What is the Greek term for lion's pelt that Herakles wore? I've found that the Nemean lion was Neméos léōn (Νεμέος λέων), so I'm trying to figure out what the ancient Greeks would have called the pelt from the Neméos léōn that Herakles wore. I have found the term khlainōma léōntos (χλαίνωμα λέοντος) a word for "lion's skin for a cloak." So would khlainōma Neméos léōntos (Νεμέος λέοντος) be an accurate term for Herakles' lion skin cloak? I've come across several options, but there are enough choices that it is confusing without a knowledge of ancient Greek language. Any help would be greatly appreciated


1 Answer 1


The Greek word for "skin" is δέρμα (derma), and it's this word that Pindar uses for what Heracles wears (so λέοντος δέρμα, "lion skin") though some other authors use dora (δορά) instead. The latter is more precisely what we mean by "pelt" (λέοντος δορά, "lion pelt"), but both words are common in Greek literature.

You do also have the possibility of using χλαίνωμα λέοντος, but note that it's attested once in a late collection of poetry. It would probably be understood by an ancient Greek in the Classical era, but as it's so uncommon, it would sound weird.

  • Thank you for this answer! It definitely helped me explore other avenues, and find the word léōntos, which is a word for a lion's skin cloak.
    – Walter
    Jul 11, 2022 at 16:01
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    @Walter Actually, that means "lion's." What passage are you looking at?
    – cmw
    Jul 11, 2022 at 16:48
  • lsj.gr/wiki/χλαίνωμα, perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/… Hom. Il. 10.23
    – Walter
    Jul 12, 2022 at 2:15
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    Ah, yes, it's chlainōma leōntos. The χλαίνωμα is abbreviated. Do note that APl is a late collection of poems; I can check later, but I don't believe it's used in the Classical period.
    – cmw
    Jul 12, 2022 at 2:40

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