The twelve labours of Hercules or dodekathlon (Greek: δωδέκαθλον, dodekathlon) are a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, whose name was later romanised as Hercules. The episodes were later connected by a continuous narrative. The establishment of a fixed cycle of twelve labours was attributed by the Greeks to an epic poem, now lost, written by Peisander, dated about 600 BC.[1] Context[edit] Labours of Hercules Labours of Hercules
The Mares of Diomedes, also called the Mares of Thrace, were four man-eating horses in Greek mythology. Magnificent, wild, and uncontrollable, they belonged to the giant Diomedes (not to be confused with Diomedes, son of Tydeus), king of Thrace, a son of Ares and Cyrene who lived on the shores of the Black Sea. Bucephalus, Alexander the Great's horse, was said to be descended from these mares. The Eighth Labour of Heracles[edit] Mares of Diomedes Mares of Diomedes
Stymphalian birds In Greek mythology, the Stymphalian birds (Greek: Στυμφαλίδες ὄρνιθες, Stymphalídes órnithes) were man-eating birds with beaks of bronze and sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims, and were pets of Ares, the god of war. Furthermore, their dung was highly toxic. They had migrated to a lake in Arcadia to escape a pack of wolves, and bred quickly and took over the countryside, destroying local crops, fruit trees and townspeople. The Sixth Labour of Heracles[edit] Stymphalian birds
Hippolyta Hippolyta In Greek mythology, Hippolyta, Hippoliyte, or Hippolyte (Ἱππολύτη) was the Amazonian queen who possessed a magical girdle she was given by her father Ares, the god of war. The girdle was a waist belt that signified her authority as queen of the Amazons. She figures prominently in the myths of both Heracles and Theseus. As such, the stories about her are varied enough that they may actually be about a few different characters.[1]
Geryon Geryon Geryon was often described as a monster with human faces. According to Hesiod[4] Geryon had one body and three heads, whereas the tradition followed by Aeschylus gave him three bodies.[5] A lost description by Stesichoros said that he has six hands and six feet and is winged;[6] there are some mid-sixth-century Chalcidian vases portraying Geryon as winged. Some accounts state that he had six legs as well while others state that the three bodies were joined to one pair of legs.
In Greek mythology, Augeas (or Augeias, /ɔːˈdʒiːəs/, Ancient Greek: Αὐγείας), whose name means "bright", was king of Elis and father of Epicaste. Some say that Augeas was one of the Argonauts.[1] He is best known for his stables, which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned—until the time of the great hero Heracles. Augeas' lineage varies in the sources—he was said to be either the son of Helius and Nausidame,[2] or of Eleios, king of Elis, and Nausidame,[3] or of Poseidon,[4] or of Phorbas and Hyrmine.[5] His children were Epicaste, Phyleus, Agamede (who was the mother of Dictys by Poseidon),[6] Agasthenes, and Eurytus. Augeas Augeas
Cerberus Cerberus /ˈsɜrbərəs/,[1] or Kerberos, (Greek form: Κέρβερος, [ˈkerberos])[2] in Greek and Roman mythology, is a multi-headed (usually three-headed) dog, or "hellhound" [1][3][4] which guards the entrance of Hades, to prevent those who entered from ever escaping. Cerberus is featured in many works of ancient Greek and Roman literature and in works of both ancient and modern art and architecture, although the depiction and background surrounding Cerberus often differed across various works by different authors of the era. The most notable difference is the number of its heads: Most sources describe or depict three heads; others show it with two or even just one; a smaller number of sources show a variable number, sometimes as many as 50 or even 100. Cerberus
Erymanthian Boar In Greek mythology, the Erymanthian Boar (Greek: ὁ Ἐρυμάνθιος κάπρος; Latin: aper Erymanthius) is remembered in connection with The Twelve Labours, in which Heracles, the (reconciled) enemy of Hera, visited in turn "all the other sites of the Goddess throughout the world, to conquer every conceivable 'monster' of nature and rededicate the primordial world to its new master, his Olympian father," Zeus.[1] The Fourth Labour of Heracles[edit] Heracles' fourth labour—by some counts, for there is no single definitive telling—was to capture the Boar. On the way there, Heracles visited Pholus ("caveman"), a kind and hospitable centaur and old friend. Erymanthian Boar
Hesperides In Greek mythology, the Hesperides (/hɛˈspɛrɪdiːz/; Ancient Greek: Ἑσπερίδες) are nymphs who tend a blissful garden in a far western corner of the world, located near the neighbourhood of Cyrene[1] or Benghazi[2] in Libya or the Atlas mountains in North Africa at the edge of the encircling Oceanus, the world-ocean.[3] The nymphs are said to be the daughters of Hesperus.[4] According to the Sicilian Greek poet Stesichorus, in his poem the "Song of Geryon", and the Greek geographer Strabo, in his book Geographika (volume III), the garden of the Hesperides is located in Tartessos, a location placed in the south of the Iberian peninsula. By Ancient Roman times,[when?] the garden of the Hesperides had lost its archaic place in religion and had dwindled to a poetic convention, in which form it was revived in Renaissance poetry, to refer both to the garden and to the nymphs that dwelt there. Hesperides
The Nemean[pronunciation?] lion (Greek: Λέων τῆς Νεμέας (Léōn tēs Neméas); Latin: Leo Nemaeus) was a vicious monster in Greek mythology that lived at Nemea. It was eventually killed by Heracles. It could not be killed with mortal weapons because its golden fur was impervious to attack. Its claws were sharper than mortal swords and could cut through any armor. Nowadays lions are not part of the Greek fauna (or the fauna of Europe whatsoever). Nemean lion Nemean lion
Lernaean Hydra In Greek mythology, the Lernaean Hydra (Greek: Λερναία Ύδρα) was an ancient serpent-like water monster, with reptilian traits (as its name evinces), that possessed many heads — the poets mention more heads than the vase-painters could paint, and for each head cut off it grew two more — and poisonous breath and blood so virulent even its tracks were deadly.[1] The Hydra of Lerna was killed by Hercules as the second of his Twelve Labours. Its lair was the lake of Lerna in the Argolid, though archaeology has borne out the myth that the sacred site was older even than the Mycenaean city of Argos since Lerna was the site of the myth of the Danaids. Beneath the waters was an entrance to the Underworld, and the Hydra was its guardian.[2]
Cretan Bull Origin[edit] The myth of Poseidon sending the bull (which seduced Minos' wife) may simply be an earlier version of the myth of Zeus seducing Europa, as in earlier Mycenean times, Poseidon had significantly more importance than Zeus. The change of gods was due to the replacement of the Mycenean culture and religion, with a later one favoring Zeus. Poseidon and Zeus, which have the same etymological origin (Poseidon deriving from Posei-Deion which means Lord God[citation needed], and Zeus deriving from Deus which also means God[citation needed]), may be the result of the parallel evolution of the same original god in separate cultures, one (Poseidon - who is also associated with horses) becoming associated more with the sea (due to change in the main source of trade), and thus eventually becoming noticeably different. The Seventh Labour of Heracles[edit] Thayod is an engraving of Hercules performing one of his labors as he forces the Cretan Bull to the ground.
In Greek mythology, the Ceryneian Hind (Greek: ἡ Κερυνῖτις ἔλαφος), also called Cerynitis or the Golden Hind, was an enormous hind (deer), who lived in Keryneia, Greece. It was sacred to Artemis, the chaste goddess of the hunt, animals and unmarried women. It had golden antlers like a stag and hooves of bronze or brass, and it was said that it could outrun an arrow in flight. Ceryneian Hind