Deer

The Ceryneian Hind

It was a golden-horned deer sacred to the goddess Artemis. Eurystheus ordered that Heracles bring it to him. After chasing the animal for a full year he finally captured it on Mount Artemision in Arcadia. The goddess Artemis complained about the treatment of her deer whose horn had broken off by the hero in the struggle. He nevertheless managed to persuade her to let him borrow it for the completion of his Labour.

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Heracles breaking off the golden antler of the Ceryneian Hind, while Athena (left) and Artemis look on. Black-figure amphora, c. 540–30 BC.

The Other Golden-Horned Deer

While the Ceryneian Hind was allowed to roam free in Arcadia, the other four sacred deer were harnessed to the goddess Artemis’ chariot.

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Deer-drawn chariot of Artemis. Athenian red figure krater, c. 5th BC, Louvre.