Marble Statue: Head of Heracles
source: Wikimedia Commons
author: Marie-Lan Nguyen
A photograph shows a white marble sculpture of the head of Heracles. The head has short hair and a beard, both curly, and is facing down and to its left. The sculpture extends down an inch or two past the collarbone and includes a small portion of the left shoulder.
Artifact: 1st century AD
This marble sculpture depicts the head of the Greek mythological deity Heracles (called Hercules within ancient Roman and modern Western culture), god of strength, athletics, and health. Within ancient Greek tradition, Heracles was one figure often credited with founding the ancient Nemean Games (one of the four Panhellenic games, like the ancient Olympic Games). This festival was held every other year between an alternation of the Olympic and Pythian Games.
This sculpture is a 1st century AD Roman reproduction of a Greek original from the 4th century BC. At the time of photograph, this piece was located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Burkert, W. (1985). Greek religion. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.