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Going through the country of the Dryopes and being in lack of food, Hercules met Thiodamas driving a pair of bullocks; so he unloosed and slaughtered one of the bullocks and feasted.1 And when he came to Ceyx at Trachis he was received by him and conquered the Dryopes.2

And afterwards setting out from there, he fought as an ally of Aegimius, king of the Dorians.3 For the Lapiths, commanded by Coronus, made war on him in a dispute about the boundaries of the country; and being besieged he called in the help of Hercules, offering him a share of the country. So Hercules came to his help and slew Coronus and others, and handed the whole country over to Aegimius free. He slew also Laogoras,4 king of the Dryopes, with his children, as he was banqueting in a precinct of Apollo; for the king was a wanton fellow and an ally of the Lapiths. And as he passed by Itonus he was challenged to single combat by Cycnus a son of Ares and Pelopia; and closing with him Hercules slew him also.5 But when he was come to Ormenium, king Amyntor took arms and forbade him to march through; but when he would have hindered his passage, Hercules slew him also.6

On his arrival at Trachis he mustered an army to attack Oechalia, wishing to punish Eurytus.7 Being joined by Arcadians, Melians from Trachis, and Epicnemidian Locrians, he slew Eurytus and his sons and took the city. After burying those of his own side who had fallen, to wit, Hippasus, son of Ceyx, and Argius and Melas, the sons of Licymnius, he pillaged the city and led Iole captive. And having put in at Cenaeum, a headland of Euboea, he built an altar of Cenaean Zeus.8 Intending to offer sacrifice, he sent the herald Lichas to Trachis to fetch fine raiment.9 From him Deianira learned about Iole, and fearing that Hercules might love that damsel more than herself, she supposed that the spilt blood of Nessus was in truth a love-charm, and with it she smeared the tunic.10 So Hercules put it on and proceeded to offer sacrifice. But no sooner was the tunic warmed than the poison of the hydra began to corrode his skin; and on that he lifted Lichas by the feet, hurled him down from the headland,11 and tore off the tunic, which clung to his body, so that his flesh was torn away with it. In such a sad plight he was carried on shipboard to Trachis: and Deianira, on learning what had happened, hanged herself.12 But Hercules, after charging Hyllus his elder son by Deianira, to marry Iole when he came of age,13 proceeded to Mount Oeta, in the Trachinian territory, and there constructed a pyre,14 mounted it, and gave orders to kindle it. When no one would do so, Poeas, passing by to look for his flocks, set a light to it. On him Hercules bestowed his bow. While the pyre was burning, it is said that a cloud passed under Hercules and with a peal of thunder wafted him up to heaven.15 Thereafter he obtained immortality, and being reconciled to Hera he married her daughter Hebe,16 by whom he had sons, Alexiares and Anicetus.

1 As to Herakles and Thiodamas, compare Callimachus, Hymn to Diana 160ff., with the Scholiast on 161 (who calls Thiodamas king of the Dryopians); Nonnus (Westermann, Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum, xxviii.6, pp. 370ff.); Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1212; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.464ff. From the Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1212, we learn that the tale was told by Pherecydes, whom Apollodorus may here be following. The story seems to be a doublet of the one told about Herakles at Lindus in Rhodes. See Apollod. 2.5.11, with the note.

2 On the reception of Herakles by Ceyx, see Diod. 4.36.5; Paus. 1.32.6. As to the conquest of the Dryopians by Herakles, see Hdt. 8.43, compare 73; Diod. 4.37.1ff.; Strab. 8.6.13; Paus. 4.34.9ff.; Nonnus, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum, xxix.6, p. 371; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.1212, 1218. From these accounts we gather that the Dryopians were a wild robber tribe, whose original home was in the fastnesses of Mount Parnassus. Driven from there by the advance of the Dorians, they dispersed and settled, some in Thessaly, some in Euboea, some in Peloponnese, and some even in Cyprus. Down to the second century of our era the descendants of the Dryopians maintained their national or tribal traditions and pride of birth at Asine, on the coast of MesseniaPaus. 1.32.6).

3 On the war which Herakles, in alliance with Aegimius, king of the Dorians, waged with the Lapiths, see Diod. 4.37.3ff.

4 Compare Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.466.

5 On the combat of Herakles with Cycnus, see Hes. Sh. 57ff.; Pind. O. 2.82(147), with the Scholia to Pind. O. 10.15(19); Eur. Herc. 391ff.; Plut. Thes. 11; Paus. 1.27.6; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.467. It is said that Cycnus used to cut off the heads of passing strangers, intending with these gory trophies to build a temple to his father Ares. This we learn from the Scholiasts on Pind. O. 2.82. The scene of his exploits was Thessaly. According to Paus. 1.27.6, Herakles slew the ruffian on the banks of the Peneus river; but Hesiod places the scene at Pagasae, and says that the grave of Cycnus was washed away by the river Anaurus, a small stream which flows into the Pagasaean gulf. See Hes. Sh. 70ff., Hes. Sh. 472ff. The story of Cycnus was told in a poem of Stesichorus. See Scholiast on Pind. O. 10.15(19). For the combat of Herakles with another Cycnus, see Apollod. 2.5.11.

6 It is said that the king refused to give his daughter Astydamia in marriage to Herakles. So Herakles killed him, took Astydamia by force, and had a son Ctesippus by her. See Diod. 4.37.4. Ormenium was a small town at the foot of Mount Pelion. See Strab. 9.5.18.

7 Eurytus was the king of Oechalia. See Apollod. 2.6.1ff. As to the capture of Oechalia by Herakles, see Soph. Trach. 351-365; Soph. Trach. 476-478; Diod. 4.37.5; Zenobius, Cent. i.33; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.469ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 50-51; Scholiast on Hom. Il. v.392; Scholiast on Eur. Hipp. 545; Hyginus, Fab. 35; Serv. Verg. A. 8.291; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 129ff., 131ff. (Second Vatican Mythographer 159, 165). The situation of Oechalia, the city of Eurytus, was much debated. Homer seems to place it in ThessalyHom. Il. 2.730). But according to others it was in Euboea, or Arcadia, or Messenia. See Strab. 9.5.17; Paus. 4.2.2ff.; Scholiast on Ap. Rhod., Argon. i.87; Second Vatican Mythographer 165. Apollodorus apparently placed it in Euboea. See above, Apollod. 2.6.1ff. There was an ancient epic called The Capture of Oechalia, which was commonly attributed to Creophilus of Samos, though some thought it was by Homer. See Strab. 14.1.18; compare Strab. 9.5.17; Paus. 4.2.3 (who calls the poem Heraclea ); Callimachus, Epigram 6(7); Epicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, ed. G. Kinkel, pp. 60ff.; F. G. Welcker, Der epische Cyclus (Bonn, 1835), pp. 229ff. As to the names of the sons of Eurytus, see the Scholiast on Soph. Trach. 266. He quotes a passage from a lost poem of Hesiod in which the poet mentions Deion, Clytius, Toxeus, and Iphitus as the sons, and Iola (Iole) as the daughter of Eurytus. The Scholiast adds that according to Creophylus and Aristocrates the names of the sons were Toxeus, Clytius, and Deion. Diod. 4.37.5 calls the sons Toxeus, Molion, and Clytius.

8 Compare Soph. Trach. 237ff., Soph. Trach. 752ff., Soph. Trach. 993ff.; Diod. 4.37.5; Ov. Met. 9.136ff.; Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 102ff., 782ff. Cenaeum is the modern Cape Lithada, the extreme northwestern point of Euboea. It is a low flat promontory, terminating a peninsula which runs far out westward into the sea, as if to meet the opposite coast of Locris. But while the cape is low and flat, the greater part of the peninsula is occupied by steep, rugged, and barren mountains, overgrown generally with lentisk and other shrubs, and presenting in their bareness and aridity a strong contrast to the beautiful woods and rich vegetation which clothe much of northern Euboea, especially in the valleys and glens. But if the mountains themselves are gaunt and bare, the prospect from their summits is glorious, stretching over the sea which washes the sides of the peninsula, and across it to the long line of blue mountains which bound, as in a vast amphitheatre, the horizon on the north, the west, and the south. These blue mountains are in Magnesia, Phthiotis, and Locris. At their foot the whole valley of the Spercheus lies open to view. The sanctuary of Zeus, at which Herakles is said to have offered his famous sacrifice, was probably at “the steep city of Dium,” as Homer calls it (Hom. Il. 2.538), which may have occupied the site of the modern Lithada, a village situated high up on the western face of the mountains, embowered in tall olives, pomegranates, mulberries, and other trees, and supplied with abundance of flowing water. The inhabitants say that a great city once stood here, and the heaps of stones, many of them presenting the aspect of artificial mounds, may perhaps support, if they did not suggest, the tradition. See W. Vischer, Erinnerungen und Eindrucke aus Griechenland (Basel, 1857), pp. 659-661; H. N. Ulrichs, Reisen und Forschungen in Griechenland, ii. (Berlin, 1863), pp. 236ff.; C. Bursian, Geographie von Griechenland, ii.409ff. At Dium (Lithada?), in a spot named after a church of St. Constantine, the foundations of a temple and fair-sized precinct, with a circular base of three steps at the east end, have been observed in recent years. These ruins may be the remains of the sanctuary of Caenean Zeus. See A. B. Cook, Zeus, i.123, note 9.

9 With this and what follows compare Soph. Trach. 756ff.; Diod. 4.38.1ff.; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.472ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 50-51; Ov. Met. 9.136ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 36; Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 485ff.; Serv. Verg. A. 8.300; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 21, 132 (First Vatican Mythographer 58; Second Vatican Mythographer 165). The following passage of Apollodorus, down to and including the ascension of Herakles to heaven, is copied verbally, with a few unimportant omissions and changes, by Zenobius, Cent. i.33, but as usual without acknowledgment.

10 That is, the “fine raiment” which Lichas had fetched, from Trachis for the use of Herakles at the sacrifice.

11 The reading is uncertain. See the critical note.

12 Compare Diod. 4.38.3. According to Soph. Trach. 930ff.), Deianira stabbed herself with a sword. But hanging was the favourite mode of suicide adopted by Greek legendary heroines, as by Jocasta, Erigone, Phaedra, and Oenone. See Apollod. 1.8.3, Apollod. 1.9.27, Apollod. 3.5.9, Apollod. 3.12.6, Apollod. 3.13.3, Apollod. 3.14.7, Apollod. E.1.19. It does not seem to have been practised by men.

13 For this dying charge of Herakles, see Soph. Trach. 1216ff.; Ov. Met. 9.278ff. It is remarkable that Herakles should be represented as so earnestly desiring that his concubine should become the wife of his eldest son by Deianira. In many polygamous tribes of Africa it is customary for the eldest son to inherit all his father's wives, except his own mother. See Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, i.541, note 3, ii.280. Absalom's treatment of his father's concubines (2 Samuel, xvi.21ff.) suggests that a similar custom formerly obtained in Israel., I do not remember to have met with any other seeming trace of a similar practice in Greece.

14 For the death of Herakles on the pyre, see Soph. Trach. 1191ff.; Diod. 4.38.3-8; Lucian, Hermotimus 7; Ov. Met. 9.229ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 36; Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 1483ff.; Serv. Verg. A. 8.300; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 21, 132 (First Vatican Mythographer 58; Second Vatican Mythographer 165). According to the usual account, it was not Poeas but his son Philoctetes who set a light to the pyre. So Diod. 4.38.4, Lucian, De morte Peregrini 21, Ov. Met. 9.233ff., Hyginus, Fab. 36, Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 1485ff., 1727, and the Second Vatican Mythographer. According to a different and less famous version of the legend, Herakles was not burned to death on a pyre, but, tortured by the agony of the poisoned robe, which took fire in the sun, he flung himself into a neighbouring stream to ease his pain and was drowned. The waters of the stream have been hot ever since, and are called Thermopylae. See Nonnus, in Westermann's Mythographi Graeci, Appendix Narrationum, xxviii.8; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 50-51. Nonnus expressly says that the poisoned tunic took fire and burned Herakles. That it was thought to be kindled by exposure to the heat of the sun appears from the narrative of Hyginus, Fab. 36; compare Soph. Trach. 684-704; Seneca, Herakles Oetaeus 485ff., 716ff. The waters of Thermopylae are steaming hot to this day. See Adonis, Attis, Osiris, 3rd ed. i.210ff. The Vatican Mythographers, perhaps through the blunder of a copyist, transfer the death of Herakles from Mount Oeta to Mount Etna.

15 The ascension of Herakles to heaven in a cloud is described also by Zenobius, Cent. i.33, who copies Apollodorus. In a more sceptical vein Diod. 4.38.4 relates that, as soon as a light was set to the pyre, a thunderstorm burst, and that when the friends of the hero came to collect his bones they could find none, and therefore supposed he had been translated to the gods. As to the traditional mode of Herakles's death, compare Alberuni's India, English ed. by E. C. Sachau, ii.168: “Galenus says in his commentary to the apothegms of Hippocrates: ‘It is generally known that Asclepius was raised to the angels in a column of fire, the like of which is also related with regard to Dionysos, Heracles, and others, who laboured for the benefit of mankind. People say that God did thus with them in order to destroy the mortal and earthly part of them by the fire, and afterwards to attract to himself the immortal part of them, and to raise their souls to heaven.’” So Lucian speaks of Herakles becoming a god in the burning pile on Mount Oeta, the human element in him, which he had inherited from his mortal mother, being purged away in the flames, while the divine element ascended pure and spotless to the gods. See Lucian, Hermotimus 7. The notion that fire separates the immortal from the mortal element in man has already met us in Apollod. 1.5.1.

16 On the marriage of Herakles with Hebe, see Hom. Od. 11.602ff.; Hes. Th. 950ff.; Pind. N. 1.69(104)ff.; Pind. N. 10.17(30)ff.; Pind. I. 4.59(100); Eur. Heraclid. 915ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 1349, 1350; Ov. Met. 9.400ff. According to Eur. Heraclid. 854ff.), at the battle which the Athenians fought with the Argives in defence of the Heraclids, two stars were seen shining brightly on the car of Iolaus, and the diviner interpreted them as Herakles and Hebe.

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