Jewelry inspired by Hercules : A fine labour

Since Greek mythology jewelry has always been one of our favourite themes, creating Hercules Jewelry designs  has been an amazing challenge. The love we share for powerful, manly themes and elegant men’s jewelry as long as the admiration for this heroic figure of the ancient Greek world were the driving forces in creating this Hercules Jewelry design!

hercules jewelry, silvertownart greek jewelry shop

Our Hercules Ring inspired by this legendary mythological feature is crafted with gold leaf, 925 silver and light- cured porcelain http://goo.gl/1CjSkT

If heroes are the symbols of the qualities every society wishes to possess, the ancient Greeks had -undoubtedly- created a very powerful and impressive mythological personality to identify with. Α uniquely honoured and worshipped hero, Hercules concentrated all the ideal virtues of the man in the minds of the ancient people. Superhuman strength, fearlessness, ingenuity and -whenever needed- rage were the elements attributed to this extraordinary figure. With his heroic action “witnessed” from Gibraltar to Scythia and Egypt and his deeds covering all major facts of ancient Greek history, his story is really fascinating.

Hercules statue

The mighty God Zeus and the mortal woman Alcmene were the parents of the baby,who was firstly given the name Alcides. But, Hera, powerful goddess herself and wife of Zeus, never came in piece with the existence of her husband’s illegitimate child, not even when it was given the name Hercules, that means glory of Hera. When he was only eight months old, she sent two giant snakes in the children’s chamber to harm him. But the outcome sealed the infant’s fate in another way: he strangled the snakes with his bare hands..

Hercules is depicted with great artistry in this 5th c. BC pot, while strangling the giant snakes.

Hercules is depicted with great artistry in this 5th c. BC pot, while strangling the giant snakes.

Coming into youth, Hercules starting proving himself, building his reputation in war and heroic deeds. But Hera interfered once more, condemning him to serve the Mycenean king Eurystheus for 10 years. This is when he performed the famous “twelve labours of Hercules” , all imposed on him by Eurystheous as impossible to deliver, achieving his recognition as the mightiest hero of his time. Every one of them is an exciting, adventurous story that causes true admiration for the ancient Greek people’s imagination and culture..

Labours of Hercules

Astonishing depictions of Hercules’ labours in ancient Greek art: 1. Hercules presents the dreadful Erymanthian Boar in front of the terrified Eurystheus 2. The Nemean Lion attacks the hero, while goddess Athena is watching the battle 3. Hercules struggles against the Lernean Hydra 4. Hercules overcomes the mighty Cretan bull

In the next years, Hercules was wandering around the known world, challenging notorious creatures and criminals. One time, while passing through Italy, he was attacked by two powerful giants that held the road passages of Liguria. Hercules kneeled to pray for his father’s help and protection. Impressively, this scene inspired ancient astronomers into naming a constellation, that is called Hercules constellation since then.

hercules jewelry, silvertownart greek jewerly shop

One of the most famous depictions of Heracles, now displayed at the Naples Archaeological Museum

Naturally, the hero’s death had to be as special as his life. After all, ancient Greeks loved to insert the element of tragicalness in many of their stories and biographies. It all starts with Hercules and his new wife, Deianira, trying to pass through a river. Hercules is a capable swimmer, but his wife accepts the help of the centaur Nessus, who offers to carry her to the other bank. But, Nessus, charmed by Deianira’s beauty, makes an unadvised attempt to steal her, but Hercules’ arrows, dipped in the poisonous blood of the Lernaen Hydra, soon find their way. In revenge, the dying Nessus offers his poison-soaked tunic as a present to Deianira telling her it would excite the love of her husband.

hercules jewelry, silvertownart greek jewelry shop

Heracles, Deianira and Nessus, black-figure hydria, 575-550 BC, Louvre

Some years later, when Deianira is doubtful of her husband’s  love and loyalty gives him the tunic to wear. The poison starts acting immediately, burning his skin and penetrating his flesh. In terrible pain and agony, the hero uproots some trees and builds his own  funeral fire, before jumping inside the flames. Zeus, mourning, but prideful about his son, decides to make him immortal and Hercules finally rises to Olympus as he dies.

Hercules myth has always been exciting the people’s thymic and imagination. In many places, great temples were built to honour his name or his heroic deeds.(Modern Monaco, for example, is named after the ancient temple “Hercules Monoikos” meaning Hercules lone dweller, that stood in that very place!). Moreover, his figure influenced dramatically ancient and modern art and literature worldwide, making Hercules a common global cultural theme..

We are pretty proud to have crafted this special piece of Hercules Jewelry. While we have just added our fresh designs in our Shop, we are fiercly working in order to create new Hercules Jewelry inpired by the one and only ancient Greek hero!

Thanks for reading,

The Team@SilverTownArt Greek Jewelry 

 

 

 

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About SilverTownArt

We are a small team of jewelry designers living and working in Greece. We produce unique, statement creations only by hand using the finest materials and fusing contemporary and tradiotional techniques that have a special cultural meaning for the Greek Jewelry heritage. We would like to welcome you to our blog and social media pages and invite you to see our work at our Etsy Shop!
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