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Herakliskos Drakonopnigon - The Serpent-Slaying Infant Herakles

389, Lot: 19. Estimate $1000.
Sold for $1400. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

BRUTTIUM, Kroton. Circa 400-325 BC. AR Nomos (20.5mm, 7.79 g, 10h). Laureate head of Apollo right / Infant Herakles, kneeling right, head left, strangling two serpents. HN Italy 2157; SNG ANS 384–8. VF, toned.

From the Kallman Collection.

Herakles was the son of Zeus and Alkmene. This union and the child it produced enraged Zeus’ wife, Hera, who tried to kill Herakles. Shortly after his birth, she sent two serpents one night to strangle the infant as he lay sleeping in his crib. The following morning, the nurse discovered Herakles playing with their lifeless bodies: during the night he had strangled one in each hand. This early example of his renowned strength earned him the name Herakliskos Drakonopnigon, or “the serpent-slaying infant Herakles.”