Hellenistic snake bracelet

Unknown3rd century BCE - 2nd century BCE

Pforzheim Jewellery Museum

Pforzheim Jewellery Museum

As the legend goes, Heracles, a demigod because he was the son of Zeus, father of the Greek gods, performed great feats even in childhood and infancy. While still in his cradle, he killed the two serpents sent to him by Hera, wife of Zeus, who was jealous of Alcmene, Heracles’ mother. In jewellery, this heroic deed performed by the infant Heracles is represented in artistic and amulet-like magical form in what is known as the Heracles knot, with two serpents elegantly entwined, as shown on this bracelet from the Hellenistic period. This bracelet was probably worn, as such jewellery usually was in the third and second centuries BCE, paired with a second identical bracelet on an elegant lady’s upper arm.

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  • Title: Hellenistic snake bracelet
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 3rd century BCE - 2nd century BCE
  • Location: Greece
  • Physical Dimensions: h11.5 cm
  • Provenance: © Schmuckmuseum Pforzheim
  • Type: Jewellery
  • Photographer: Guenther Meyer
  • Medium: Gold, a garnet