- Year created: c. 1570
- Creator: Unknown Artist / Maker
- Country of Origin: North Italy
- Dimensions: 56.4 cm diameter
- Weight: 4.18 kg
- Collection: Arms and Armour
- Gallery: European Armoury I
A superhero out of Classical mythology, Hercules was famed for his enormous strength. In the second of his legendary twelve labours, he had to kill the Lernaean Hydra, a giant many-headed snake.
This remarkable parade shield is decorated with an vigorous imagining of this episode, with Hercules facing an even more hideous monster – in addition to its reptilian heads, the artist has added a profusion of repulsive crab legs and a whip-like tail growing out of a heavily armoured body.