Letter: 'Hercules' keeps his head but loses horns

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Sir: Simon Welfare is quite right (Letters, 25 May). It is generally accepted that the Giant of Cerne Abbas is a Romano-British representation of the classical Hercules with his club and (formerly) a lion's skin held in his left hand.

I pointed out the association in a paper in Antiquity (XII 323-331) as long ago as 1938, and Mr Welfare's resistivity survey nicely confirmed the situation. There is certainly no need to invoke severed heads or imaginary horns into a classical landscape, whatever associations the Giant may have had in antiquity.

Yours faithfully,

STUART PIGGOTT

West Challow, Oxfordshire

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