Heracles was an ancient mythical hero, a demi-god, the greatest of the Greek heroes. He was born in Thebes and was son of Zeus and Alcmene, a descendant of Perseus.
The womanizer god Zeus took the face of Amphitryon (Alcmene’s husband) and slept with Alcmene. Their half-god son showed his superhuman abilities early on. When he was born, Hera, Zeus‘s wife, who was jealous of his infidelities, sent two snakes to the baby’s cot, but the infant strangled them.
In addition to his divine skills, Heracles had also an excellent education as an ally, as he had the best teachers in fencing, wrestling, arc, science and music. Moreover, his father-in-law, Amphitryon, who undertook to raise him, taught him the art of charioteer.
As a teenager he caused the war between Thebes and the kingdom of Orchomenus. As a reward for his victory against Orchomenus, he received Megara for his wife, the daughter of the king of Thebes, with whom he had three children. But Hera, who constantly pursued him, made him insane and he killed his wife and his children. When he realized what he had done, he decided to go to the Delphi Oracle to learn how he could be purified. According to the oracle, he had to serve Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, for twelve years, and to perform the feats that he would command.
The 12 Labors of Heracles:
1. Slay the Nemean Lion.
2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra.
3. Capture the Golden Hind of Keryneia.
4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
5. Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
6. Slay the Stymphalian Birds.
7. Capture the Cretan Bull.
8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.
10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon.
11. Steal the apples of the Hesperides.
12. Capture Cerberus and bring him back from Hades.
The ancient Greeks, usually showed Heracles dressed in the lion skin, holding a club in his hand, with bearing of a giant and a body strong, youthful and sturdy.
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