When we think of iconic heroes throughout all kinds of pathology there is always one that comes to mind. One that most people will be familiar with regardless of whether they’ve heard his stories or even though of Greek mythology. you may know him best by his Greek name Heracles or the Roman iteration Hercules. But he was best known as the last mortal son of Zeus a nearly man to be born from a mortal woman to become a god upon his death. Heracles his mother was the mortal woman alchemy named Anne according to Homer’s Iliad when Zeus had learnt of her pregnancy. He announced all of his fellow gods are on this given day a child of Zeus would be born into the house of Perseus who would become the high king and rule all those around him. Zeus his wife Hera had him taken oath swearing at his world would come true and upon doing so she descended from Olympus and traveled to Argos, where she found the wife of Sten Ella’s a son of Perseus. Hera made its Austin Alice’s son would be born premature but on the same day as you expected Heracles to be born. she also attempted to stop al-Kamini from giving birth to Herakles and his twin brother epic Lee’s. She had one of Al Khomeini’s servants Gail and this lighter Elly Thea the goddess of childbirth. Telling her that alchemy Nia had already given birth to her sons. Ilithyia was not fooled by this trickery and rushed to up Kamini scient allowing her two sons to be born. This meant that Zeus’s oath would be fulfilled but it was still known as his son Eurystheus who would become the great ruler and not Heracles.
Alchemy a feared that Hera will take revenge upon her off the Harun off the birth of Heracles so she gave her son away he would eventually be taken to Olympus where he was raised by Hera and his half-sister Athena who appeared in numerous stories involving Heracles often protected and aid in the Hara. Hara not recognizing their child nursed him out of pity but Heracles suckle so strongly that Hera pushed him away in pain. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that Hera’s milk sprayed across the heavens and formed the Milky Way. It was also through Harris divine milk that Heracles acquired his supernatural powers. Athena would eventually bring Heracles back to his parents when he was a young infant and he was given the name al-qaida’s. The boy was only renamed to Heracles as an attempt to appease Hera who retaliated by sending two giant snakes into the children’s chamber. The snake circle difficulties causing the infant to cry out in fear but Heracles protecting his brother grabbed the snake in each hand and strangled them. When the two were later found playing with the giant snakes as if they were toys Heracles as parents sent for the blind prophet Tiresias. Who prophesied an unusual future for the boy telling them that he would vanquish many fierce and deadly monsters. The actions of Hera in this story seemed to be mostly driven out of spite and disdain for Zeus who despite having many children both God and mortal seemed exceedingly proud and hopeful of Heracles. You’ll soon find that Haris feelings of anger and hate towards Zeus transferred themselves to Heracles as she attempted to destroy what she saw as one of Zeus’s price creations.
The 12 Labours of Heracles
1. Slay the Nemean lion.
2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
3. Capture the Ceryneian Hind.
4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
5. Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
6. Slay the Stymphalian birds.
7. Capture the Cretan Bull.
8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta.
10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
11. Steal the apples of the Hesperides.
12. Capture and bring back Cerberus.
It was a long after his birth that Heracles began to develop a reputation as the strongest of all mortals with some even seen a demigod as possessing a level of strength that not even the gods could match. His exceptional physical abilities were somewhat offset by a rather noticeable lack of intelligence and wisdom what many considered to be his major weakness. By no means am I saying that Heracles was a complete idiot but sometimes his lack of rational thinking and strong emotions would often lead him into troublesome situations.
There is a story where Heracles became so incensed by how high the temperature was that he pulled out his bow and threatened to shoot the son. It became quite common for Greek playwrights to portray him in a comical manner almost as this large muscular buffoon. But even in some of the more serious writings of critics and poets Heracles was shown as a primitive and extremely violent man his weapon of choice was a massive Club and he would wear the skin of a lion almost created in this caveman like hunter-gatherer persona. Despite his many floors Heracles would often help those in need. Many of his greatest deeds and adventures occurred during his 12 labors a series of stories that cover the penance and redemption that made Heracles the hero we know today. As Heracles his reputation grew so did the resentment that Hera felt towards him he was a living example of her husband’s infidelities. He would eventually marry the daughter of King Creon Megara and after witnessing how loved Heracles was by all those around him. She wants again interfered driving the hero into a fit of insanity and anger in which he killed his wife and children. Once he had calmed down he realized what he had done and felt deep regret. Knowing that his crimes would most likely go unpunished he traveled to the Oracle of Delphi where he would ask for forgiveness. He was told that he could atone for his actions by serving Eurystheus who had become King in place of Heracles but what Heracles did not know is that the Oracle of Delphi was being guided by Hera. Initially he was also carry out 10 labors but this number would later rise to 12 as King Eurystheus refused to count the Aegean stables and the slain of the Hydra as part of his labors given the hero two additional Labor’s to carry out.
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The very first labor given to Heracles was in the maeín lion anenormous lion that plagued the district of Nemea the Lions hide was extremely thick and impervious to weapons made from any kind of metal. There are tales of the lion taken women as hostages back to its lair Lorin warriors from surrounding towns into its cave. When they came across the women the lion would pounce tearing him into pieces with his razor-sharp claws I could cut through armed with ease. Heracles knew when he entered its cave that no weapon would aid him he would have to wrestle the lion and after a long grueling confrontation Heracles was eventually able to overpower the lion strangling it with his bare hands. He would thenuse one of the Lions claws to skin its hide creating the hero’s iconic armor when he returned to Eurystheus the King seen the Lions hide instantly feared that it was now roaming the streets of his City. When he finally realized that it was indeed our hero wearing the hide he then informed Heracles that his second labor would be the Linnaean Hydra. Bravo cousin I see the Nemean lion was no match for the mighty Heracles but I assure you your next task shall not be so easy. The people of Learner have been terrorized for years by the Hydra travelled to that godforsaken Lake and end their misery.
The Hydra of learning was a nine headed water serpent that roamed the swamps of Lake Learner it was also raised by Hera with the sole purpose of one day killing Heracles. For this task Ares enlisted the help of his nephew lola’s and when the two eventually tracked down the Beast they found themselves in a swamp covered in a thick layer of poisonous mist and radiated from the hydras mouth. The to cover their faces with several layers of cloth and began to fire flaming arrows to law the Hydra from its lair. When the Beast emerged Heracles charged drawing his sword and chopping off one of its many heads but to the heroes shocked two heads grew back in its place every time he chopped off one of its heads once again two grew back in its place not knowing what to do Heracles turned to Lola’s who suggested they used fire. When Heracles cut off one of the monster’s heads Lola’s would take his firebrand and cauterized the wound may concern’ new heads could not grow from the stump seen that her monsters lose in the battle. Hera sent a giant crab to aid the Hydra but it served as little more than a distraction as it was easily crushed by Heracles. When Heracles and lowness had finally found the hydras one immortal head he took a golden sword that had been given to him by Athena and using the sword the technique of cauterize in the wound they were finally able to kill the monster. But before he left Heracles dipped his arrows in the hydras poisonous blood thinking they may prove useful in future Labor’s. Upon returning to King Eurystheus he was very displeased of the amount of help that Heracles received during this labor and refused to count it as successful. My My My cousin it appears you have quite the talent for slaying monsters but do your skills extend to tracking them I wonder bring me the sarony in hind that is if you can find the animal of course. The third labor of Heracles was this Iranian hind both King Eurystheus and Hera were angered by Heracles completion of the previous two Labour’s and so they constructed a house that they believed would be the end of Heracles. The tasks did not involve the killing of a beast but instead the capture of one viscera nyan hind was believed to be so fast that it could outrun an arrow. Our hero chase the animal on foot across all of Greece for an entire year and when he eventually did capture the animal the goddess Artemis was not pleased with the treatment of one of her favorite creatures. Eurystheus had hoped that chasing the Beast would invoke Artemis’s fury, but after pleading with the goddess she agreed to let Heracles take the hind back on the one condition that it was returned to the wild once the task was finished when Heracles took the hind back to King Eurystheus. He was told that it will be added to his menagerie having promised to return the hind. He agreed that he would only hand it over if the king came and collected it himself when the king appeared Heracles led the hind go and it lept into the air sprint him back to its mistress.
Heracles laughed and remarked that the king must not have been quick enough embarrassed and upset that Heracles had completed another labor. He demanded that the hero bring back the erymanthian boar which leads us to the full flavor of Heracles. The erymanthian boar much like many of the beasts that Heracles had already faced the erymanthian boar was a large and extremely dangerous creature that ravaged a farm land in western arcadia. He was advised by the Centaur Chiron to chase the boar into the fix where would be most vulnerable. He then trapped the ball in a large net and took it back to King Eurystheus who was so afraid when he saw the beast. He lept into a pythor’s jaw demanding that Heracles leave and take the beast with him. Not all tasks the glorious battles with monstrous creatures Heracles king will-jeaious visitor the largest stay banila of greece and it’s in need of spring cleaning you can frown all you like but that is your task now go. The 5’th labor that Heracles would have to face was the cleaning of the stables all joyous ojs was a king known for his enormous herd of cattle that were considered divine and immortal and as a result they produce an enormous amount of dung Pericles was ordered to clean or dress his stables which housed over 3,000 cattle and had not been cleaned in 30 years. In this task Heracles proved himself to be rather resourceful as he reroute the rivers of Alphaeus and Pinellas to wash away all the filth from the stable. The king had promised Hercules a portion of his cattle if he could finish the job in one day so he surprised an anger when he saw Heracles do so he refused to honor their agreement. Heracles would like to kill the king and give his kingdom – or jeaious his son phyleus who had previously been exiled for siding with Heracles during his father’s disagreement.
Once again Heracles returned to Eurystheus who did not count the laborers finished because the water had done the cleaning for Heracles and because he attempted to take payment for his service. You still have seven labors to complete Heracles returned to me once you’ve defeated the birds of stem failure least in failure birds were a flock of man-eaters that had been trained by the God of War Ares. Wherever they swarmed crops were destroyed and the townspeople fled Heracles located them in the masters of lake stem failure but he could not reach their nests as the soft marshland could not support his weight. Seeing her brother’s plight Athena appeared to Heracles and gave him a rattle and incrataller that had been made by Hephaestus for this task. when Heracles shook the rattle the birds are woke from their slumber and flew into their air where Herakles would shoot them with the arrows that he had dipped in the poisonous spell of the Hydra. the ones he could not kill flew away and never returned to Arcadia they made a new home on the island of aretaeus where Jason and the Argonauts will encounter them later. still alive I see cousin sail to Crete and bring me the chrétien bull for your seventh labor and so Heracles sailed to Crete and asked King Minos if he could take the bull the king willingly accepted as it had been causing havoc all over Crete the boss sent back to King Eurystheus we was kept in a cage it would eventually break free from this cage and head into the town of Marathon what would cause more chaos until it would be killed by the hero Theseus. Why do you look so smug Heracles does only a bull your next task is far more challenging. travels of Thrace and bring me the mares of Diomedes Heracles is eighth labor was to steal the horses that belong to King Diomedes. The barbaric king of Thrace and the son of Ares he had managed to breed man-eating horses they were wild and uncontrollable and their diet of human flesh only made their behavior worse. Heracles knowing that this task would not be easy took several companions with him and when they captured the horses the king and his men began their pursuit in an attempt to reclaim their price deeds. in order to fight the king Heracles left his most trusted companion at Baris in charge of the horses. When he returned he found that the boy had been eaten Heracles was so angry that he fed Diomedes to his own horses. On the journey back Heracles bound them out as the horses shut calming them and taken them back to King Eurystheus. Who in some versions sacrificed him to Harrow and in others allowed them to roam freely in August now that they were permanently calm. You had aid once again Herakles but as you are in mourning for that peasant boy your task is complete only four more to go.
I take it you’re familiar with Hippolyta the Amazonian Queen well her father Ares gave her a magical girdle retrieve it for me and your ninth labor shall be complete. Once his ship had reached the island of the Amazons Hippolyta was so impressed by the feats that Heracles had performed that she agreed to give him her girdle. Heracles invited the Queen to a meal back on his ship where they could share stories of one another the Queen eagerly accepted but Harold once again interfered disguising herself as one of the Amazon women and spreading rumors that Heracles plan to abduct their queen. the Amazons decided that they would confront Heracles when he saw them approaching he assumed that Hippolyta had set up an ambush and had no intention in letting them leave the island. Heracles unsure of what to do next ended up killing the Queen and taken her girdle he ordered his men to set so immediately before the Amazons were aware of what had happened.
You seem to be making quite an enemy of Ares I’d be careful if I were you Heracles you may not live to complete yourlabors. the giant Geryon has a herd of glistening cattle like I’ve never seen before they would make a fine addition to my collection say Otto his Island and bring me them. For Heracles his tenth labor he was also still the cattle of the giant Gary on whose herd was described as being stained red by the light of the sunset. In order to reach Gary on on the Island of Airy Thea Heracles had to cross the Libyan desert where he became so frustrated by the heat that he fired an arrow at the Sun Helios rather than anger helios showed admiration for the courage of Heracles and gave him his golden chariot to cross the desert with soon as Hercules landed onarray Thea he was confronted by authoress two-headed dog with one huge swing of his club Heracles killed the watchdog. The herdsmen came to assist authors but Heracles dealt with him in the same way having heard the commotion the joint confronted Heracles garyun was described as a three-body giant with four pairs of wings but Heracles was in no way phase by the strange appearance of Gary on. The giant followed in the same footsteps as authors in the herdsman falling victim to her at Lisa’s Club he led the cattle onto the ship and set sail back to Eurystheus. Well that is now attend Labour’s complete but you still have two more. Go to the garden of the Hesperides and bring back some of those golden apples that the gods protect so dearly. The garden of asperities contained golden apples that have been given to Hera from Gaia as a wedding present it was guarded by the Hesperides as well as the serpent laid on. in some variations of the tale Heracles tricked the Titan Atlas into retrieve an apples for him and then others Heracles charged into the garden slain laden and retrieve an apples himself. With only one labor left Eurystheus inherit began to accept that Heracles might earn the forgiveness that he desired and so they gave him one last task one that they felt was impossible for most gods and any mortal your redemption is almost upon us Heracles. The underworld has always fascinated me travel to the gates of Hades and bring me back its three-headed Guardian Cerberus. Heracles travelled to the underworld of both Hermes and Athena guiding him and when he eventually reached the gates that were guarded by Cerberus he was told by Athena that taken Cerberus without the permission of Hades will not end war for the hero and so Heracles travelled to the underworld where he would come face the face of Hades he explained that he needed his assistance Hades did not reject his request instead he told him that he could borrow Cerberus on one condition he would have to subdue the giant three-headed hound without harming him with no other option Heracles began wrestling with Cerberus as Hades eagerly watched on when Heracles eventually overpowered the Hound he promised the Hades that he would return Cerberus once his labors had ended.
When he returned victorious carrying Cerberus Eurystheus once again jumped into his jaw. Your Labor’s are complete and your sins are absolved now leave and take that beast back to the underworld. Heracles had finally completed his epic journey that spanned over many years he had come to terms with his horrendous actions and he now felt he could move on without the constant guilt of his crimes haunting him not long after he joined jason and the argonauts in their quest for the golden fleece and he would eventually remarry but his wife’s jealousy would also mean lead to his death as she covered his clothing in a love potion made from the blood of the Hydra which would cause the hero to die a painful death. Having seen the great deeds that his son performed. Zeus made it so Heracles would rise to an impasse and finally earned the status of God. Heracles was destined to become the greatest ruler of all time but because of Hera’s actions in spite he instead became the greatest Greek hero of all time and I would dare to say the most iconic figure in the entirety of Greek mythology. Growing up I’ve always been fond of Heracles ever since I sold a Disney movie but you never really understand what motivates the character until you read about his early life and his 12 labors. Everyone loves a good redemption story and Heracles is no different I know this has been an extremely requested post and Heracles features in so many stories that they’re most likely will be several more post’s covering the hero feel free to share your opinions and thoughts on Heracles with me in the comments below.