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Home > Coin Collecting Theme Galleries > The Pantheon - Gods, Goddesses and Personifications

Hercules
This medallion of Gordian III represents the third labour of Hercules. This labour was to capture the Hind of Cerynaea, the hind was known as Cerynitis. Eurystheus bestowed this task upon Heracles knowing full well that the animal was the sacred property of Artemis, that meant he would be committing impiety against the goddess. Artemis found a small herd of five while out hunting, she captured four to harness to her chariot, but the fifth escaped to Mount Cerynaea which borders Arcadia and Achaea. The animal was larger than a bull, brazen-hoofed also with huge golden horns or antlers of a stag.
With the hind being swift of foot it took Heracles a whole year to get close to the creature. He tracked the hind through Greece and into Thrace, (in some versions it says the chase took Heracles as far as Istria and the northern lands of the Hyperboreans). Never daunted by the long chase, Heracles was waiting for the hind to tire, this was not to be, and the hind seemed to have plenty of stamina and agility left.
Heracles knew he must disable the creature in some way, then by chance the hind stopped to drink at a river. Taking an arrow and removing the blood of the Hydra from the tip, Heracles took aim and hit the hind in the leg, making it lame, this made catching the creature much easier. Heracles bound the wound and then set off on his long journey home. On the way to the palace of Eurystheus he was met by the goddess Artemis and her twin brother Apollo. On seeing the Ceryneian Hind, the huntress accused Heracles of sacrilege. Heracles pleaded with them, saying it was a necessity to return the sacred hind to the court of king Eurystheus, as he was bound by the labor imposed on him. Artemis granted Heracles forgiveness and he was allowed to carry the hind alive to the palace.
Upon bringing the hind to Eurystheus, he was told that it was to become part of the King's menagerie. Heracles knew that he had to return the hind as he had promised, so he agreed to hand it over on the condition that Eurystheus himself come out and take it from him. The King came out, but the moment Heracles let the hind go, it sprinted back to its mistress, and Heracles left saying that Eurystheus had not been quick enough

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Filename:gord2~1.jpg
Album name:benito / The Pantheon - Gods, Goddesses and Personifications
Rating (2 votes): (Details)
File Size:77 KB
Date added:Dec 07, 2010
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URL:http://www.forumancientcoins.com/gallery/displayimage.php?pos=-62737
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ancientone  [Dec 07, 2010 at 09:43 AM]
Well Done! Awesome coin!
Emperor Mat  [Dec 07, 2010 at 11:44 AM]
Nice, love the reverse
Randygeki(h2)  [Dec 07, 2010 at 07:25 PM]
wow! nice!
Noah  [Dec 26, 2010 at 11:29 PM]
great coin...spectacular reverse!
Charles S  [May 26, 2012 at 06:58 AM]
wonderful medaillon, artistic reverse. Size of medaillon?