Herakles Inside and Outside the Church

From the first Apologists to the end of the Quattrocento


Herakles Inside and Outside the Church: from the first Apologists to the Quattrocento explores the reception of the ancient Greek hero Herakles (the Roman Hercules) in the predominantly Christian cultures which succeeded classical antiquity in Europe. Each chapter takes a particular literary or visual incarnation, grappling with the question of the hero’s significance within the early Church, in less formal contexts, and beyond Christendom in his unexpected role as Buddha’s companion in Gandharan art.

The volume is one of four to be published in the Metaforms series examining the extraordinarily persistent role of Herakles-Hercules in western culture up to the present day, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines to offer a unique insight into the hero’s perennial appeal.

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Arlene Allan (PhD Exeter 2004) is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Otago, New Zealand. She is co-author of A Guide to Ancient Greek Drama (Wiley Blackwell 2005; revised 2014) with Ian C. Storey and sole author of Hermes (Routledge 2018).
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides (PhD Kent 2002) is Associate Professor in Ancient History at Macquarie University, New South Wales and Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2017-2021). She is author of Eros and Ritual (Gorgias Press, 2005; reprinted 2013) and Models of Kingship (Routledge 2017).
Emma Stafford (PhD London 1999) is Senior Lecturer in Classics at the University of Leeds. She is author of Worshipping Virtues (Classical Press of Wales/Duckworth 2000) and Herakles (Routledge 2012), and coordinator of the Leeds Hercules Project (https://herculesproject.leeds.ac.uk/).

Contributors are: Arlene Allan, Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides, Alexandra Eppinger, Brian Sowers, Andrew Mellas, Giampiero Scafoglio, Gail Tatham, Ivana Čapeta Rakić, Lenia Kouneni, Tom Sienkewicz, Giuseppe Capriotti, Cary MacMahon, Karl Galinksy.
"The work starts with a great foreword and introduction by Emma Stafford and Arlene Allan, respectively, who set the stage in summarizing Herakles regarding his twelve labors, the earliest sources on him, and the current state of the field regarding his reception. This volume is one of four to be published by the Metaforms series and Brill on the reception of Herakles-Hercules, and the contributors do a good job demonstrating the need for such scholarship. (...) it is a great contribution for graduate students and scholars working on the change and transformation of Classical Antiquity in Late Antiquity. It provides several case studies on how the legacy of Herakles was reworked in different contexts." - Paul A. Brazinski, Saint Elizabeth University, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 2021.01.21
Notes on Contributors

Arlene Allan

Part 1: Making Connections: the Early Years

1 Herakles, ‘Christ-Curious’ Greeks and Revelation 5
Arlene Allan

2 The Tides of Virtue and Vice: Augustine’s Response to Stoic Herakles
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides

Part 2: Appropriation: Verbal

3 Exemplum virtutis for Christian Emperors: the Role of Herakles/ Hercules in Late Antique Imperial Representation
Alexandra Eppinger

4 Herculean Centos: Myth, Polemics, and the Crucified Hero in Late Antiquity
Brian Sowers

5 Herakleios or Herakles? Panegyric and Pathopoeia in George of Pisidia’s Heraklias
Andrew Mellas

6 Herakles in Byzantium: a (Neo)Platonic Perspective
Eva Anagnostou-Laoutides

7 Dante’s Hercules
Giampiero Scafoglio

Part 3: Appropriation: Visual

8 Hercules in the hypogeum at the Via Dino Compagni, Rome
Gail Tatham

9 The Constellation of Hercules and His Struggle with the Nemean Lion on Two Romanesque Reliefs from Split Cathedral
Ivana Čapeta Rakić

10 From Antiquity to Byzantium to Late Medieval Italy: Hercules on the Façade of San Marco
Lenia Kouneni

11 Transformations of Herculean Fortitude in Florence
Thomas J. Sienkewicz

12 Ovid’s Hercules in 1497: a Greek Hero in the Translation of the Metamorphoses by Giovanni dei Bonsignori and in His Woodcuts
Giuseppe Capriotti

part 4: Beyond the Church

13 Wearing the Hero on Your Sleeve: Piecing Together the Materials of the Heraklean Myth in Late-Roman Egypt
Cary MacMahon

14 Herakles Vajrapani, the Companion of Buddha
Karl Galinsky

Arlene Allan

All interested in Herakles/Hercules, or classical heroes and myth more broadly, and their reception in later cultures in a wide range of literary genres and visual media.
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