Heracles SoN of zeus

Family

  • Father: Zeus
  • Mother: Alcmene
  • Siblings: Aphrodite, Ares, Athena, Artemis, Apollo, etc.
  • Great grandson/half brother of Perseus
  • Symbols: Nemean lion, Club, bow and arrow
  • Roman Form: Hercules
Heracles defeating the Nemean lion

Adventuress of Heracles

Heracles had gone through many difficult trials throughout his life. Being born from Zeus and one of his mistresses Alcmene, Hera worked to make his life as difficult as possible because he reminded her of Zeus's affair.

When Heracles was born, Hera sent two deadly serpents to kill him. To her surprise Heracles strangled both serpents to death. Everyone was shocked to witness his overwhelming strength.

Hera's revenge

Heracles had married to a mortal woman named Megara. They then had a family. He was famous for his extreme bravery. Hera learned of this then became jealous of his happiness so she drove him into a madness so he would kill his family. When he recovered and became sane he had discovered what he did and he was mortified. He then went to the Oracle who told him to offer himself as a slave to King Eurystheus to make amends. The king had set twelve seemingly impossible tasks. With completion of these tasks he would become an immortal.

Trial one: The Nemean lion

The Nemean lion of Nemea had a hide so tough that not even the sharpest sword could pierce it. In order to defeat Heracles had to strangle it with his bare hands. After defeating the lion he wore its hide as protection.

The Lernaean Hydra

The hydra lived in the swamps of Lerna. It had the body of a dog and nine serpent heads which always grew back if cut off. To defeat the Hydra he had to cut off the head and burn it with a torch so it wouldn't grow back. He was then able to defeat it

Catching the Cerynean hind

The Cerynean hind was a deer with hooves of bronze, horns of gold, and was sacred to the goddes Artemis (goddess of the hunt). Catching th deer alive is even more difficult than killing it. Heracles stalked it for a whole year before finally catching it and bringing it to Eurystheus.

Trapping the Erymanthian boar

The boar was an enormous and fierce creature. Heracles defeated it by chasing it into a large snow drift then tying it up with chains.

Cleaning The Augean stables

The stables of King Augeus had not been cleaned in years and were piled roof high with dung. Heracles' task was to clean the stables thoroughly in one day. Knowing he wouldn't be able to by himself he instead diverted the course of a nearby river so that it swept through the stables and washed it spotless.

Removing the Stymphalian birds

These bronze birds we ferocious man eaters. They were bronze on the beaks claws and wings. He removed them by shouting and startling them. They then flew up in the air and her shot them with his bow and arrow.

Capturing the Cretan Bull

The Cretan bull was the father of the Minotaur. This bull ran wild on Crete, causing great damage. Heracles managed to master the animal and take it back to Eurystheus by boat.

To round up the Mares of Diomedes

These wild horses feasted on human flesh. They were led by Diomedes. To defeat them Heracles killed Diomedes then fed him to the horses. Once full they were calm and he got them under control

Hippolyte's girdle/belt

Heracles' 9th trial was to fetch the belt of Hippolyte. Hippolye was the queen of the Amazons, a tribe of warrior women. She happily obliged to give Heracles her belt, but Hera had to make it difficult. Hera made the amazons think that Heracles was hurting their queen so they attacked and he had to fight their whole army to get the belt.

Fetching the Cattle of Geryon

These cattle lived on an island far west gaurded by Orthrus, which is a two headed dog and Geryon, a heardsman who had three bodies above the waist. Heracles solved this by killing them both and driving the cattle home.

The golden apples of the Hesperides

The golden apples belonged to Hera. They were kept by the Hesperides, the daughters of the titan Atlas. Heracles did not know where the apples were kept so he went to their father. Atlas supported the weight of the earth on his shoulders. Atlas said he would go retrieve the apples for Heracles himself if he took his place for a while. Heracles agreed on Atlas set off. Atlas returned with the apples, but had enjoyed his time away so much that he refused to to take his burden back. Atlas said he would take the apples back to Eurystheus himself. Thinking quickly, Heracles pretended to agree to take the burden but asked Atlas to take the weight for a moment so he could settle it more comfortably. Atlas did, and Heracles escaped.

Bringing Cerberus from Tartarus

Cerberus, a monster out three headed dog gaurded the gates of the underworld. He prevented anyone from leaving the underworld. Pluto gave Heracles permission to take the dog if he did not use weapons. Heracles had to drag the struggling dog all the way to the court of Eurystheus.

Other Adventures of Heracles

Heracles had many other adventures. On one journey he killed the eagles that tormented Prometheus and freed the titan. Heracles also sailed with the Argonauts and freed his cousin Theseus from his chains in the Underworld. He still suffered fits of madness caused by Hera, until he was finally cured by the witch, Medea.

The death of Heracles

Heracles later married Deianeira and had multiple children with her. Hera finally caught up with him. She tricked Deianeira into giving Heracles a magic robe. She told her that the rob would keep Heracles faithful to her. With this thought in her mind she gave him the robe. It turned out that the robe was poisoned and caused great agony when worn. He was unable to remove the rob thus killing him. He then had a funeral pyre built and climbed it to die and escape the pain. Zeus then came and snatched his son from the fires and took him to mount Olympus where he then became immortal.

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