(hĕspĕr`ĭdēz), in Greek mythology, daughters of Atlas. They lived in a fabulous garden located at the western extremity of the world. There they guarded (with the aid of the dragon Ladon) a tree that bore golden apples. Hercules killed the dragon and obtained the apples as one of his 12 labors.
The Archbishop, a friend of Guido's who turns Pompilia away when she appeals to the church for help, draws out the dark underside of these complimentary comparisons of Pompilia to the apples of the Hesperides in his parable of the fig.
Whereas the metopes of Geryon feature the preparation for the labor of driving the cattle, namely the killing of Geryon, the depiction of the Apples of the Hesperides features the outcome of the labor, namely the delivery of the golden apples cunningly stolen from Atlas and delivered to Athena.