The Ceryneian Stag

The third of the Twelve Labors of Heracles.

This animal had golden antlers and brazen feet. It had been dedicated to Artemis by the nymph Taygete, because the goddess had saved her from the pursuit of Zeus. Heracles was ordered to bring the animal alive to Mycenae. He pursued it in vain for a whole year: at length it fled from Oenoƫ to Mount Artemisium in Argolis, and thence to the river Ladon in Arcadia. Heracles wounded it with an arrow, caught it, and carried it away on his shoulders.

While yet in Arcadia, he was met by Apollo and Artemis, who were angry with him for having outraged the animal sacred to Artemis; but Heracles succeeded in soothing their anger, and carried his prey to Mycenae. According to some statements, he killed the stag.

Previous labor: The Lernaean Hydra.
Next labor: The Erymanthian Boar.



  • Callimachus. Hymn to Artemis, 100 ff.
  • Diodorus Siculus, iv, 13.
  • Euripides. Hercules Furens, 378.
  • Ovid. Metamorphoses ix, 188.
  • Pindar. Olympian Odes iii, 24, 53.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library ii, 5.3.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
  • Virgil. Aeneid vi, 803.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.