Heracles Kynagidas

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Deer hunt mosaic from Pella by Gnosis, late 4th century BC.

Heracles Kynagidas (Κυναγίδας, "The Huntsman") was the patron god of hunting in the Macedonian Kingdom, to whom hunting trophies were dedicated. The epithet was also attributed to "Artemis Kynago" Κυναγὼ, in its female form.

Inscriptional attestations[edit]

Heracles Kynagidas is attested in fourteen inscriptions of various places in Macedonia from the 4th century BC to the 2nd century AD; Artemis Kynago, attested twice.[1] The oldest inscription comes from Beroea (ca. 350-300 BC),[2] where a sanctuary to Heracles Kynagidas has been discovered, as well the longest text including names of hunters and priests of the god.[3] In a Roman-era inscription from Styberra, it is also spelled Kounagidas.[4] A dedicatory inscription by King Philip V in Pella has also been found.[5] Respectively, the Attic form for huntsman is kynêgetês,[6] Doric kynagetas and Mycenaean ku-na-ke-ta-i.[7]


Polybius, who was interested in horse-riding and hunting, gives the following passage:[8]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ IG X,2 2 188, IG X,2 2 233 - (Roman-era Pelagonia)
  2. ^ EKM 1. Beroia 29.
  3. ^ EKM 1. Beroia 134 (late 2nd century BC).
  4. ^ IG X,2 2 319
  5. ^ Meletemata 22, Epig. App. 27 King Philip, son of King Demetrius to Heracles Kynagidas.
  6. ^ LSJ-[1]
  7. ^ Deger-Jalkotzy & Lemos 2006, p. 55.
  8. ^ Polybius. The Histories, 32.14.


  • Deger-Jalkotzy, Sigrid; Lemos, Irene S. (2006). Ancient Greece: From the Mycenaean Palaces to the Age of Homer. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 0-7486-1889-9.