Intaglio Jewelry :
Loose Intaglios : Roman Carnelian Intaglio Depicting Omphale
Roman Carnelian Intaglio Depicting Omphale - OF.186
1.1" (2.8cm) high
x 0.7" (1.8cm) wide
Collection: Intaglio Jewelry
Style: Roman Period
Additional Information: H. 1.1" (2.7 cm) x W. 0.7" (1.7 cm)
Location: Great Britain
| Photo Gallery
OMPHALE IN GREEK MYTHOLOGY
Omphale was a queen of Greek mythology, but
Omphale was not a queen of Greece, for she was the
ruler of Lydia.
OMPHALE QUEEN OF LYDIA
?Omphale was named as the daughter of King
Iardanus by an unnamed woman.
Omphale was said to be married to Tmolus, the
mountain god who had judged the musical contest
between Apollo and Midas.
Some also call Tmolus the king of Lydia, and
Omphale would thus succeed Tmolus upon his death,
possibly gored by a bull, but as a god Tmolus could
not die in this way, so others says that Tmolus
presented the kingdom of Lydia to Omphale upon the
death of her father Iardanus.
Heracles and Omphale - Bernardo Cavallino (1616–
1656) - PD-art-100
OMPHALE OWNER OF HERACLES
?Omphale comes to the fore in Greek mythology when
she buys Heracles as a slave for three silver talents, a
not insignificant sum of money.
Heracles had killed Iphitus in a fit of madness, and
when Hippocoon refused to cleanse him of this
crime, Heracles went to an Oracle, who told him he
must be sold as a slave, and the fee paid in
recompense to the father of Iphitus, Eurytus.
Now being a slave would be a humiliation for
Heracles, but it was made worse by being a slave to a
woman, and a barbarian woman at that, for Lydia was
considered a barbarous nation.
During this period of servitude, which was said to last
three years, Heracles undertook minor labours, in a
similar way to his period of servitude to Eurystheus.
Thus in this period of servitude to Omphale, Heracles
would bury Icarus after the son of Daedalus had
fallen to his death, conquer the people of Itones who
troublesome neighbours, killed the brutal vine grower
Syleus, killed the deadly farmer Lityerses, and dealt
with the Cercopes .
Further humiliation was also said to have been placed
upon Heracles by the fact that some writers have
Omphale and Heracles swapping clothes; with
Heracles having to undertake chores in feminine
Heracles and Omphale - Peter Paul Rubens (1577–
1640) - PD-art-100
OMPHALE WIFE OF HERACLES
Mistress and slave though would become lovers, and
Omphale would become the second wife of Heracles;
the first being Megara.
In the post wedding celebrations Heracles was
almost raped by the god Pan, for the god mistook
Heracles for Omphale.
Omphale would become mother to at least two sons
of Heracles, Agelaus (who possibly also known as
Lamos or Tylon) and Tyrsenus.
Agelaus was named as ancestor of the famous Lydian
Tyrsenus was credited with the invention of the
trumpet, but his son of Omphale did not stay in Lydia,
but instead travelled to Italy where the region was
named Tyrrhenia after him.
A third son of Omphale by Heracles is occasionally
named as Alcaeus, but some say that his was not the
son of Omphale but the son of an unnamed Lydian
slave woman. This would possibly mean that Alcaeus
was also known Cleodaeus. It was often said that the
Heraclid line of Lydian kings going through 22
generations came from this part of the Heracles
family tree, although the kings of Lydia can also be
traced back through Agelaus.
Heracles would eventually leave Lydia and Omphale,
and return to Greece, where later on he would wed
for a third time, to Deianira.