The subject of the next metope, represented in Plate VIII.
is the curious adventure of Hercules, surnamed Melampyges
from the black and hairy appearance of his loins. The story
related by various authors concerning this singular subject ap-
pears to be as follows1 :—Passalus and Achemon, two brothers,
by some called Cercopes, from their fraudulent and insolent
acts, were notorious robbers; they reviled their mother", who
reproved them for their unjust conduct, and cautioned them
against falling into the hands of the man whose loins were co-
vered with black hah-. It happened that Hercules, arriving in
that part of the country where the brothel's then were3, and
falling asleep, the Cercopes endeavoured to rob him ; Hercules
awoke, and seizing them, bound them hand and foot, fast-
ened them to his bow, and, with the heads downwards, earned
them in that manner on his shoulders1. This punishment gave
the brothers an opportunity of discovering that their mother's
prediction was verified, and they began laughing; Hercules de-
' Suidas, MiXa/iTuysu Tvyjii;. Apollod. xi. c. (i.
: According to Suidas they were son., of Mcnmonis.
1 This adventure is supposed to have taken place at Thermopylae for Herodotus, in de-
scribing the path which the Persians took at that place, has the following passage:—" Tins
path runs thus: it begins at the river Asopus, which passes through an aperture of the
mountain (the name both of the mountain and the path is Anoptea); it extends along the
back of the bills, and ends near Alpcnus, the first Lot-run city, near Mclis, by the stone of
the Alelampygw, and the scats of the Cercopes, where the way is more narrow than iii
the other part." Herod, lib. vn. 2IG.
' Snidas signifies that lie suspended them in a manner from the " aia^ov".