Heracles’ third Labour: the Hind of Ceryneia

Drawn for revision of the OCR GCSE Classical Civilisation topic.

Based on the Olympian metope of Heracles subduing the hind: this adds Heracles' lion-skin cloak (because he had to track it for ages and he'd be cold if he was naked, doh), and a little Artemis in the background so we remember she's not pleased about him catching the animal. Heracles is saying 'It's ok, I'm only borrowing', as he grabs the hind's head and antlers and leans on it with his knee. Stickman lineart, black on white. text below: Labour 3: the Ceryneian HInd, greek Myth Comix

Heracles’ third Labour from King Eurystheus sends him off to hunt the Ceryneian Hind. A favourite of Artemis, the deer is very special, apparently being gold from head to hoof, and very large.

It was also so fast, Heracles ended up tracking it for an entire year before he caught it.

Artemis was incensed at his having caught the hind, but Heracles promised to send it back as soon as Eurystheus had seen proof of his catch. Feeling sorry for him, Artemis let him go.

See the comic in more detail:

The comic is based on the metope from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, but has additions in order to help students remember both the metope and the story.

Sketch of the metope (author unknown, from Olympia) as it possibly looked when on the temple (photo taken by me at Museum of Olympia c.2015) – you can see where the knee of Heracles leans on the back of the hind, whose head is raised up as it kneels (?!) on a rock.

A photo of the metope at Olympia, taken by LJB. Only the torso remains of the hund, and a bit of Heracles knee and hands too.
Remaining carved stone metope from the Temple of Zeus at Olympia (photo taken by me at Museum of Olympia c.2015)

This metope guides the eye by putting the Hind and Heracles into an inverted V shape, so that you follow the figures up to their heads to see their expressions. The space is filled effectively in this way – they are the only two characters.

Heracles is shown defeating the Hind using just his brute strength – he has no club, but only uses his hands and knee to hold the animal tight. However, his cleverness is suggested by the story in that he tracks the animal and catches it – it does take him a year to catch it, but only because it’s so fast!

NOTE: Heracles isn’t wearing the lion skin or holding the club – his hands are full! – but his interaction with the Hind is famous enough to clarify him as the portrayed character.

In the illustration, I’ve added the lion skin aove to remind you that he tracked the Hind for a whole year – he’d have been cold! Artemis has also been added in the background of the illustration, to remind you of the part of the story where she tells Heracles off for stealing her favoured creature.

heracles by greekmythcomix - a lineart drawing of him, older, holding his club over his shoulder. He has a figleaf over his member (hello US audience!) and is carrying his lion skin. He's based on most standing statues of Heracles.

Continue learning about the life of Heracles:

Videos on YouTube

Comix on GMC

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