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Headword: Ἡρακλῆς
Adler number: eta,475
Translated headword: Herakles, Heracles, Hercules
Vetting Status: high
Alcmene's son. They give an account of him as a philosopher and they depict him wearing the skin of a lion, carrying a cudgel, and possessing three apples;[1] which are the three apples the mythology says he took when he conquered the multifaceted argument of his base appetite with his cudgel of philosophy, having his spirit as a covering, like the skin of the lion. And thus having killed the dragon of his appetite with his club, he took the three apples, which are the three virtues: not to be angry, not to love money, not to be wanton. For through the cudgel of his enduring soul and the skin of most courageous and sound-minded argument, he conquered the offspring of his base appetite and was a philosopher until death.
Greek Original:
Ἡρακλῆς, Ἀλκμήνης υἱός. τοῦτον φιλόσοφον ἱστοροῦσι καὶ γράφουσι δορὰν λέοντος φοροῦντα καὶ ῥόπαλον φέροντα καὶ τρία μῆλα κρατοῦντα: ἅπερ τρία μῆλα νικήσαντα τὸν πολυποίκιλον τῆς πονηρᾶς ἐπιθυμίας λογισμὸν διὰ τοῦ ῥοπάλου τῆς φιλοσοφίας ἀφελέσθαι ἐμυθολόγησαν, ἔχοντα περιβόλαιον φρόνημα, ὡς δορὰν λέοντος. καὶ οὕτως φονεύσας τῷ ῥοπάλῳ τὸν δράκοντα τῆς ἐπιθυμίας ἀφείλετο τὰ τρία μῆλα, ὅ ἐστι τὰς τρεῖς ἀρετάς: τὸ μὴ ὀργίζεσθαι, τὸ μὴ φιλαργυρεῖν καὶ τὸ μὴ φιληδονεῖν. διὰ γὰρ τοῦ ῥοπάλου τῆς καρτερικῆς ψυχῆς καὶ τῆς δορᾶς τοῦ θρασυτάτου καὶ σώφρονος λογισμοῦ ἐνίκησε τὸν υἱὸν τῆς φαύλης ἐπιθυμίας, φιλοσοφήσας ἄχρι θανάτου.
John of Antioch fr.6.6 FHG (4.453), now 6.2 Roberto. The substance of this allegorical interpretation is attributed to Herodoros (FGrH 31 F14), probably early 4th century BCE, who along with Prodicus and Antisthenes is one of the earliest authors to depict Herakles as a philosophical exemplum virtutis.
See also eta 454, eta 458, eta 464, eta 467, eta 474, eta 476, eta 477.
[1] Herakles' eleventh Labor was to get the Apples of the Hesperides, whose tree was guarded by a dragon.
Keywords: art history; clothing; definition; ethics; historiography; imagery; mythology; philosophy; women; zoology
Translated by: Jennifer Benedict on 19 November 2000@00:44:41.
Vetted by:
Elizabeth Vandiver (Modified translation; added note and cross-reference; raised status.) on 19 November 2000@12:05:06.
Elizabeth Vandiver (Modified translation.) on 19 November 2000@12:10:01.
David Whitehead (added note and keyword) on 23 February 2003@11:41:38.
Abram Ring (added ref to Herodoros) on 29 July 2009@11:20:56.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; more keywords; cosmetics) on 19 December 2012@04:35:32.
Catharine Roth (cosmeticule) on 23 December 2012@00:56:19.
David Whitehead on 29 January 2015@09:08:13.


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