Be Curious 2019

Hercules' Twelve Labours Today

On Saturday 30th March 2019 The Hercules Project delivered Hercules' Twelve Labours Today at the University of Leeds' open research event, the Be Curious festival, which in 2019 adopted the theme 'Brave New World'. In ancient myth, Hercules made people safe from monsters. Recently he has been re-imaged as a coloniser and a political leader. At Hercules' Twelve Labours Today participants decided whether and how Hercules could improve the world by referring to those images and drawing a new Labour on a postcard. To support artistic choices there will be a number of images on display and available as research resources (both in print and online, e.g. the Hercules Project Pinterest pages). These images will include ancient depictions, Disney's interpretation of the labours, the series by Marian Maguire, which reimagines Hercules as a coloniser of New Zealand (also available through the Royal Museums: Greenwich online gallery), the art honouring Vladimir Putin's 62nd birthday in 2014 and political and other cartoons. All images which will be on display (where copyright permits) are shown below. Postcards of Today's labours, which may relate to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, will be displayed on this website. These images are clickable (the target is the link text displayed) and will then show in a full version (i.e. a thumbnail of part of an image will produce a whole image).

Participants particularly enjoyed seeing Greek art and the political uses to which Hercules' had been put. The postcard-labours produced ranged from the political to the social to the environmental, from the symbolic to the achievable.
The postcards produced, with a reflection
This Roman mosaic of the C3rd CE comes from Liria (Valencia) and is now in the Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid. The Twelve Labours appear in panels surrounding the central image of Hercules and Omphale. Photo: © Manuel MV 2014, released under Creative Commons Licence, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.
Larger (uncropped) image
The Twelve Labours of Hercules were used for the metopes of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Greece. The temple was built 472-456 BCE by the Elian architect Libon, the sculptor(s) unknown. This colour reconstruction follows a more pastel scheme than that of Curtis and Adler, which uses only primary colours.
Michael Lahanas' website with original sculptures and colour reconstruction
This image is of an oil-based woodblock print on paper, ‘The 12 Labors of Hercules’, by Michael Spafford, 2001, available through Davidson Galleries. It is based on Michael Spafford's 1981 murals for the House of the Washington State Legislature. The murals are now in the Corbett lecture theatre of Centralia College, Olympia.
4 minute documentary of the murals' history
This composite image shows references to the 12 Labours in the 1997 Disney film, Hercules. Some only get a passing reference rather than an on-screen appearance, but those that don't appear in the film do appear in the TV series Disney's Hercules: The Animated Series (1998). The composite image was put together from screenshots by Tumblr user disney-hiddensecrets.
Larger image
These beautifully-detailed images by an unknown artist use a black and terracotta palette reminiscent of Greek vases. They are free to download for personal use from kisspng.com.
Link to the free download
Athena, as patron goddess, looks on while Hercules wrestles the Nemean Lion and Iolaus vacates the area. Attic black-figure amphora near Exekias, 540-530 BCE. Harvard Art Museums: Arthur M. Sackler Museum, inv. 1960.312. Bequest of David M. Robinson. Photo: (c) President and Fellows of Harvard College.
Museum collection page with full description and other views of the amphora
Athena and Iolaus look on as Hercules wrestles the Nemean Lion. Attic black-figure amphora near Exekias, 540-530 BCE. Portland Art Museum, inv. 32.829. Gift of Mary Forbush Failing and Henry Failing Cabell in memory of Henry Failing. Photo released into the public domain by the museum.
Museum collection page with full description and other views of the amphora
Here, as Hercules wrestles the Nemean Lion, Iolaus seems agitated and Athena about to intervene. Attic black-figure amphora attributed to the Boulogne Painter, 550-500 BCE, Rome, Villa Giulia, Museo Nazionale Etrusco. Photo: © Egisto Sani 2015 released under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Creative Commons licence: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
Larger image
Here the artist responds to the space available on the neck of the hydria (water jar) by focusing in on the action, leaving out supporting the characters. Attic red-figure hydria attributed to Kleophrades, 525-465 BCE, Rome, Villa Giulia, Museo Nazionale Etrusco. Photo: © Egisto Sani 2015, released under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/
Larger image
Individual images in this composite are taken from disneyscreencaps.com. Hercules' conquest of the Nemean Lion is commemorated in the film as an illustration, similar to those of the 'near Exekias' vases above, on a black-figure squat Nikosthenic (victory) amphora (see https://animationscreencaps.com/hercules-1997/).
Larger image
To mark Vladimir Putin’s 62nd birthday in 2014, he was attributed with performing modern Herculean Labours by admirers among Russian artists. These artists replaced mythical monsters with modern monstrosities. Here Putin wrestles with terrorism in the form of a terrorist with a rifle and suicide belt. The terrorist also has a lion insignia. Photo (c) Vasiliy Maximov 2014.
Larger image
Iolaus uses a billhook, which he has heated in the fire over which he leaps, to assist Hercules in defeating the Lernean hydra. Caaretan (Etruscan) black-figure hydria (water jar) attributed to the Eagle Painter, 520-510 BCE. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, 83.AE.346. Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content programme.
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Hercules (left, wearing his Nemean Lion skin), supported by Athena, attacks the Lernaean hydra with the help of Iolaus (left). Attic black-figure hydria, National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Photo by Carole Raddato 2014, released under Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)
Larger image
Hercules (left) and Iolaus (right) battle the Lernean hydra. Attic white-ground lekythos attributed to the Diosphos Painter, 500-480 BCE, Louvre, CA598. Photo by Bibi Saint-Pol 2007, released into the public domain through Wikimedia Commons.
Montage of images of the vase as a single frieze
Hercules (left) and Iolaus (right) attack the Lerneana hydra. Attic red-figure stamnos attributed to the Syleus Painter, 550-500 BCE, Regional Archaeological Museum of Antonio Salinas, Palermo, V763. Photo (c) Floribundus 2011.
A wider view of the illustration at theoi.com
Hercules (without his identifying Nemean Lion skin) is named and supported by Athena as he attacks the Lernean hydra. Corinthian black-figure aryballos (perfume flask), 600-575 BCE, The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, 92.AE.4. Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program.
Museum collection page with full description and other views
This graffito of Hercules and the Lernean hydra, which he fights alone, appeared in Athens in 2013. Photo (c) Aristotle Koskinas 2013.
The original blog post with the photo
Disney's depiction of the Lernean hydra uses conventional animation and CGI. Again, Hercules fights the Lernean hydra alone and as he strikes of its heads (it starts with three) they not only regenerate but multiply. Images (c) Disney 1997.
Larger image
In this 62nd birthday labour Putin grapples with the multi-headed hydra of Western sanctions. After the accusation that Russia was supplying separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine with heavy weapons and soldiers, sanctions were imposed by four nations despite Russia denying the accusation. Japan is breathing a flame reading 'sanctions' onto Putin and the severed head of the USA lies by Putin’s feet as he battles the remaining heads: (from left to right) Japan, the EU, and Canada. Photo (c) Vasiliy Maximov 2014.
Larger image
Hercules, supported by Athena (left) breaks the antlers from a Ceryneian stag belonging to Artemis (right). Attic black-figure neck amphora, c. 540-530 BCE, British Museum, Former Canino Collection, 1843.11-3.80. Photo: © Jastrow (2006) released through Wikimedia Commons
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Hercules, who has abandoned his club, wrestles with a Ceryneian stag. The figure to the right is an unnamed male. Attic red-figure kylix (drinking cup), C5th BCE, Louvre. Photo (c) Thgiliwt.
Clearer image of the whole side of the cup at PBS images
Herculean leadership isn’t all about military prowess, here Putin is celebrated as the hero of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Photo (c) @EvgenyFeldman 2014.
Evegeny Feldman's original Twitter post
Hercules delivers the Erymanthian Boar to Eurystheus, who is hiding in a pithos (storage jar) half-buried in the ground. Attic black-figure neck-amphora attributed to the Group of Toronto 305, last quarter of C6th BCE, Rogers Fund, 1906, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 06.1021.88. Photo released into the public domain by The Met.
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Hercules delivers the Erymanthian Boar to Eurystheus, who is hiding in a pithos (storage jar) half-buried in the ground. Attic black-figure neck-amphora by the Leagros Group, c.510 BCE, Getty Villa 86.AE.83. Photo: (c) Marshall Astor 2007, released under an Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/deed.en
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Hercules delivers the Erymanthian Boar to Eurystheus, who is hiding in a pithos (storage jar) half-buried in the ground. Attic black-figure amphora by the Antimenes Painter, c.525BCE, Louvre, F202. Photo (c) Bibi Saint-Pol 2007, released into the public domain through Wikimedia Commons.
Larger image
Hercules captures the Erymanthian Boar as Athena looks on (or possibly offers advice). Attic black-figure oenochoe (wine jug) by the Lysippides Painter, 520-500 BCE, British Museum, 1836,0224.93. Photo: (c) The Trustees of the British Museum, made available for online use through a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Like all of the monsters in the Disney film, the Erymanthian Boar is larger than Hercules, ao lifting it shows Hercules' prodigious strength. Like his efforts against the Nemean Lion, Hercules' conquest of the Erymanthian Boar is commemorated on pottery, this time on a kantharos (a type of wine cup). The fate of the Erymanthian Boar in Greek and Roman myth is not known, but in Disney's Hercules it clearly becomes the central dish at a banquet. Images (c) Disney 1997.
Larger image
When Putin came to power in 2000 he vowed to destroy Russia’s oligarchs as a ‘class’. His first step in destroying the not-so-mythical ‘oligarch beasts’ is to put them in chains. In 2003 Putin had Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the head of the oil group Yukos and one of the world’s richest men, arrested and thrown in jail on charges of fraud and tax evasion. Photo (c) Grani, grani.ru, 2014.
Grani's original Twitter post
Hercules fills a bucket with water and takes up his hay-fork in preparation for the task ahead. Roman mosaic, C3rd CE, from Liria (Valencia), Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid. Photo: © Manuel MV 2014, released under an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons Licence, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/.
Larger image
Hercules, having laid aside his club, takes up a pick axe in preparation for the task ahead. Roman relief sculpture, from the Villa Chiragan series of Hercules’ Labours, end C3rd CE, now in the Musée Saint-Raymond, Toulouse. Photo: © Caroline Léna Becker, 2012, released into the public domain through Wikimedia Commons
An illustrated blog post on the full series of reliefs
The Augean Stables Labour is mentioned in the Disney film as part of an ever-growing to-do list. Augeas, as in many versions of the myth, invites Hercules to help him clean out his stables. Those who are aware that those stables need clearing of large amounts of animal dung (in myth, Augeas' 'stables' are actually buildings for livestock rather than horses and house large numbers of cattle) can appreciate the instruction not to wear the new sandals!
Larger image
Rather than cleaning the stables in this painting, Putin is engaged with the task of entering the stables themselves. To do this he needs to fight off the horses of corruption (signified by the money beneath their hooves). This artist and the one depicting the labour of the Erymanthian Boar are bothe recognising Putin's fight against the oligarchs as a 'class'.
Grani's original Twitter post
The Modern Hercules, Cleansing the Augean Stable by Thomas Rowlandson, 23rd April 1805 On 8th April 1805 Samuel Whitbread called the House of Commons’ attention to the tenth report of the commission of inquiry into naval financial irregularity and fraud. This was on the office of Treasurer of the Navy and had been presented to the house on 13th February 1805 (Parl. Debates iii. 1147–1212). Image released into the public domain by The Met. Melville had been examined by the commission on 5th November 1804, and the report gave rise to considerable suspicions against him, showing that while he was in office large sums of public money had been applied to other uses than those of the navy. Whitbread moved a series of resolutions setting out the case against Melville (Parl. Debates iv. 255–9) and Wilberforce supported Whitbread's motion. The 432 members of the house were evenly divided; the Speaker (Abbot), after some hesitation, gave his vote in favour. Melville immediately resigned the office of First Lord of the Admiralty and on 25th April Whitbread moved that the tenth report should be remitted to a select committee, which was appointed on the following day and lead to Melville’s prosecution.
Museum collection page with full description
Caricatures by HH No. 15, rather than showing Hercules with his tools at the ready to tackle the problems of the Augean Stables, depicts the effect on the stables of Hercules' tactic of diverting the river through them to wash them clean. Here Members of Parliament (including Robert Peel) are swept away into the Thames on a wave of 'Public Determination'. The cartoon commemorates the passing of 'The Representation of the People Act' of 1832, known as 'the first Reform Act' or 'the Great Reform Act'; it tackled some aspects of political/parliamentary reform. It: disenfranchised 56 boroughs in England and Wales and reduced another 31 to only one MP; created 67 new constituencies; in the counties, broadened the property qualification needed to vote to include small landowners, tenant farmers, and shopkeepers; created a uniform franchise in the boroughs, giving the vote to all householders who paid a yearly rental of £10 or more and some lodgers.
Larger image
'The European Augean stables' published in Glühlichter. Humoristisch-satirisches Arbeiterblatt, Vienna, on 3rd January 1893, picks up on transnational aspects in the alleged fight of German and Austrian antisemites against Capitalism. It puts Karl Lueger, Christian-social Party founder and Mayor of Vienna (right with beard), together with the anti-capitalistic German Antisemite Hermann Ahlwardt. The cartoon’s Personification of Austria cautions them that they won’t be able to clean up this stable of capitalism. The point is that only the Herculean task of the proletariat, undertaken with the shovel of socialism can succeed.
This cartoon in the context of a fuller academic discussion by Ulrich Wyrwa
Cartoon in The Economist by Peter Schrank to illustrate the article ‘Economic data in Argentina: An Augean stable - The [Argentinian] government is rebuilding its discredited statistics institute’, 13th February 2016.
The Economist article
The Greek financial crisis (2007-2008) was followed by the Greek government debt crisis (2009-2010), the repercussions of which are still on-going. The Augean stables was seen as a metaphor for the Herculean task of sorting things out.
Larger image
This is a delightfully amusing idea, but further research is needed to pin down its meaning - if anyone can help, please get in touch!
Original artwork on the Washington Times' website
Hercules, with slingshot (rather than bow and arrow) takes on the Stymphalian Birds. Attic black-figure amphora, Group E, C6th BCE, British Museum, 1843,1103.40. Photo: (c) The Trustees of the British Museum, made available for online use through a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Museum collection page with full description and other views
In the Disney film Hercules, mounted on Pegasus, fights the Stymphalian Birds. In Greek myth the hero Bellerophon rides Pegasus while fighting against the Harpies, which have wings and can fly. Image (c) Disney 1997.
Larger image
Putin is here depicted stopping Western intervention in Syria. Not only did Putin speak out for his friend, the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warning the U.S. and allies not to launch air strikes without the dictator’s consent but Russia vetoed air strikes at a UN Security Council vote in 2012. Image (c) Vasily Maximov 2014.
Larger image
Hercules drives the Cretan bull before him (possibly to sacrifice). Attic bilingual amphora, with the black-figure scene (left) by the Lysipides Painter and the red-figure scene (below) by the Andocides Painter (right), c.525-520 BCE. Henry Lillie Pierce Fund, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, 99.538. Image released into the public domain by MfA.
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Hercules drives the Cretan bull before him (possibly to sacrifice). Attic bilingual amphora, with the red-figure scene (left) by the Andocides Painter and the black-figure scene (below) by the Lysipides Painter (above), c.525-520 BCE. Henry Lillie Pierce Fund, Museum of Fine Art, Boston, 99.538. Image released into the public domain by MfA.
Museum collection page with full description and other views
The hero wrestling with the Cretan Bull is either Hercules or Theseus (his discarded garments are fabric and do not include a lion-skin or club, making it possibly Theseus). Attic black-figure oinoechoe, 500-480 BCE, attributed to the Manner of the Haimon Painter. British Museum, 1864,1007.239. Photo: (c) The Trustees of the British Museum, made available for online use through a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Museum collection page with full description and other views
The hero wrestling with the Cretan Bull is either Hercules or Theseus (his discarded garments are fabric and do not include a lion-skin or club, making it possibly Theseus). Attic black-figure lekythos (oil flask), 480-470 BCE, Louvre F455. Photo (c) Jastrow 2016, released into the public domain through Wikimedia Commons.
Larger image
Hercules, who has discarded his bow and quiver and his club, wrestles with the Cretan Bull. Attic black-figure hydria, c.500 BCE, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg ГР-12845. Photo © The State Hermitage Museum
Museum collection page
The Cretan Bull is possibly included among a group of monsters which Disney's Hercules fights, although its depiction perhaps seems to owe more to the minotaur; even though its hind legs and head are those of a bull, it has human arms and hands. Image (c) Disney 1997.
Larger image
Putin rides a fearsome Crimean ox, referring to the peninsula’s breakaway from Ukraine and annexation by Russia in March 2014. Photo (c) Vasily Maximov 2014.
Larger image
Hercules leads away one of the mares of Diomedes. Attic black-figure kylix (drinking cup) interior, 520s BCE, The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, ГР-28190. Photo (c) The State Hermitage Museum.
Museum collection page
2:1
Hercules engages with all four of Diomede's mares in a scene that has them as fire-breathing (rather than just carnivorous). Roman mosaic, 170-180 CE, Villa des Mingauds, Saint-Paul-Les-Romans, Musée de Valance 980.1.1. Photo ©Paul Veysseyre.
The horses of Diomedes serve as a metaphor the French Mistral Warships acquired by Putin. The Mistral contract was a deal for delivery of warships from France to Russia worth 1.2bn euros. France suspended delivery of the first of the two ships because of Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine.
Larger image
The Amazon Queen gives her Belt to Hercules, who leans peacefully on his club. Red-figure krater (wine-mixing bowl) by the Berlin Painter, Manchester Museum. Photo © Manchester Museum.
Interview with Emma Stafford on the vase for Thematic Collecting
Hercules chases down the Amazon Queen, reaching towards her Belt. Attic black-figure lekythos (oil flask), 525-475 BCE, The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, Maryland. Photo released into the public domain by The Walters Art Museum as part of a Wikimedia cooperation project under an Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) Creative Commons licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)
Museum collection page with full description
Hercules accepts the surrender of the Amazon Queen. Attic black-figure neck amphora attributed to the Medea Group, c.520 BCE, Metropolitan Museum of Art 61.11.16. Photo (c) Marie-Lan Nguyen (2011) released under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/deed.en)
Larger image
Like the Labour of the Augean Stables, the Labour of the Belt of the Amazon Queen is reduced to a mention in Hercules' to-do list in the Disney film. The existence of too many variant versions, according to which Hercules can fight the Amazon Queen and take the Belt, seduce her and take the Belt, or have her fall in love with him and give him the Belt.
Larger image
This labour received a full treatment in Hercules: The Animated Series in Season 1, Episode 15, which first aired on 18th September 1998. In an amusing modern misunderstanding, demonstrating the influence of 'false friends' in translation, the 'girdle' (i.e. 'belt') of the Amazon Queen becomes an item of supportive underwear, although it looks more like a corset than the girdle most recognisable from the 1920s-1950s.
The Episode entry on the Disney wiki
The gas pipeline that runs from Russia through the Ukraine feeds most of Europe with a supply of gas upon which many countries rely, making it one of Russia’s most powerful diplomatic pressure tools. Here Putin is depicted commencing the building of the South Stream Pipeline, which would transport gas through the Black Sea, avoiding the traditional route through Ukraine. Construction of the Russian onshore facilities for the pipeline started in December 2012, but the project was cancelled by Russia in December 2014, following obstacles from Bulgaria and the EU, the 2014 Crimean crisis, and the imposition of European sanctions on Russia.
Evgeny Feldman's original Twitter post
Hercules travelled to Spain in order to capture the Cattle of Geryon, which he then had to herd back to Greece, leading to shrines of Hercules along transhumance routes and an adoption of Hercules as a god of herds. Chalcidian black-figure amphora, c.540 BCE, by the Inscription Painter, Louvre, De Ridder n.202. Photo © Bibi Saint-Pol, 2007, released into the public domain through Wikimedia Commons.
Link to detail and composite drawing at theoi.com
In May 2014 Russia and China signed a landmark 30-year gas deal worth around $400bn. Here Putin is credited with the trade victory, metaphorically bringing home the cattle (rather than the bacon!). Photo courtesy BBC.
BBC illustrated news item on the exhibition
Hercules arrives at the Garden of the Hesperides on the North African Coast, where Atlas can be seen holding up the heavens and the golden apples are guarded by a serpent/dragon (Ladon). Attic red-figure bell krater (wine-mixing vessel) attributed to the Nikias Painter, c.410-400 BCE. Sold at Christie’s, London; Sale 12239, 6th July 2016. Photo © Christie’s 2016.
Christie's auction lot record for the vase
Atlas brings the golden apples to Hercules, who is standing in for him holding up the heavens (note the stars painted on the surface Hercules supports) the Attic Black-figure Lekythos, c.480 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Thessaloniki. Photo © Michel Lara, 2017
Michel Lara's original Twitter post with images
Hercules relaxes as the Hesperides set about getting the golden apples from the serpent-guarded tree for him. Occupying the front, Heracles in the garden of the Hesperides. Chrysothemis, raising an edge of drapery from her side with her left hand, advances to pluck an apple with her right and Lipara moves towards the tree, with an apple in her left hand, turning in three-quarter face to right, raising the drapery on her shoulder and looking at the seated Hercules. Attic red-figure hydria, 420-400 BCE, by the Meidias Painter (name vase), British Museum, 1772,0320.30. Photo © Trustees of the British Museum, made available for online use through a Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/
Museum collection page with full description and other views
Here Putin bears the world, rather than the heavens, on his shoulders and is credited with bringing peace through the Minsk Protocol; the first agreement to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine. It was signed on 5th September 2014 but started to collapse within days, with minor violations by both sides in the conflict. A follow-up Protocol (Minsk II) was signed on 19th September 2014, although that too was violated by minor skirmishes and escalating military activity. By January 2015, the Minsk Protocol had completely collapsed, with DPR forces capturing Donetsk International Airport after heavy fighting on 21st January 2015. Consequently, 16-hour talks went on through the night between between Vladimir Putin, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to agree further terms for a cease-fire in the form of the Minsk Agreement (signed on 12th February 2015). Photo (c) Katja Kuznetsova.
Original Twitter post by Katja Kuznetsova.
Hercules has entered the Underworld and is shown here gaining Cerberus' trust (according to the mythographers, Cerberus likes honey cakes, but no one records whether Hercules took any with him). Attic bilingual amphora, 530-520 BCE, by the Andocides Painter (side A), Louvre F204. Photo © Bibi Saint-Pol, 2007, released into the public domain through Wikimedia Commons.
Larger image
Having befriended Cerberus, Hercules needs to lead him from the Underworld. Hermes accompanies the pair and Cerberus appears reluctant but is not fighting too hard to stay. Attic red-figure kylix tondo, c. 525-20 BCE by Paseas (formerly known as the Painter of the Cerberus Plate, name vase), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, inv. Boston 01.8025.
Museum collection page with full description (b&w image)
Hercules, club in hand, needs to restrain Cerberus as he delivers him to Eurystheus, who has retreated to his pithos (storage jar) for protection. Corinthian black-figure hydria, c.525 BCE by the Eagle Painter, Louvre, Louvre E701. Photo: © Bibi Saint-Pol, 2007, released through Wikimedia Commons.
Larger image
Disney's Cerberus is clearly the least docile of these depictions and is a giant Hellhound. He is seen in the TV series as a rambunctious puppy, but his loyalty to Hades means that he is among the opposition in the Disney computer games, despite no longer being an enemy of Hercules by the end of the film.
Disney Fandom entry for Cerberus' appearances throughout the franchise
Putin is depicted doing battle with his international enemies. He is shown bringing the USA and NATO to heel, ending the uni-polar balance of World Power, with Cerberus representing a Eurasian Union created by Putin. At the time, with a domestic approval rating exceeding 80%, Putin enjoyed the kind of popularity of which Western politicians could only dream. Photo (c) Alec Luhn.
Original Twitter post by Alec Luhn
‘The Twelve Emotional Labors of Hercules’ by Dan Abromowitz and Eli Dreyfus for The New Yorker, 6th April 2018. These consist of 1) Keeping a conversation going with Narcissus; 2) Patiently educating people in his life about his big club; 3) Organizing a welcome-home party for Odysseus when no one else could be bothered; 4) Supporting the heavens while Atlas works on his perpetually unfinished sci-fi novella; 5) Cheering up Medusa after her latest relationship crumbles; 6) Effusively complimenting the Belt of Hippolyta; 7) Convincing Orpheus he loved the lyre Orpheus gave him, even though Hercules’s thing is obviously wrestling; 8) Pretending not to notice the Hydra’s hundred heads eying his physique; 9) Giving the Sirens the feedback they asked for on their songs, even though they always get super defensive; 10) Apologizing for hurling a gigantic rampaging boar into the sun, despite having every right to do that; 11) Tidying up the Underworld; 12) Climbing Mount Olympus when it would have been way easier for Zeus to come to him.
Original The New Yorker Daily Shout post
The Irish Times took some key moments from Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s career – ‘some arguably impressive, others not so much’ – and asked the illustrator Matthew Griffin to interpret them; this is the result. 1) A rise without trace, 2002; 2) The battling of the Bruton, 2010; 3) The vanquishing of the old enemy, 2011; 4) The wooing of the Euroqueen, 2011; 5) The mastery of U-turning, 2011; 6) Addressing the citizenry, 2011; 7) The treasures of the troika, 2011; 8) The utterance of emptiness, 2011-2014; 9) Completion of the ring, 2012-2014; 10) Defiance of the gods, 2011-13; 11) The war on the Senate, 2013; 12) The harnessing of the waters, 2014
Original Irish Times post
Sarika Chana posed 12 Labours for Hercules to undertake today to improve the world: ‘Twelve Modern Labours of Hercules’ May 2015. These are: 1) End terrorism; 2) Clean drinking water worldwide; 3) Abolish the death penalty in the USA; 4) Abolish “kill shelters” (limited admission shelters) for stray/unwanted animals; 5) Decrease the number of people living in poverty around the world; 6) Reduce university fees; 7) Raise the minimum wage; 8) Legalise same-sex marriage; 9) Convince all world leaders to destroy their nuclear weapons; 10) Abolish war; 11) Gain acceptance for Pro-Choice; 12) Find a cure for all diseases deemed incurable.
Link to Sarika Chana's original prezi
The UN's Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future by 2030 by addressing the global challenges we face without leaving anyone behind. In brief they are: 1) No Poverty; 2) Zero Hunger; 3) Good Health and Well-being; 4) Quality Education; 5) Gender Equality; 6) Clean Water and Sanitation; 7) Affordable Clean Energy; 8) Decent Work and Economic Growth; 9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure; 10) Reduced Inequalities; 11) Sustainable Cities and Communities; 12) Responsible Consumption and Production; 13) Climate Action; 14) Life Below Water; 15) Life on Land; 16) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions; 17) Partnerships for the Goals. Some ideas for how Hercules could contribute will be identified at the event and contributions from participants are welcomed and will appear here during and after the event.
The UN's 17 sustainability goals