Herakles und die Schafe der Hesperiden

Silvio Bär


Based on the homonymy of the Greek nounμῆλον, several mythological sources attest to a tradition according to which the golden μῆλαguarded by the Hesperides were in fact not golden apples, but beautiful sheep. This article discusses two literary allusions to this version that have not been fully examined before, Apoll. Rhod. Arg.4.1413 and Anth. Gr.16.91.3. In both cases, the nature of the allusion indicates that the sheep tradition must have been widely known and that it was more than just an intellectual game by rationalizing mythographers.


Heracles; Hesperides; apples; sheep; Diodorus; Apollonios of Rhodes; Argonautica; Greek Anthology; mythography; rationalization

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14601/prometheus-25788

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