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Iphicles Saved from a Serpent by his Brother Hercules

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In myth, the Greek princess Alcmena gave birth simultaneously to sons by different fathers: Hercules, sired by Jupiter, and Iphicles, begotten of Amphitryon. Jupiter's vengeful wife Juno sent serpents to devour the boys in their cradle. Iphicles' cries of fright alerted Hercules, who grabbed the serpents and squeezed them to death. In this sizable fragment of a terracotta relief, Hercules, a hero even in babyhood, is distinguished by his larger torso and his foot grappling with a single snake at the bottom left. Hercules' head, an arm, and most of one leg are missing, but Iphicles is nearly complete.

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