Monday, January 2, 2012

The Eurymanthian boar

Image courtesy:

 I was flicking through my trusty "Mythical Creatures Bible" by Brenda Rosen and remembered the story of the Eurymanthian Boar.

The Eurymanthian boar is a great wild boar that roamed the lands around Mount Eurymanthus an area that was sacred to the Goddess Artemis. Artemis would send the Boar to ravage the fields of the highlands when displeased.

The Boar was an enormous animal with razor sharp tusks, and quite obviously feared by everyone.

 In the 'Twelve Labours of Hercules', Hercules is ordered by King Eurystheus to bring the Boar back alive. Under advice ,Hercules drives the Boar up the mountain into deep snow where he subdues it and brings it back to the King. The King is so terrified by the giant beast that he hides and orders Hercules to get rid of it. According to the legend Hercules then threw it into the sea where it swam to Italy!

I think I find this beast particularly intriguing because some enormous wild boars have been found in Australia (if you're squeamish don't scroll down). They are not native here, and are considered a feral animal. Wild pigs are often killed on sight due to the damage they cause to the bush and farmland.

I first came across this picture in an email after a trip up to the Pilbara, someone sent it to me saying this one was killed at Roy Hill Station (not to far from where we were camping!). I'm not sure if that is true, but I'm mightily glad I didn't come across anything as massive as this. However, you can really see how some natural animals take on mythological proportions when specimens like this are found. Who knew an Eurymanthian boar could be found lurking in the Aussie Bush?! Wonders will never cease... Enjoy your week.


  1. Wow, that is an almighty size isn't it. Brings the labours into some focus doesn't it.

  2. It sure does. One of those on the rampage is just as scary as a shark or crocodile attack in my opinion. No wonder Hercules was sent on a mission to catch one!