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For the genus of jumping spiders, see Orthrus (spider).
Orthrus dead at the feet of Geryon and Heracles, red-figure kylix, 510–500 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen (Inv. 2620).

Orthrus (Greek: Ὄρθρος, Orthros) or Orthus (Greek: Ὄρθος, Orthos) is a two-headed dog in Greek mythology, a doublet (brother) of Cerberus, both whelped by the chthonic monsters Echidna and Typhon, and among the fearsome brood listed in Hesiod's Theogony.


Orthrus is a two-headed dog who is a doublet (brother) of Cerberus, both whelped by the chthonic monsters Echidna and Typhon.[citation needed]

He was owned by the three-bodied giant Geryon.[citation needed] Orthrus and his master, Eurytion, were charged with guarding Geryon's herd of red cattle in the "sunset" land of Erytheia ("red one"), one of the islands of the Hesperides in the far west of the Mediterranean.[citation needed] Heracles eventually slew Orthrus, Eurytion, and Geryon, before taking the red cattle to complete his tenth labor.[1]

Orthrus was one among Echidna's fearsome brood listed in Hesiod's Theogony.[2] According to some sources, it was he rather than Typhon that sired, with Echidna, further chthonic monstrous creatures: the Chimera, the Sphinx,[3] the Lernaean Hydra, and even, Hesiod says, the Nemean lion, and Cerberus.


  1. ^ Apollodorus, Library, 2.5.10ff.
  2. ^ Hesiod, Theogony, 306ff.
  3. ^ Iliad ix.664


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