Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIX, a post-Mycenaean view of Hēraklēs as a performer of his Labors
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CitationNagy, Gregory. 2015.10.01. "Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIX, a post-Mycenaean view of Hēraklēs as a performer of his Labors." Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries. Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIX, a post-Mycenaean view of Hēraklēs as a performer of his Labors
AbstractFor my brief essay here, TC XIX in Classical Inquiries, I return to an analysis, started at §4 of TC V, 2019.08.22, centering on a myth that tells how the hero Hēraklēs succeeded in clearing the stables of Augeias, king of Elis. These stables had been clogged with vast accumulations of manure produced by the king’s countless cattle. But now the hero single-handedly diverts two local rivers that wash away the manure he shovels out from the stables, and this strenuous work gets to be counted as a Labor of Hēraklēs. The myth lives on as a celebrated curiosity in the classical era and beyond—even during the Renaissance, as we see for example in the illustration that accompanies my introduction here. For me, however, this myth is less of a curiosity and more of a revelation, since it shows clearly a post-Mycenaean as well as a Mycenaean view of Hēraklēs in the act of performing one of his Labors.
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