Drawn for revision of the OCR GCSE Classical Civilisation topic.
Heracles‘ eighth Labour from King Eurystheus was to defeat King Diomedes, of the Bistones of Thrace, by stealing his horses – he fed them on the dismembered limbs of his defeated enemies… and random strangers (bad Xenia).
Heracles went with his friend Abderos to steal the mares. They subdued the stablemen ands began to escape with the horses, which had been maddened by their meals of human flesh.
King Diomedes discovered the mares were missing and sent forces to overcome Heracles. He battled them while Abderos looked after the mares, but they overcame him and ate him. In revenge, Heracles fed the defeated Diomedes to his own horses.
Heracles took the horses, now calmed, back to Tiryns to show Eurystheus. Then he let them wander away to roam around Argos and the plains.
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.
This metope is filled by the two figures, crossing over to show their struggle against eachother, like Heracles and the Cretan Bull, even though Heracles has already tethered the Mare and isn’t in the same physically straining state as when fighting the bull – Heracles is in a pose of making the horse submit. He has won this battle.
NOTE: AGAIN Heracles isn’t wearing the lion skin but he IS holding the club to help identify him… and for once he might actually have used it in the myth!, fighting Diomedes
In the illustration, Heracles is dressed in a tunic, like in the metope. I’ve added Abderos behind him, to remind us of that part of the myth where sadly he is eaten before Heracles can complete the quest. He’s asking not to be left alone with the mares (*sob*), and I’ve added a pile of bones in the bottom right corner and blood smears all over the horse to remind us it’s meant to be carnivorous… and to remind us what happens to Abderos, and then Diomedes, the stranger-killing villain.