Hesiod’s Shield of Heracles

Hesiod (fl.750–650 BC), translated by Kelk, Christopher (contributor-contact-email)

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The Shield of Heracles is an ancient Greek epic poem traditionally attributed to Hesiod. It narrates a battle between Heracles and Cycnus, Ares’ son, in Thessaly. Some believe the poem criticizes Thessalian actions during the First Sacred War, as it depicts a Thessalian villain defeated by Heracles, a Boeotian hero. The poem includes an introduction borrowed from the Hesiodic Catalogue of Women, prompting ancient critic Aristophanes of Byzantium to question its authenticity. The work has been compared to Virgil’s “Shield of Aeneas” in the Aeneid and a shorter shield description in Thebaid. A commentary was written on it by Marcus Mettius Epaphroditus in the 1st century CE.

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Kelk, Christopher

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