Troas, Alexandria, Caracalla, 198-217 AD. AE 25. Hercules wrestling Antaeus. Rare.
Troas, Alexandria. Caracalla, 198-217 AD. AE 25 mm. 8.8 gm. Obv: M AVREL ANTONINVS PI. Laureate head of Caracalla, right. Rev: COL AVG TROAD. Herakles wrestling Antaios. Ref: Bellinger A281. Rare. A giant of Libya and the son of Poseidon and Gaia (the earth goddess), Antaeus would challenge travelers to wrestling matches, easily killing his opponents and collecting their bones to construct a temple to his father. It was en route to the Garden of Hesperides to complete his eleventh labor that Hercules met Antaeus. A wrestling match ensued, but Hercules was unable to finish his opponent as Antaeus regained his strength each time the hero threw him to the ground. Realizing Antaeus’ strength waned as the he left the earth (i.e., the protective realm of his mother), Hercules lifted the giant aloft while crushing him to death.
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