In an AZBlogX posting this morning, there’s an image (#3) evoking Hercules / Heracles / Herakles together with Antaeus / Antaios — a grinning man hoisting his lover over his shoulder (something my man Jacques did with me when we were young, vigorous, and playful). In an earlier AZBlogX posting, there was

a version of Hercules lofting Antaeus, brought firmly into the modern gay world by tattoos, an earring, Antaeus’s muscular butt and thighs, and Antaeus’s hand stroking Hercules’s hard cock

The legend lives on, now with an explicitly homoerotic context. And with an echo of Jacob wrestling the angel (posting here).

From Wikipedia:

Antaeus (also Antaios) … in Greek and Berber mythology was a half-giant, the son of Poseidon and Gaia, whose wife was goddess Tinge.

… He would challenge all passers-by to wrestling matches, kill them, and collect their skulls, so that he might one day build out of them a temple to his father Poseidon. He was indefatigably strong as long as he remained in contact with the ground (his mother earth), but once lifted into the air he became as weak as other men.

Antaeus had defeated most of his opponents until it came to his fight with Heracles (who was on his way to the Garden of Hesperides for his 11th Labour). Upon finding that he could not beat Antaeus by throwing him to the ground as he would reheal due to his parentage (Gaia), Heracles discovered the secret of his power. Holding Antaeus aloft, Heracles crushed him in a bearhug. … The struggle between Antaeus and Heracles is a favorite subject in ancient and Renaissance sculpture.

From an ancient Greek (5th century BCE) krater, on a Greek stamp:


Then on to the 16th century, Lucas Cranach the Elder in 1530:


and Hans Baldung in 1531:


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: