Tag Archives: Cerberus

Mythic Heroes: Hercules

Hercules in Marble

Hercules (Greek-Heracles) was the demi-god son of Jupiter  (Greek – Zeus) and the most beautiful of all women, Alceme. Hercules attributes included a lion skin and a gnarled club that was his favorite weapon. Throughout his career as a hero, he killed many monsters and made the world safer for mankind.

Hercules & the Nemean Lion

Juno hated the children of Zeus that were not hers and often gave them trouble.  When Hercules was born, Juno slipped snakes into his cradle.  Hercules killed the snakes with his massive strength.  During his adult life, Juno sent Hercules into a blind rage in which he killed wife and children.  Hercules consulted the Oracle of Delphi (we’ll visit her in a few days) for expiation.  The Oracle sent him to Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae, who (with the spiteful assistance of Juno) assigned him a set of impossible tasks that became known as the Labors of Hercules which took 12 years.  His labors included killing the Nemean lion, destroying the Lernaean Hydra, capturing the Ceryneian Hind, trapping the Erymanthian boar, cleaning the Augean stables, destroying the Stymphalian birds, capturing the Cretan bull, rounding up the Mares of Diomedes, taking Hippolyte’s girdle, returning the cattle of Geryon, delivering the golden apples of the Hesperides,  and capturing the Cerberus from Tartarus.

Kevin Sorbo as Hercules

After Hercules was married the second time, he killed the centaur Nessus with a poisoned arrow for abducting his wife.  Before Nessus died, he gave Hercules’ wife Deianeira a vial of blood and told her that the blood was a love potion that would bring Hercules back to her when he strayed.  When she suspected he had been unfaithful, she sent him a cloak that had the blood spread in it.  When he donned the cloak, the blood burned like acid and destroyed his body.  Hercules died in horrific pain.  He was taken to Olympus and deified.  His wife committed suicide in despair.

Tomorrow,  The Heroes of the Trojan War   Rita Bay

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Zeus & His Brothers

Zeus

When Cronos was defeated, his sons Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades divided the world among themselves.  Zeus (Roman name – Jupiter) was the king of the gods and ruler of Mount Olympus.  He was the god of the sky, thunder, weather, thunder, law, order, and fate. His symbols included the thunderbolt, eagle, oak tree, scepter and scales. He was depicted as a regal, mature man with a sturdy figure and dark beard. His attributes included the royal scepter and the lightning bolt. His sacred animals are the eagle and the bull. He was married to Hera.

Poseidon

Poseidon (Neptune) became the god of the seas, rivers, floods, droughts and earthquakes. He was known as the “Earth Shaker” and was the creator of horses. His symbols included the horse, bull, dolphin and trident. He was depicted as a mature man of sturdy build with a dark beard, and holding a trident. The horse and the dolphin were sacred to him.

 

Hades

Since he dwelled in the underworld, Hades (Pluto), the brother of Zeus and Poseidon, was not considered one of the twelve Olympians. He was king of the Underworld and the god of the dead and the hidden wealth of the Earth. His symbols are the key of Hades, the Helm of Darkness, and the three-headed dog, Cerberus. The screech owl was sacred to His consort was Persephone, a daughter of Ceres, whom he kidnapped from the earth and was allowed to keep with him for six months each year. A difficult situation, especially since Persephone was the daughter of Mother Nature.  Everyone knows you don’t mess with Mother Nature.

Tomorrow, Hera and her sisters.    Rita Bay

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