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Encyclopedia > Geryon
Heracles fighting Geryon, amphora by the E Group, ca. 540 BC, Louvre
Heracles fighting Geryon, amphora by the E Group, ca. 540 BC, Louvre

In Greek mythology, Geryon (Geryones, Geyron), son of Chrysaor and Callirhoe, was a fearsome titan who dwelt on the island Erytheia of the mythic Hesperides in the far west of the Mediterranean. A more literal-minded later generation of Greeks associated the region with Tartessos in southern Iberia.[1] Geryon had three heads and three bodies with a total of six arms. Some accounts state that he had six legs as well while others state that the three bodies were joined to one pair of legs. Only a papyrus fragment of Stesichorus' epic poem, Geryoneïs, portrays Geryon with wings.[2]Apart from these weird features, his appearance was that of a warrior. He owned a two-headed hound named Orthrus, which was the brother of Cerberus, and a herd of magnificent red cattle that were guarded by Orthrus, and a herder Eurytion, son of Erytheia,[3]. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2200x1830, 2875 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Geryon Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2200x1830, 2875 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Geryon Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the telling of stories created by the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and their own cult and ritual practices. ... Greek mythology In Greek mythology, Chrysaor (Greek Χρυσάωρ, golden falchion, from χρυσός, gold, and ἄορ, sword, falchion) was a giant, the son of Poseidon and Medusa. ... In Greek mythology, Callirrhoe was a naiad. ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ... The Mediterranean Sea is an intercontinental sea positioned between Europe to the north, Africa to the south and Asia to the east, covering an approximate area of 2. ... Tartessos (also Tartessus) was a harbor city on the south coast of the Iberian peninsula (in modern Andalusia, Spain), at the mouth of the Guadalquivir river. ... Hounds have been used for hunting since ancient times, as suggested by this statue of the goddess Diana hunting. ... Image:Geryon herakles vase. ... Cerberus - Watercolour by William Blake In Greek mythology, Cerberus or Kerberos (Greek Κέρβερος, Kerberos, demon of the pit), was the hound of Hades—a monstrous three-headed dog (sometimes said to have 50 or 100 heads) with a snake for a tail and serpentine mane. ... In Greek mythology, Eurytion referred to three different people. ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ...

Contents

The Tenth Labour of Heracles

In the fullest account in the Bibliotheke of Pseudo-Apollodorus (2.5.10) Heracles was required to travel to Erytheia, in order to obtain the Cattle of Geryon as his tenth labour. On the way there, he crossed the Libyan desert[4] and became so frustrated at the heat that he shot an arrow at Helios, the Sun. Helios "in admiration of his courage" gave Heracles the golden boat he used to sail across the sea from west to east each night. Heracles used it to reach Erytheia, a favorite motif of the vase-painters. Such a magical conveyance undercuts any literal geography for Erytheia, the "red island" of the sunset. The Bibliotheke was renowned as the chief work of Greek historian and scholar. ... Hercules, a Roman bronze (Louvre Museum) For other uses, see Heracles (disambiguation). ... Hercules and the Hydra by Antonio Pollaiuolo The Twelve Labours (Greek: dodekathlos) of Heracles (Latin: Hercules) are a series of archaic episodes connected by a later continuous narrative, concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes. ... Helios in his chariot In Greek mythology the sun was personified as Helios or Helius (Greek Ἥλιος / ἥλιος). Homer often calls him Titan and Hyperion. ... The black-figure pottery technique is a style of ancient Greek pottery painting in which the decoration appears as black silhouettes on a red background. ...


When Heracles reached Erytheia, no sooner had he landed than he was confronted by the two-headed dog, Orthrus. With one huge blow from his olive-wood club, Heracles killed the watchdog. Eurytion the herdsman came to assist Orthrus, but Heracles dealt with him the same way. Image:Geryon herakles vase. ... In Greek mythology, Eurytion referred to three different people. ...


On hearing the commotion, Geryon sprang into action, carrying three shields, three spears, and wearing three helmets. He pursued Heracles at the River Anthemus but fell a victim to an arrow that had been dipped in the venomous blood of the Lernaean Hydra, shot so forcefully by Heracles that it pierced Geryon's forehead, "and Geryon bent his neck over to one side, like a poppy that spoils its delicate shapes, sheddings its petals all at once"[5] With a shrill, despairing groan, Geryon swayed, then fell, nevermore to rise. In some versions, Heracles tore Geryon's bodies into three separate pieces. The 16th-century German illustrator has been influenced by the Beast of Revelation in his depiction of the Hydra. ...


Heracles then had to herd the cattle back to Eurystheus. In Roman versions of the narrative, on the Aventine hill in Italy, Cacus stole some of the cattle as Heracles slept, making the cattle walk backwards so that they left no trail, a repetition of the trick of the young Hermes. According to some versions, Heracles drove his remaining cattle past a cave, where Cacus had hidden the stolen animals, and they began calling out to each other. In others, Caca, Cacus' sister, told Heracles where he was. Heracles then killed Cacus, and according to the Romans, founded an altar where the Forum Boarium, the cattle market, was later held. The Aventine Hill is one of the seven hills that ancient Rome was built on. ... In Greek mythology, Cacus was a fire-breathing giant. ... Hermes bearing the infant Dionysus, by Praxiteles, found at the Heraion, Olympia, 1877 Hermes (IPA: , Greek IPA: ), in Greek mythology, is the Olympian god of boundaries and of the travelers who cross them, of shepherds and cowherds, of orators and wit, of literature and poets, of athletics, of weights and... In Roman mythology, Caca was the sister of the fire-breathing giant Cacus. ... The Forum Boarium was the cattle market of ancient Rome. ...


To annoy Heracles, Hera sent a gadfly to bite the cattle, irritate them and scatter them. The hero was within a year able to retrieve them. Hera then sent a flood which raised the level of a river so much, Heracles could not cross with the cattle. He piled stones into the river to make the water shallower. Heracles then had to kill (or by some accounts, mate with) a monster that was half-woman and half-serpent. When he finally reached the court of Eurystheus, the cattle were sacrificed to Hera. In the Olympian pantheon of classical Greek Mythology, Hera (IPA pronunciation: ; Greek or ) was the wife and older sister of Zeus. ...


Stesichorus' Geryoneïs

The poet Stesichorus wrote a song of Geryon (Geryoneïs) in the sixth century BC, which was apparently the source of this section in Bibliotheke; it contains the first reference to Tartessus. From the fragmentary papyri found at Oxyrhyncus[6] it appears that Stesichorus inserted a character, Menoites, who reported the theft of the cattle to Geryon. Geryon then had an interview with his mother Calirrhoa, who begged him not to confront Heracles. They appear to have expressed some doubt as to whether Geryon would prove to be immortal. The gods met in council, where Athena warned Poseidon that she would protect Heracles against Poseidon's grandson Geryon. Denys Page observes that the increase in representation of the Geryon episode in vase-paintings increased from the mid-sixth century and suggestes that Stesichorus' Geryoneïs provided the impetus. Categories: Possible copyright violations ... Tartessos (also Tartessus) was a harbor city on the south coast of Spain, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir. ... Blank papyrus. ... There are few remains at Oxyrhynchus to be seen above ground: its treasures lie beneath the sands Oxyrhynchus ( Greek: Οξύρυγχος; sharp-nosed; ancient Egyptian Per-Medjed; modern Arabic el-Bahnasa) is an archaeological site in Egypt, considered one of the most important...


The fragments are sufficient to show that the poem was composed in twenty-six line triads, of strophe, antistrophe and epode, repeated in columns along the original scroll, facts that aided Page in placing many of the fragments, sometimes of no more than a word, in their proper positions. Strophe (Greek, to turn) is a term in versification which properly means a turn, as from one foot to another, or from one side of a chorus to the other. ... Antistrophe, the portion of an ode which is sung by the chorus in its returning movement from west to east, in response the strophe, which was sung from east to west. ... Epode, in verse, the third part in an ode, which followed the strophe and the antistrophe, and completed the movement. ... Scroll can have different meanings: A scroll is a roll of parchment, papyrus, or paper which has been drawn or written upon. ...


Asterisms

A Gustave Doré wood engraving of Geryon for The Divine Comedy.
A Gustave Doré wood engraving of Geryon for The Divine Comedy.

When the sun reaches the constellation of Gemini, it meets the constellation of Auriga. Many ancient beliefs associated the daily path of the sun across the sky with the sun god using a fiery chariot, and so, here, the sun's yearly path (its transit) obtains the fiery chariot (Auriga) of the sun's daily path. Later Greek mythology considered the sun to use a cup to traverse the sky. Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (500x633, 85 KB) Gustave Doré illustration of Geryon for The Divine Comedy. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (500x633, 85 KB) Gustave Doré illustration of Geryon for The Divine Comedy. ... Doré photographed by Felix Nadar. ... Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, with the spheres of Heaven above, in Michelinos fresco. ... Gemini (IPA: , Latin: , symbol , ) is one of the constellations of the zodiac known as the twins . It is part of the winter sky, lying between Taurus to the west and the dim Cancer to the east, with Auriga and the near-invisible Lynx to the north and Monoceros and Canis... Auriga (IPA: , Latin: ) is a northern constellation. ...


Also in this region of the sky is a vast space without easily visible stars (now occupied by the modern constellations of Lynx, and by Camelopardalis), which the ancient Greeks described as a desert[citation needed]. A story based on this region of the sky therefore requires a vast desert, the best know of which to the ancient Greeks was that of Libya. However, even though the deserted area is past much of the constellations, in this region of the sky, setting a story in the desert requires someone to travel through it to the main location. Since Auriga is the nearest constellation from the start of the sun's transit to border on the empty space, a solar-chariot (later adjusted into a cup) becomes the method of traversing the desert. Lynx (IPA: ) is a constellation of the northern hemisphere, introduced in the 17th century by Johannes Hevelius. ... Camelopardalis, Latin for giraffe, is the name of a large but faint northern constellation first recorded by Jakob Bartsch in 1624, but probably created earlier by Petrus Plancius. ...


The milky way was so named by the ancient Greeks because it appears to be a smear of milk across the sky. Some, however, were able to discern some individual stars in the sky, and as such, it became to them a vast herd of cattle, whose milk filled the gaps between them. The star Capella, which is part of Auriga, was known to the Greeks as the Shepherd's star (as some groups considered Auriga to be a shepherd driving a chariot, as well as the chariot, whilst keeping a goat slung over its left shoulder). Capella is very close to, but just outside, the Milky Way, and as such, considered a shepherd, appears to be herding it. The term capella can refer to: A cappella, a music term referring to vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment. ...


In Gemini, the constellation Canis Major (the great dog), sits close to the milky way. The head of the constellation faces away from the sun. However, at the other end of the constellation (where the tail should be) sits the star Sirius, considered evil by many ancient mythologies due to its flickering and redness, which was itself considered a dog (the dog star), by association with the constellation. As such, the constellation has two heads, one is the normal head of the constellation, and the other is Sirius on the other side. Canis Major (IPA: , Latin: ) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also in Ptolemys list of 48 constellations. ... For information on Sirius satellite radio, see Sirius Satellite Radio. ...


Nearer to the sun than Canis Major, and also appearing to guard the milky way in this area of the sun's transit as well as Canis Major and Capella, is Orion the giant. Traditionally Orion is considered a single giant, but it also equally possible to differentiate it into three separate whole bodies joined at the belt, as Geryon is described, particularly as the legs appear in quite distinct direction, and alternative drawings (taking into account slightly fainter stars than basic diagrams) of the constellation normally depict three rather than two arms, the third and second sharing the same right shoulder. Orion (IPA: ), a constellation often referred to as The Hunter, is a prominent constellation, perhaps the best-known and most conspicuous in the sky. ...


The sun manages to pass these obstacles, passing through the Milky Way. Auriga appears to be parked in the Milky Way itself, and as such some of the cows of the milky way herd are in it. After the Milky Way, the sun meets Gemini itself. Depictions of Gemini vary as to whether it leans east or west, in the westerly direction it is possible to draw the constellation as two stick man, and Gemini's feet rest in the Milky Way. In the easterly depictions, one of the twins is in the milky way, and the other is outside it, and as such, one twin has stolen some cows, and the other, the one whom the sun's transit crosses, has not. In the myth of Castor and Pollux (the usual names of the twins in Gemini), their deaths are due to an argument over the theft of cattle. A stick figure A stick figure is a very primitive type of drawing, generally of the human form, although stick figures of other types of animals are possible (for example, a stick figure dog). ...


Below Gemini, lies the constellation Hydra (the Greeks not acknowledging the existence of Canis Minor, for which Crater acts as a partial head. Hydra (IPA: ) is the largest of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy. ... Canis Minor (IPA: , Latin: ) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also in Ptolemys list of 48 constellations. ... Crater (Latin for cup) is one of the 88 modern constellations and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. ...


Chthonic associations

Geryon is sometimes identified as a chthonic death-demon, mainly because of the association with the extreme western direction. In Dante's Divine Comedy Geryon has become a winged beast with the tail of a scorpion but the face of an honest man. He dwells at the cliff between the seventh and eighth circles of Hell (the circles of violence and fraud, respectively). For other uses, see Chthon (disambiguation). ... DANTE is also a digital audio network. ... Dante shown holding a copy of The Divine Comedy, next to the entrance to Hell, the seven terraces of Mount Purgatory and the city of Florence, in Michelinos fresco. ... Superfamilies Pseudochactoidea Buthoidea Chaeriloidea Chactoidea Iuroidea Scorpionoidea See classification for families. ... Medieval illustration of Hell in the Hortus deliciarum manuscript of Herrad of Landsberg (about 1180) Hell, according to many religious beliefs, is an afterlife of suffering where the wicked or unrighteous dead are punished. ...


Modern appearances

Geryon appeared in the 1st edition Monster Manual for the Dungeons & Dragons game. In that book, he appeared as the fifth lord of the Nine Hells, possessing a human face and torso, a serpent's tail with stinger, animal paws, and a large horn. Later editions have seen Geryon cast out of his leadership role in favor of Levistus. Current Monster Manual (v3. ... This article is about the role-playing game. ... In the cosmology of the Planescape campaign setting for the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game, Baator, also known as the Nine Hells, is the Outer plane where the souls of people of Lawful Evil alignment are sent after death, suffering whatever torments are determined by their gods and beliefs. ...


Geryon appears in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (DC Comics Modern Age) lurking in a tree of golden apples. Neil Richard Gaiman () (born November 10, 1960, Portchester, Hampshire) is an English author of numerous science fiction and fantasy works, including many graphic novels. ... The Sandman was a comic book series written by Neil Gaiman and published by DC Comics for 75 issues from 1988 until 1996. ...


Geryon appears in the video game Devil May Cry 3 as a boss character. In this adaptation Geryon is represented as a massive demonic Horse pulling a stage coach from which it fires projectiles. Geryon also has the ability to slow time and upon defeating Geryon the player received the Quicksilver fighting style which grants the player that same ability. It is also possible that Geryon is meant to be the body inside the coach. Devil May Cry 3: Dantes Awakening (デビルメイクライ3) is the second sequel to Devil May Cry, starring the cocky hero Dante. ...


Geryon and Herakles are modern gay lovers in Anne Carson's Autobiography of Red, a novel in verse published in 1999. In the novel, which takes place on a volcanic island and later in Argentina and Peru, Herakles is mostly immune to Geryon's attentions and, metaphorically speaking, slays his heart rather than Geryon himself. Anne Carson (born Toronto, Ontario June 21, 1950) is a Canadian poet, essayist, and translator, as well as a professor of classics and comparative literature at McGill University and at the University of Michigan. ... Autobiography of Red (1998) is a verse novel by Anne Carson, based loosely on the myth of Geryon and the Tenth Labor of Herakles, especially on surviving fragments of the lyric poet Stesichorus poem Geryonis. ...


Notes

  1. ^ The early third-century Life of Apollonius of Tyana notes an ancient tumulus at Gades raised over Geryon as for a Hellenic hero: "They say that they saw trees here such as are not found elsewhere upon the earth; and that these were called the trees of Geryon. There were two of them, and they grew upon the mound raised over Geryon: they were a cross between the pitch tree and the pine, and formed a third species; and blood dripped from their bark, just as gold does from the Heliad poplar" (v.5).
  2. ^ Denys Page, "Stesichorus: The Geryoneïs" The Journal of Hellenic Studies 93 (1973, pp. 138-154) p 145. Page notes that among vase-painters, only two mid-sixth century Chalcidian vases portray Geryon as winged.
  3. ^ Erytheia, "sunset goddess" and nymph of the island that has her name, is one of the Hesperides.
  4. ^ Libya was the generic name for North Africa to the Greeks.
  5. ^ Stesichrus, fragment, translated by Denys Page.
  6. ^ Denys Page 1973:138-154 gives the fragmentrary Greek and pieces together a translation by overlaying the fragments with the account in Bibliotheke. Additional details concerning Geryon follow Page's account.
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Geryon

Apollonius of Tyana (13 March 2 – 98?) was a Neo-Pythagorean philosopher and teacher of Greek origin. ... Coordinates 38°28′ N 23°36′ E Country Greece Periphery Central Greece Prefecture Euboea Population 53,584 source (2001) Area 30. ... For the ancient Greek city Hesperides see Benghazi. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, generally divided by the formidable barrier of the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Wikimedia Commons logo by Reid Beels The Wikimedia Commons (also called Commons or Wikicommons) is a repository of free content images, sound and other multimedia files. ...

Further reading

  • M. M. Davies, “Stesichoros' Geryoneis and its folk-tale origins”. Classical quarterly NS 38, 1988, 277-290.
  • Anne Carson, Autobiography of Red. New York: Vintage Books, 1998. A modern retelling of Stesichoros' fragments.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Geryon - LoveToKnow 1911 (335 words)
GERYON (GERYONES, GERYONEUS), in Greek mythology, the son of Chrysaor and Callirrhoe, daughter of Oceanus, and king of the island of Erytheia.
Geryon started in pursuit, but fell a victim to the arrows of Heracles, who, after various adventures, succeeded in getting the cattle safe to Greece, where they were offered in sacrifice to Hera by Eurystheus.
Geryon (from rygpuw, the howler or roarer) is supposed to personify the storm, his father Chrysaor the lightning, his mother Callirrhoe the rain.
Geryon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1465 words)
In Greek mythology, Geryon (Geryones,Geyron), son of Chrysaor and Callirhoe, was a fearsome titan who dwelt on the island Erytheia of the mythic Hesperides in the far west of the Mediterranean.
Geryon is sometimes identified as a chthonic death-demon, mainly because of the association with the extreme western direction.
Geryon appears in Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman (DC Comics Modern Age) lurking in a tree of golden apples.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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