Hercules Facts

Hercules Facts
Hercules, a hero of ancient Greek mythology, was the son of Zeus (his father) and Alcmenea (his mother). He was born in the Greek city Thebes. It is believed that he became immortal when he was nursed by Zeus' wife Hera, who was the queen of the gods. Hera learned that Hercules was actually the son of her husband Zeus and another woman and became very jealous with rage at Hercules. Hercules married and had several children. Hera sent him a temporary curse of madness and Hercules killed his wife and children. He then set out to perform the 'Twelve Labours', 12 seemingly impossible feats, to pay for his madness and the murders of his family.
Interesting Hercules Facts:
The name Hercules is derived from the Etruscan name Hercle. It means 'Glory of Hera', which is ironic because Hera did not like him. In fact she wanted him dead.
Hercules had two step-fathers. The first was Amphitryon and the second was Radamanthes, another of Zeus' sons.
Hercules is depicted as a handsome, muscular young man, usually with a beard.
Hercules is often depicted with a wooden club, a lion skin that he wears over only one shoulder, and lots of muscles.
Hercules' first wife was Megara, the daughter of King Creon.
Hercules had three sons with Megara. Their names were Thersimachus, Creontidas, and Deicoon.
He killed Megara and their children when he was cursed by Hera.
The 'Twelve Labours' included 1) slay the Nemean Lion; 2) slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra; 3) capture the Golden Hind of Artemis; 4) capture the Erymanthian Boar; 5) clean the Augean stables in one day; 6) slay the Stymphalian Birds; 7) capture the Cretan Bull; 8) steal the Mares of Diomedes; 9) obtain the girdle of Hippolyta; 10) obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon; 11) steal the apples of the Hesperides; 12) capture and bring back Cerberus.
Hercules completed the 'Twelve Labours' in 12 years.
It is believed that Hercules had many children. One belief is that he had one child by each of Thespius' fifty daughters.
Hercules was involved in the Calydonian Hunt and the Argonaut Expedition.
Hercules second wife was Deianira. She was captured by the centaur Nessus and tricked into poisoning Hercules with Nessus' blood.
In agony from the poisoned blood, Hercules begged his father Zeus to let him die, even though he was immortal.
Zeus agreed and Hercules rose to heaven. He then married Hebe, one of Hera's daughters and a goddess of Olympia - the goddess of health.
Hercules has been seen as a hero and depicted as such in the many movies and television shows that have been made about him
Hercules' weaknesses were believed to be that he was gluttonous and liked too many women, even when he was married.
The most famous statue of Hercules is located in the National Museum in Naples, Italy. It is called the Farnese Hercules.
Hercules name is often misspelled as Hercales, Heracules, Herkules, Herkalies, and Hurcales.
Sophocles, Euripides, and Seneca all wrote plays depicting Hercules as a hero.


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