The Myth of Hercules

The greek myths They are formed by a set of legends of ancient Greek beliefs, specifically of their ancient civilization located in the Eastern Mediterranean. One of the best known legends is that of Heracles, also known as Hercules for the Romans.

short hercules myth

What is the myth of Hercules?

The myth tells that Heracles was the son of Zeus and Alcmena. But his birth was not the result of a love affair, since Zeus posed as Alcmena's husband, who was called Host, and adopted his form taking advantage of the fact that he had gone to war. In this way, she came to have a son with her, Heracles. That brought harsh consequences for the young Heracles, as Zeus's wife, Ivy, upon learning and enraged by this event, she was in charge of tormenting the life of Heracles since he was a child.

Heracles did not he was known to possess great intelligence or wisdom, the things he enjoyed the most were wine, food and women. He was also very temperamental, which made him lose control of his immeasurable strength every time he allowed himself to be carried away by anger. However, this did not mean that everything was bad. Since once calmed down, he came to understand the weight of his actions and accepted the punishment he deserved. Getting to commit not to use their force during the time that said punishment lasted.

12 labors of hercules

Our Greek hero also had children with Megara, on whom a terrible event fell. Hera, Zeus's wife, as we have already mentioned, not being able to defeat Hercules because he was stronger than her, caused him to lose his memory for a period of time. Heracles, being confused, murdered his wife and three children in cold blood and when he recovered his memory, he was filled with sadness and agony. To remedy his actions, he agreed to perform 12 jobs, commissioned after visiting the Oracle of Delphi as penance for his actions.

The 12 tasks of Hercules

The list of tasks, jobs that were entrusted to Hercules, in order to purify his sins and grant him eternal life, were the following:

  1. Kill the Nemean lion
  2. Kill the Hydra of Lerna
  3. Capture the Cerinea deer
  4. Capture the Erymanthus Boar
  5. Clean the Augean stables in one day
  6. Kill the Stymphalian birds
  7. Capture the Cretan Bull
  8. Steal the Mares of King Diomedes
  9. Recover the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons
  10. Steal the monster's cattle Geryon
  11. Steal apples from garden of the Hesperides
  12. Capture and bring back Cerberus, the Guardian of the Underworld

Finally, Hercules He managed to overcome these 12 difficult tasks and earned his place as the greatest hero in Greek history, with Achilles, of course, that we will see in another short Greek myth.

Heracles or Hercules?

When he was born his parents called him Alcides in honor of his grandfather Alceo. At the time, the god Apollo changed his name to Heracles, an award given for being the servant of the goddess Hera. The Greeks knew him by this name while the Romans called him Hercules. Until now he is commonly identified as Hercules, thus remaining engraved for the rest of history.

How did Hercules die?

This famous character was characterized by being an attractive man, stocky in all his splendor. Because of this he wanted to have many relationships and from them many children were born. The consequence of a disorderly sentimental life was his death.

According to legend, Hercules had four wives. The first was Megara, with whom he had several children and then killed in a fit of anger. It is still unknown if she was left alive or was also killed by her husband. The second woman he married was with Queen Omphale, then became their slave, it is not known how they ended up.

Then he married Deyanira, it was his third marriage. Hercules had to fight Achelous, the river god to be with her. She was his last wife on earth before going to Olympus as a god. Their lives were agitated when on one occasion, crossing a river, the centaur Nesus offered to cross Deyanira to the other side while Hercules swam.

The daring centaur seized the moment and tried to kidnap her. This bad move enraged her husband so much that he did not hesitate to shoot Neso with an arrow poisoned with the blood of the hydra Lerna. This reached his body and killed him. In his agony He tricked the beautiful Deyanira with an evil trap to get revenge on Hercules.

Neso made Deyanira take part of his blood with the lie that it would prevent her husband from noticing another woman. She would just have to pour it over her clothes and he would have her. However, the reality was different, as it was a lethal poison that would burn his skin with the slightest touch.

This is how the innocent Deyanira killed her beloved husband inadvertently. Hercules tried to stop the effect of the deadly poison and could not. When he died, the gods of Olympus granted him complete immortality. In his new life he married Hebe, his fourth wife.

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