Clowning aside, I'm very pleased to have nabbed a coin depicting the eleventh (some sources say twelfth) labor of Herakles (Hercules if you're nasty) the apples of the Hesperides! Gordianus III (238-244 AD). AE34 (21.86 g). Cilicia, Tarsus. Obv. AVT K M ANTΩNIOC ΓOPΔIANOC CEB / Π Π, Radiate, draped and cuirassed bust to right, holding spear and shield decorated with gorgoneion between two serpents. Rev. TAPCOV MHTPOΠOΛEΩ, A / M in left field, K / Γ / B in right field, Herakles standing left holding club in right hand, apples of the Hesperides in left hand, lion skin hanging from left forearm, to left dead serpent in tree. SNG Paris 1669 (same dies). Light green patina. Fine/almost very fine. See Voegtli, Heldenepen, pp. 42-44: this scene appears on the provincial coins of Tarsus and ten other cities. From the François Righetti Collection. (My first coin from the Righetti collection) This is probably my favorite of all Herk's labors as it is the most complex. In a nutshell, or should I say apple seed, the Hesperides apples were a gift from Hera (Herakles namesake and antagonist. The thought process being that Hera made Herakles great through his constant torment by her. Hence his being named after her) to Zeus. So, this labor, Eurystheus knew, Herakles wouldn't be able to complete. Added to this, Herakles had no idea where the apples were In herculean fashion he traveled around being challenged and beating up everyone in his path including Ares son and 2 of Poseidon's sons. (Herakles might have killed Kyknos if Zeus hadn't put a stop to the brawl with a well timed thunderbolt) He was fortunate though to run into Prometheus. Who, as you'll remember, was forced to have his liver eaten by an eagle, only for it to grow back the next day and renew his torture, presumably, for eternity (all this torment just for giving man fire, to Zeus's displeasure) (Wish mine could hold a blanket in place like that) Herakles ended the torture by killing the eagle. In appreciation Prometheus told Herakles the secret of the apples, he would need the help of Atlas. Much like Prometheus, Atlas' burden of holding up the earth and sky was so awful he would do anything to pass the burden onto another. (Gotta love the Greeks understanding of things. As in, they hold up what they are standing under as well as on) Atlas did as he was asked while Herakles held us all on his shoulders. When Atlas came back however he said that he would be the one to take the apples to Eurystheus. Herakles, realizing that he would never see Atlas again if he let him walk away, coyly asked if Atlas would hold the earth and sky for just a moment while he got some padding for his shoulders. Atlas did and Herakles peaced out of there faster than Alcibiades left Sparta after the king found out that he'd gotten the queen pregnant Demonstrating the fluidity of myth, Herakles is sometimes portraid as having gone to the gardens But those versions are not ours to know. Herakles brings the fruit back to Eurystheus only to have to return them to Athena whom made the trip back to the garden. After all, these are apples for gods Other labors on coins: Trajan quadrans, Rome mint, 98 - c. 106 1.791 g, 11.6 mm, die axis 180o obverse IMPCAES TRAIAN AVG GERM,diademed bust of Hercules right, Nemean lion skin tied around his neck; reverse Erymanthian Boar walking right, S C (senatus consulto) in exergue; from the Ray Nouri Collection; RIC II 702, BMCRE III 1062, Cohen II 341, SRCV II 3248, F, dark patina with highlighting earthen fill, a little off center on a tight flan, "Herakles' fourth labor was to capture the giant fear-inspiring Erymanthian Boar that lived on Mount Erymanthos in the primitive highlands of Arcadia. The centaur Chiron advised Herakles to drive the boar into thick snow. Herakles caught the boar and carried it back to Eurystheus, who was frightened, hid and begged Herakles to get rid of the beast. Three days later, Eurystheus, still trembling with fear, sent Herakles to clean the Augean stables.RX95001." And lastly, his first labor; strangling the Nemean lion to DEATH! LUCANIA, Herakleia 433-330 BCE. AR Diobol (1.15 gm). Head of Athena right, wearing Corinthian helmet decorated with hippocamp / Herakles kneeling right, head facing, wrestling with the Nemean lion; EP upper right, club left. Van Keuren 62 (same dies); SNG ANS 33 (same dies). Toned EF, surfaces grainy, exceptional style And a favorite portrait of Herk as I have one more image allowed: Alexander III the Great 336-323 B.C. AE 20 (19.5 mm, 5.74 g). Uncertain mint in Western Asia Minor, ca. 323-310 B.C. Head of Alexander the Great as Hercules right, wearing the lion-skin headdress / ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ, bow in bow-case above and club, the weapons of Hercules; torch in field below. So please, share any and all your Herakles labors, all your favorite Herakles portraits, stories and mythology or anything that makes you happy and adds to the thread!