Fandom

A

The Fourth Labor: Capture of the Erymanthian Boar

1,736pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share
3f77f827a6839ac868f5d6e1592dfe56

For Herakles' fourth labor, he was charged to capture the Erymanthian Boar, an enormous boar that had been a giant fear-inspiring creature of the wilds that lived on Mount Erymanthos. The Erymanthian Boar that attacked the farmlands of Psophis.

Hercules' fourth labour—by some counts, for there is no single definitive telling—was to capture the Ermanthian Boar. On the way there, Hercules visited Pholos ("caveman"), a kind and hospitable centaur and old friend. Hercules ate with him in his cavern—though the centaur devoured his meat raw—and asked for wine. Pholus had only one jar of wine, a gift from Dionysus to all the centaurs on Mt. Erymanthos. Heracles convinced him to open it, and the smell attracted the other centaurs. They did not understand that wine needs to be tempered with water, became drunk, and attacked. Heracles shot at them with his poisonous arrows, and the centaurs retreated all the way to Chiron's cave.

Pholus was curious why the arrows caused so much death, and picked one up but dropped it, and the arrow stabbed his foot, poisoning him. One version states that a stray arrow hit Chiron as well, but Chiron was immortal, although he still felt the pain. Chiron's pain was so great, he volunteered to give up his immortality, and take the place of Prometheus, who had been chained in to the top of a mountain to have his liver eaten daily by an eagle, although he was an immortal Titan. Prometheus' torturer, the eagle, continued its torture on Chiron, so Heracles shot it dead with an arrow. It is generally accepted that the tale was meant to show Heracles as being the recipient of Chiron's surrendered immortality. However, this tale contradicts the fact that Chiron later taught Achilles. The tale of the Centaurs sometimes appears in other parts of the twelve labours, as does the freeing of Prometheus.

Herakles had visited Khiron to gain advice on how to catch the boar, and Khiron had told him to drive it into thick snow, which sets this Labour in mid-winter. Having successfully caught the Boar, Herakles bound it and carried it back to Eurystheus, who was frightened of it and ducked down in his half-buried storage pithos, begging Herakles to get rid of the beast, a favorite subject for the vase-painters. Herakles obliged. Roger Lancelyn Green states in his Tales of the Greek Heroes that Herakles threw it in the sea. It then swam to Italy, where its tusks were preserved in the Temple of Apollo at Cumae. Three days later, Eurystheus, still trembling with fear, sent Heracles to clean the Augean Stables.


Trivia

Aside from the boar that killed Adonis, the other most celebrated boar in Greek myth was the Kalydonian Boar, who was killed by Meleager.


Gallery

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.