The Story of Hercules: The Ancient Greek God of Strength

Jun 26, 22

The Story of Hercules: The Ancient Greek God of Strength

 

The Story of Hercules: The Ancient Greek God of Strength

 

The story of Hercules is about a demi-god who was blessed with the strength of 10 men. He was also given 12 brutal labours as his punishment for killing his wife and her lover simultaneously, without knowing which one of them was his wife.

While he’s not as well known as other Greek gods like Zeus, Athena, or Apollo, Hercules remains an important figure in Greek mythology and introduced many critical concepts into their culture. Today we will talk about the story of Hercules as one of the most famous Greek gods that everyone should know.

 

What is the story of Hercules?

Hercules is a demigod from Greek mythology who was granted immortality after completing his legendary 12 labours. He was the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and Alcmene, a human woman.

This makes him a demi-god, or a human with divine ancestry. From an early age, Hercules displayed extreme strength. This got him into trouble with King Eurystheus, who ruled Mycenae, the capital of ancient Greece. Hercules killed King Eurystheus’s guards when they tried to arrest him.

To atone for his actions, Hercules agreed to complete 10 labours for King Eurystheus and one final task for himself.

 

12 Labors of Hercules

Hercules’ 12 labours were his punishment for killing King Eurystheus’s guards when he was a teenager. These labours were intended to be impossible for anyone to complete, but Hercules completed them all.

Hercules’ 12 labours are as follows: - Slay the Nemean Lion: This lion was known for its impenetrable pelt. Hercules wrestled the lion until it was exhausted, then strangled it to death. To conquer the lion, Hercules used his superhuman strength, ingenuity, and a large club. 

Capture the Boar: This boar had razor-sharp tusks that were almost impossible to penetrate. Hercules pinned the boar to the ground with his hands and then used his feet to tear its throat out.

Clean the Cattle: These cattle were infected with a deadly disease that killed all of the other herders. Hercules killed the cattle with an axe and then burned them to cleanse them of the disease.

Slay the Stags: These stags were part of King Eurystheus’s royal hunting party. Hercules hunted the stags until they were exhausted, then used his bare hands to strangle them to death.

Clean the Horses: These horses were uninfected, but covered in manure. Hercules scooped up the dung with his bare hands and threw it into the sea.

Capture the Girdle: This was a girdle that belonged to the queen of the Amazons, a warlike tribe of women. Hercules tricked the queen into giving it to him by claiming he wanted to marry one of her daughters.

Steal the Mares: These mares belonged to King Diomedes, the ruler of the Bistones, a fierce tribe of warriors. Hercules lured the Bistones into an ambush and then stole their mares while they were distracted.

Capture the Cretan Bull: This bull was owned by King Minos, the ruler of Crete. The bull was so massive that it could plough a field in a single day.

Capture the Golden Hind: King Augeas owned this deer, which was capable of leaping over a 10-foot-high fence in a single bound.

Slay the Stymphalian Birds: These birds had razor-sharp feathers, iron beaks, and flesh-rotting excrement.

Steal the Girdle of Hippolyte: Hippolyte was the queen of the Amazons. Her girdle was made of the impenetrable hide of a slain dragon.

 

The Story of Hercules: From God to Mortal

Hercules was born from King Zeus and a human woman named Alcmene. Zeus married Alcmene, who did not know that Zeus was a god. When she gave birth to Hercules, Alcmene’s family realized that he was a demi-god.

They wanted to kill the child, so Alcmene sent him to be raised by a family of shepherds in the countryside. When he was 18 years old, Hercules was visited by two goddesses: Athena and Hera. They told him that he was a demi-god and that he has divine ancestry.

Hercules then went to Mycenae, the capital of ancient Greece, to visit King Eurystheus, the ruler of the region. While there, Hercules decided to kill King Eurystheus’s guards, even though they had done nothing wrong. As punishment for these murders, King Eurystheus demanded that Hercules complete 12 impossible tasks.

 

Conclusion

Hercules was a demi-god from Greek mythology who was granted immortality after completing his legendary 12 labours. He was the son of Zeus, king of the gods, and Alcmene, a human woman. Hercules’ 12 labours were his punishment for killing King Eurystheus’s guards when he was a teenager.

These labours were intended to be impossible for anyone to complete, but Hercules managed to conquer them all. From an early age, Hercules displayed extreme strength. This got him into trouble with King Eurystheus, who ruled Mycenae, the capital of ancient Greece.

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