The 4th Labour

To Capture the Erymanthian Boar

The Erymanthian Boar

The Erymanthina Boar is the most celebrated boar in the greek mythology. It was a wild, giant and very dangerous creature that lived on Mount Erymanthos in the farmlands og Psophis, western Arkadia.
Another tale featuring the boar, is the story of Apollo sending it to kill Adonis, to punish Aphrodite for blinding Apollos mortal son Erymanthus.

The Labour

Vase picturing Eurystheus hiding from the boar
Vase picturing Eurystheus hiding from the boar

The 4th labour Heracles had to carry out, was the captivation of the Erymanthian Boar.
On his way to the mountain Erymanthos, Heracles visits an old friend, the kind and wise centaur Pholus.

Heracles is hungry and thirsty, and eats with Pholus in his cavern. He asks Pholus for some wine, but the only wine Pholus has, was given to all the centaurs by Dionysus. Pholus is to scared to drink of the wine, but Heracles talks him into opening it.

The smell attracts all the other centaurs of Mt. Erymanthus, who comes to drink with them. The other centaurs, however, doesn't understand the wine needs to be tempered with water, and they get drunk and violent. When they attack Heracles and Pholus, Heracles shoot at them with his poisonous arrows, and scares all the centaurs away. Pholus, who was curious of the arrows deadly affect, examines one, but drops it on his foot and gets poisoned.

Heracles burries his friend, and continues his hunt for the boar. It is not hard to find it, as its grunting can be heard miles away. Heracles chases the animal through the thick wintersnow of Erymanthus, while he screams as loud as he can to scare the boar. Finally, the boar hides in a scrub, and Heracles captures it, nets it and carries it back to king Eurystheus.
King Eurystheus is so frightened of the boar, that he hides in a jar, and begs Heracles to get rid of the boar.