Heracles

Greek - Son of Zeus by Alcmene. Twin of Iphicles. Husband of Megara and, later, of Deianeira. Father by Megara of Creontidas, Deicoon and Thersimachus. Father by Deianeira of Ctesippus, Glenus, Hodites, Hyllus, Macaria and Tlepolemus. Father by Procris of Antileon and Hippeus, some say. When Zeus decided that there was a need for a great champion to safeguard both the gods and mortals, he slept with Alcmene during the absence of her husband Amphitryon at the wars, deceiving her into thinking he was her husband and causing the motions of the universe to slow so that one night lasted for three. The result of this union was Heracles, known in his early years as Alcides. Alcmene, fearing the wrath of the jealous Hera, abandoned Heracles in a field where he was found by Hera who, not knowing who the infant was, suckled him, so making him immortal. When she later discovered that the boy - originally known as Alcaeus or Palaemon - was the son of her own husband she became obsessed with making his life difficult. As a start, she sent two fiery-eyed serpents to kill him but Heracles, though a mere lad at the time, strangled them both, one in each hand. As a youth, he killed Linus who was teaching him to play the lyre by striking him with the instrument in a fit of anger. He was acquitted at his trial, quoting the law that gave him the right of self-defence against Linus who had been beating him. He also killed the outlaw Saurus and another called Termerus, the latter in a head-butting contest just as Termerus had killed many a traveller. At eighteen, he slept with each of the fifty daughters of King Thespius, producing fifty-one sons, and went on to kill the Cithaeronian lion which had been causing havoc. He wore the skin as armour with the jaws forming a helmet. Other accounts say that this was the skin of the Nemean Lion which he killed as the first of his twelve Labours and that the Cithaeronian Lion was killed by Alcathous. Reputedly the strongest man who ever strode the earth, he fought on the side of the gods when the Giants rebelled and killed Ephialtes, Porphyrion and their leader Alcyoneus. When a Theban charioteer accidentally killed King Clymenus, his son Erginus avenged his death by exacting a tribute of a hundred cattle for twenty years. Heracles became involved when he cut the noses off the men sent to collect the cattle and, when Erginus attacked Thebes, he led the Theban youth and defeated the Minyan army, killing Erginus. As reward he was given Megara, the eldest daughter of King Creon, in marriage and they had several sons - the number varies according to who is telling the story - who became known as the Alcaides. Hera eventually drove Heracles mad and he tried to kill his own nephew Iolaus. Iolaus escaped but Heracles did kill six of his own sons and two of the sons of his brother Iphicles or, in an alternative version, Megara and two or three of his own sons. He was purified by King Thespius and, when he consulted the Delphic Oracle, he was told to serve King Eurystheus for twelve years and do whatever the king demanded of him. Hermes gave him a sword, Apollo donated a bow and arrows, Hephaestus a breast-plate, Athena a robe, Poseidon a team of horses and his father, Zeus, gave him a shield. So equipped, Heracles set out to perform the twelve Labours, taking with him young Iolaus as charioteer. After his fourth Labour, he joined the Argonauts on their expedition to recover the Golden Fleece but was left behind at Mysia when he went off to look for his armour-bearer, Hylas, who had been carried off by water-nymphs. Giving up his fruitless search, he resumed his Labours, successfully completing all twelve. He later killed Calais and Zetes who had advised Jason to sail on, leaving Heracles stranded in Mysia. Afterwards, he gave his wife Megara to Iolaus and tried for the hand of Iole by beating her father Eurytus in an archery contest. When Eurytus reneged on his offer of Iole's hand to the victor and an argument arose about some stolen cattle, Heracles killed Iphitus, son of Eurytus, by throwing him from a tower. As punishment, he was sold as a slave to Omphale, queen of Lydia, for one year but this proved pleasant punishment when Omphale fell in love with him and bore him three children, Agelaus, Lamus and Laomedon. He also fathered Cleodaeus and Alcaeus on Malis, a servant of Omphale. To avenge himself on Augeas who had failed to hand over the promised reward of a tenth of all the herds when Heracles cleansed his stables and land, Heracles attacked Elis and later killed Eurytus and Cteatus, the twins who had acted as general for Augeas and were joined at the waist. He also sacked Pylus because the king, Neleus, had fought for Augeas, and killed his sons including Periclymenus who, given the power by Poseidon of assuming any shape he wished, attacked Heracles in the form of an eagle until killed with an arrow. Heracles gave the city to Nestor, son of Neleus. Hippocoon had become king of Sparta by deposing his brothers, the co-kings Icarius and Tyndareus. He had also helped Neleus in his fight with Heracles. In revenge, Heracles killed Hippocoon and his twelve sons, restoring the former rulers to the throne. He also fought and defeated the many-formed river-god Achelous for the hand of Deianeira and married her. Their children were called Ctesippus, Glenus, Hodites, Hyllus and Macaria. Heracles also killed Phyleus, king of Ephyra, abducting his daughter Astyoche on whom, according to some accounts, he fathered Tlepolemus. Others say the mother was Astyadameia, also abducted. He accidentally killed Eunomus when the boy spilled some wine and exiled himself and family to Trachis. A Centaur named Nessus offered to carry Deianeira and the children over the Evenus while Heracles swam across but ran off with Deianeira and tried to rape her. Heracles shot him from across the river. At the behest of Nessus, Deianeira collected his spilt semen and blood and mixed it with olive oil in a sealed jar, believing his story that it would act as a lovepotion if she spread it on her husband's shirt. In another version, Nessus gave her his own robe, stained with his poisoned blood, which had the same effect. Challenged to a chariot-duel by Cycnus, a son of Ares, he won the contest, killing Cycnus and wounding Ares who was supporting his son in the duel. He next took further revenge on Eurytus, who had reneged on his promise to give his daughter Iole to the winner of the archery contest, by sacking Oechalia and killing Iole's family. He captured Iole and sent her back to Trachis while he remained to offer sacrifices to Zeus. By the hand of the herald, Lichas, Deianeira sent, at Heracles' request, a new shirt for the ceremony and she, fearing that she would be abandoned in favour of Iole, anointed the shirt with what she believed to be the love-potion given to her by Nessus. In fact, the mixture contained the poison of the Hydra which had entered the blood-stream of Nessus from the arrow fired by Heracles and Heracles died in agony, finally immolating himself on a pyre on Mount Oeta. Before he died he grabbed Lichas by one foot and threw him to his death from Mount Oeta. The pyre was lit either by Philoctetes, to whom Heracles bequeathed his bow and arrows, or by his father, Poeas. Zeus conveyed the immortal part of his son to Olympus where he became one of the gods. Finally reconciled with Hera, he married her daughter Hebe and fathered two more children, Alexiares and Anicetus. In the Roman version, where Heracles becomes Hercules, he is said to have married Lavinia and fathered Latinus and Pallas. As father of Celtus by Celtina, he originated the Celts. Also identified as Heracles, Alcaeus, Alcaeus, Alcides, Alcides, Heracles, Amphitryonides, Amphitryonides, Heracles, Herakles, Herakles, Heracles, Melampygos, Melampygos, Heracles, sacred animals, sacred animals, animals, Set India Dionysus, Set Australian Aborigines Thor Egypt Egypt Hera, Syria Dionysus, Egypt, Helius, Neptune, Shiva, Zeus Japan Egypt, Pasht Wadjet Hera, Hindu Egypt, Sebek, Set Heracles Huitlantecuhtli Dionysus Buddhism Atargatis Astarte Aphrodite, Dionysus, Venus Apollo, Athena Kaltesh Hestia, Isis Set Ares, Helius Wadjet Anubis, Set Dionysus Helius, Juno Dahomey, Osiris Dionysus, Sandan, Vulcan Dionysus India Dinka tribe, Jupiter Hathor Dionysus, Dusara, Polynesia Angus Og, Greece Dionysus, Zeus Nyx Wadjet Asclepius, Dayaks, Dionysius, Minerva, Sumeria Diana, Jurojin Dionysus Aphrodite, Hermes Egypt Apollo, Ares, Wepwawet Asia or Hindu.
Greek - A play by Euripides. Sometimes known as Heracles, Alcaeus, Alcaeus, Alcides, Alcides, Heracles, Amphitryonides, Amphitryonides, Heracles, Herakles, Herakles, Heracles, Melampygos, Melampygos, Heracles, sacred animals, sacred animals, animals, Set India Dionysus, Set Australian Aborigines Thor Egypt Egypt Hera, Syria Dionysus, Egypt, Helius, Neptune, Shiva, Zeus Japan Egypt, Pasht Wadjet Hera, Hindu Egypt, Sebek, Set Heracles Huitlantecuhtli Dionysus Buddhism Atargatis Astarte Aphrodite, Dionysus, Venus Apollo, Athena Kaltesh Hestia, Isis Set Ares, Helius Wadjet Anubis, Set Dionysus Helius, Juno Dahomey, Osiris Dionysus, Sandan, Vulcan Dionysus India Dinka tribe, Jupiter Hathor Dionysus, Dusara, Polynesia Angus Og, Greece Dionysus, Zeus Nyx Wadjet Asclepius, Dayaks, Dionysius, Minerva, Sumeria Diana, Jurojin Dionysus Aphrodite, Hermes Egypt Apollo, Ares, Wepwawet Asia or Hindu.

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