7.25.5, with my note.

2 The hind is said to have borne the inscription “Taygete dedicated (me) to Artemis.” See Pind. O. 3.29(53)ff., with the Scholiast.

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