Tag Archives: Hercules

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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Mythic Heroes: Prometheus

Modern Prometheus at Rockefeller

In Greek mythology, a hero was a strong and courageous individual who performed bold feats and embarked on dangerous exploits and was favored by the gods.  Prometheus was the Titan god of forethought and crafty counsel who was entrusted with the task of moulding mankind out of clay. As a friend of man, he attempted to better the lives of men which brought him into conflict with Zeus. First, he tricked the gods out of the best portion of the sacrificial feast and gave the meat to man. Then, he stole fire from Zeus hidden inside a fennel-stalk and delivered it to mortals.

Pandora

As punishment for his offenses, Zeus ordered the creation of Pandora (the first woman) as a means to deliver misfortune to man. She was given to Prometheus’s brother who had the care of a box.  Pandora, of course, opened the box and released all the evils into the world onto man.

Prometheus Punished

Zeus doubly punished Prometheus for his crime by having him bound to a rock on Mount Kaukasos where an eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. Many years later, the hero Hercules released Prometheus from his torture by killing the eagle.

Tomorrow, The Hero Hercules  Rita Bay

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