Hercules
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HERCULES. The demi-god Hercules and his trials, adventures, joys, and heartaches. His life was a labor of love and repentance, ending in godliness. FAMILY TREE. ZEUSDANAE PERSEUSANDROMEDA ELECTRYONALCAEUS ZEUSALCMENEAMPHITRYON HERACLESIPHICLES

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HERCULES

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Hercules

HERCULES

The demi-god Hercules and his trials, adventures, joys, and heartaches. His life was a labor of love and repentance, ending in godliness.


Family tree

FAMILY TREE

ZEUSDANAE

PERSEUSANDROMEDA

ELECTRYONALCAEUS

ZEUSALCMENEAMPHITRYON

HERACLESIPHICLES

*NOTE: HERACLES AND IPHICLES ARE TWINS, BUT HAVE DIFFERENT FATHERS


Birth and early life

BIRTH AND EARLY LIFE

  • Zeus fell in love with ALCMENE, but she was married to AMPHITRYON. While Amphitryon was away, Zeus came to her, disguised as Amphitryon. He expanded the night to three times its length so he could spend longer with Alcmene. After Zeus left, the real Amphitryon came home. During the course of those few days, Heracles and Iphicles were conceived; twins, but the father of Heracles is Zeus, and the father of Iphicles is Amphitryon.


Hera gets mad big surprise

HERA GETS MAD—Big Surprise!

  • Hera is furious that her husband has gotten another mortal pregnant. So, she ordered the goddess of birth, Eileithyia, to delay the birth of Heracles and his brother. Hera hoped the mother and children would die. However, Eileithyia gets startled and the babies are allowed to be born. Alcmene spited Hera by naming her son HERAkles.


The strength of hercules

THE STRENGTH OF HERCULES

  • Hera was still angry, so she sent two snakes to kill the infant. Hercules killed the two snakes with his bare hands.

  • As he grew up he became a great chariot driver, archer. He didn’t like music, and accidently killed his music teacher with his lyre and got exiled for the homicide.


Hera can t move on

HERA CAN’T MOVE ON

  • While exiled, Hercules met his wife, Megara and had three children by her.

  • Hera meanwhile is still ticked off about Hercules and sent a fit of madness to consume him. While mad, he killed Megara and his three children.

  • Hercules went to the oracle of Delphi to find purification.


Hercules penance

HERCULES’ PENANCE

  • The oracle of Delphi told him that he had to serve his cousin Eurystheus for twelve years.


The twelve labors

THE TWELVE LABORS

  • Hercules had to perform twelve labors to achieve his absolution for his sins toward his wife and children.


1 the nemean lion

1. THE NEMEAN LION

  • Hercules was required to bring the hide of this animal to Eurystheus. The lion could not be wounded as his hide was impenetrable so Hercules used a club and then skinned the lion with its own claw.

  • He then wore the skin and it became his trademark trophy.


2 the lernaean hydra

2. THE LERNAEAN HYDRA

  • This serpent had nine heads, one of which was immortal. Each time Hercules cut off a head, two grew back in its place. Simultaneously while dealing with the hydra, he was dealing with a giant crab that Hera had sent. He killed the crab and his nephew Iolaus helped by burning the necks of the decapitated hydra so no more would grow back. The immortal head was buried under a rock.


3 the cerynean deer

3. THE CERYNEAN DEER

  • This golden horned animal was sacred to Artemis and could not be harmed without her wrath.

  • Hercules pursued it for a whole year until catching it and Artemis confronted him about it. He blamed it on his cousin and gave her the deer back.


4 the erymantian boar

4. THE ERYMANTIAN BOAR

  • This animal had ravaged the land around Mount Erymanthus. Hercules chased it out of its hiding spot and brought it back to Eurystheus who was so terrified by it that he cowered in a large jar.


5 the augean stables

5. THE AUGEAN STABLES

  • Augeas, the kind of Elis owned tons of cattle. There stables had never been cleaned out and Hercules was told to do this. He accomplished this deed by diverting two rivers so that they flowed through the stables. After this labor

    Heracles was said to have instituted

    The Olympic games.


6 the stymphalian birds

6. THE STYMPHALIAN BIRDS

  • He was required to shoot these creatures, which had feathers that they shot like iron. He brought them out of hiding with a pair of castanets that Athena had given to him; he then shot the birds with his arrows.


7 the cretan bull

7. THE CRETAN BULL

  • This bull was ravaging the land of Crete. Hercules caught it and brought it back to Eurystheus.


8 the horses of diomedes

8. THE HORSES OF DIOMEDES

  • Diomedes was a Thracian king who owned a herd of horses that fed on human flesh. Heracles got a hold of the horses and fed them the flesh of their master.


9 the belt of hippolyta

9. THE BELT OF HIPPOLYTA

  • Hippolyta was queen of the Amazons. These women raised only their female children and cut off their right breasts to be able to throw the javelin more easily. Heracles was ordered to take her belt (a gift from Ares for her superior military ability). She greeted him nicely and said she would give him the belt, but Hera stirred up trouble and he had

    to kill Hippolyta.


The cattle of geryon

THE CATTLE OF GERYON

  • Geryon was a triple bodied monster who tended a herd of cattle. Hercules killed him. On the way, Hercules put up the pillars of Hercules and then he had cattle stolen by Cacus, but found them and strangled Cacus, thus having made a name for himself in Italy, and became more famously known Hercules. He was the only Greek hero worshipped byby the Romans.


11 the apples of the hesperides

11. THE APPLES OF THE HESPERIDES

  • The Hesperides were three

    daughters of Night. They tended a tree that had golden apples and it was guarded by a hundred mouthed dragon named Laden. He tricked Atlas into getting the apples and taking the Earth back. Then, he killed a giant named Antaeus.


12 the capture of cerberus

12. THE CAPTURE OF CERBERUS

  • He captured the three-headed dog of the underworld by wrestling him and then took him back. He would ultimately meet a man that would lead him to his death.


After the labors

AFTER THE LABORS

  • He was freed from slavery, only to kill again, and be sold back into slavery. Once free again, he goes on to marry Deianira and have a child with her, but then he gets exiled for killing a slave boy in a fit of anger.

  • They meet a centaur who tries to attack Deianira. He gives her blood to keep Heracles “faithful”.


His death and apotheosis

HIS DEATH AND APOTHEOSIS

  • The blood from the centaur nearly kills Hercules so he ends up building his own funeral pyre and burns himself to death. His wife had killed herself out of guilt, so he had no reason to go on. As the flames engulfed him, the chariot of Zeus came down and brought him up to Olympus. Hera finally gave up her grudge and gave

    • him her daughter Hebe as a wife and he became a full god instead of just a demi-god.


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