Scarab with Herakles Killing a Serpent set in a Gold Swivel Ring (Front)


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

A scarab beetle is carved on top, with a hatched border around its base. Underneath, a scene with a young Hercle (the Etruscan name for Herakles) battling a large crested serpent, whose coils lay pressed under the hero's left foot. Hercle bends over with a large curved knife, held in his left hand, pressed against the serpent's neck, which he holds up with his right. Hercle's club stands behind him. Hatched border.

The scarab is set into an ancient broad gold hoop with a gold pin that passes through the conical terminals flanking the gem. The hoop is elaborated with beaded gold wire along the edges and granulation by the terminals.


  • Title: Scarab with Herakles Killing a Serpent set in a Gold Swivel Ring (Front)
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 400–375 B.C.
  • Location Created: Etruria (Italy)
  • Physical Dimensions: 1.8 × 1.5 × 1.2 cm (11/16 × 9/16 × 1/2 in.)
  • Type: Gem
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Scarab: Banded agate; ring: gold
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 2019.13.12
  • Culture: Etruscan
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Villa Collection, Malibu, California
  • Creator Display Name: Unknown
  • Classification: Jewelry

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