Inventory Categories

The Golden Apples of the Hesperides

Herakles holding apples on Tarsos bronze

Herakles holding apples on Tarsos colonial bronze

Usually considered the penultimate labor, part of the last gasp of a desperate king Eurystheus who refused to recognize two of the original ten and so added two more. This labor somewhat differs from most of the others in that the difficulty mainly consisted in finding and then reaching the mythical land of the Hyperboreans ("Far North" - though its attributes often defy geography), where the famed garden with Gaia's sacred wedding gift to Hera and Zeus laid. The adventures that allowed Herakles to finally accomplish this are quite rich, and bring him in touch with numerous other mythological characters. The exact number and identity of the Hesperides - the daughters of the night that guarded the garden - varies by tradition, but they are often considered to include Arethusa, who, in a slightly different context, appears in some of the most celebrated coinage of all time - that of classical Sicily.

Search for coins depicting Herakles with the Apples of the Hesperides.