Hercules is the son of Zeus and a mortal woman, and known as the greatest hero in greek mythology. Zeus' queen Hera, was jealous of Hercules and sent two snakes to kill him while he was a child. Later both snakes were killed by the tiny child, Hercules.
Hercules killing two snakes as a child.
Labor One: The Nemean Lion
- For killing his children, Hercules was forced to do the 12 labors. His first labor, The Nemean Lion. This lion wasn't an ordinary lion and had supernatural powers. This Lion's skin couldn't be penetrated by spears or arrows.
Hercules went to a town called Cleonae, where he stayed at a house owned by Molorchus, a poor workman-and-hire. His host asked to sacrifice and pray for Hercules to have a safe lion hunt, Hercules asked him to wait 30 days. If he came back with the lion's skin, they'd sacrifice the skin to Zeus. If he didn't come back, they'd sacrifice an animal to Hercules, as a Hero.
Hercules tracked down the lion. He started to shoot it with arrows, then realized that arrows would be useless against his terrifying opponent. He followed the lion into a cave with two entrances. Once the lion was in the cave, he blocked the entrance and began to choke it. The lion couldn't get away from Hercules and died.
Hercules choking the Nemean Lion.
Hercules returned to Cleonae holding the lion on his back. Finding Molorchus on the 30th day, they sacrificed together to Zeus instead of sacrificing for Hercules.
Hercules returned to Mycenae, Eurystheus was amazed that the hero has finished such an impossible task. The king became afraid of Hercules and forbid him from entering the city. He buried a hole into the ground and hid in a jar. Sending guards to talk to Hercules, not wanting to talk face to face.
Labor Two: The Hydra
- The Second Labor was to kill the Lernean Hydra. Living in the Lerna Swamp, it would terrorize the countryside. It attacked with its poisonous venom. It was not easy prey, for one head was immortal.
Hercules set off to hunt the menace, he didn't go alone though. His trusty nephew Iolaus was by his side for many of the labors that Hercules did. After walking for a long while, they discovered the Hydra's lair. First Hercules lured the Hydra from its den, so it was out in the open. Hercules and the monster began battle, Hercules wasn't scared of it's heads. Hercules smashed one head, and two grew in it's place! To make matters worse, a huge crab was helping the Hydra. A quick smash with his club took it out fast, though.
Hercules and Iolaus fighting the Hydra.
Hercules smashed one head, and to prevent the growing of another, Iolaus put a torch up to it's neck to make sure another one didn't grow. They did this until only one was left, and he chopped the immortal head off. Hercules buried the head on the side of the road, putting a rock above it so it couldn't escape.
The king didn't count this as a labor, but the mythmakers gave Hercules full credit. It didn't technically matter to anyone else.
Labor Three: The Hind of Ceryneia
Diana's Pet Deer
- For the third labor, Hercules was asked to get the Hind of Ceryneia.
You'd think it'd be easy to catch the deer, but Hercules couldn't harm the deer for Diana would surely punish him, this made it challenging. It was also a special deer, with golden horns. For a year Hercules hunted this deer. She went to the top of a mountain called Artemisius, to rest. Then She went to the river Radon. Realising that the deer was going to get away, Hercules shot the deer in the leg with an arrow, picked it up and started to travel back.
Hercules ran into Diana on the way back, and was forced to tell the truth. He told her about the labors he had to finish, and had Diana heal the deer's wound. He brought the deer back, alive.
Labor Four: The Erymanthian Boar
- For his fourth Labor, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to bring him The Erymanthian Boar, alive. A Boar is a huge pig, with tusk growing out of its mouth.
This boar was called this because it lived on a mountain called Erymanthus. Everyday this boar would come crashing down from the mountain, attacked the people nearby, destroying everything in it's path.
Hercules visited a friend, Pholus who was a centaur that lived near Erymanthus. A centaur is a human waist up, and is has a horse body as their legs. Hercules was hungry and thirsty, so Pholus cooked him some food, while he ate his food raw. Hercules asked for wine, Pholus said that if he opened it the other centaurs would smell it and be angry. Hercules told him not to worry, for he can handle it. Hercules opened the wine and started to drink, later the other centaurs came. Angry that he drank their wine, they threw rocks at Hercules. Hercules chased them out with a club, and a stick on fire.
Hercules left for a bit, and once he did Pholus picked up an arrow that killed a centaur. "How could such a small weapon kill such a large creature?" He dropped the weapon and it landed on his foot. He died on the spot. Later when Hercules came back, he buried his centaur friend, and the boar hunt started.
It wasn't hard for Hercules to find the Boar, he could hear it stomping and kicking. Hercules chased the Boar around a mountain, as he yelled as loud as he could. Scared the Boar ran into some snow. Trapped the Boar in a net, and brought it back to Mycenae. Amazed and frightened, Eurystheus hid in his jar.
Labor Five: The Augean Stables
Hercules Cleans Up
- For his Fifth Labor, Eurystheus told Hercules to clean up the Augean Stables.
Hercules went to King Augean and told him that he would clean up his stables in a day, for 10 cattle. He agreed, and Hercules went to work. The next day, Hercules made two holes in the walls, and sent a river down them. Once the king found out that Eurystheus was apart of this, he denied that he was even apart of this. He demanded them to leave the castle at once.
Labor Six: The Stymphalian Birds
- For Hercules' sixth task, he would have to scare off an enormous flock of birds, which were gathering near a lake.
Hercules climbed a mountain near a tree, and with a special item he got from Athena, and made a loud sound with the special item. The birds flew away.
Labor Seven: The Cretan Bull
- Hercules' job was to bring the king the Cretan Bull.
Once Hercules got there, the bull was no match for the hero, Hercules wrestled the bull, obtaining victory. He bringed it back to the king. The bull was later killed by another hero, but that is a different story.
Labor Eight: The Man-Eating Horses of Diomedes
- Eurystheus sent Hercules to get the Man-Eating Horses of Diomedes.
Hercules got a boat together and with a few men, went to go get the mares. Once they got there, they had to fight Diomedes' and his men. Hercules' killing Diomedes and taking the mares back to the King. They let the mares go free. They eventually ended up on Mt. Olympus, and were eaten by wild beasts.
Labor Nine: Hippolyte's Belt
Hercules Fights the Amazons
- Hercules' was to get Hippolyte's belt, which was given to her by the god of war.
Hercules got his friend to come along with him, so Hercules' and his friend went to the amazons. One they got there, Hercules' talked to Hippolyte. She originally was going to give Hercules' the belt, but something went wrong. Hera saw Hercules' arrival to be no good, so she disgusted herself as one of their warriors, and went around telling the amazons that Hercules' would run off with their queen.
As battle started, Hercules' quickly killed Hippolyte, and took her belt.
Labor Ten:The Cattle of Geryon
- Hercules' next task was to get the Cattle of Geryon. Geryon was a gorgon with three heads, and three legs.