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Heracles

Heracles slays the nemean lion

Name:
Heracles
God of:
Strength
Title:
Divine Protector of Mankind
Symbols:
Club and lion skin
Weapons/Items:
Nemean Lion skin, Hydra poisoned arrows, club
Roman Name:
Hercules
Consorts:
Megara (first wife)

Deianira(second wife)

Hebe(third wife)
Children:
Alexiares and Anicetus (by Hebe)
Siblings:
Iphicles
Parents:
Zeus and Alcmene

Heracles was the son of Zeus and Alcmene.

Myth

Childhood

Heracles was not a normal child, even as a baby. One day, him and his brother, Iphicles were put to sleep, when two snakes crawled into the room. Awakened from screams that came from the children's room, their mother ran into the room and was shocked to see Iphicles screaming in terror, and Heracles holding a dead snake in each hand, both strangled. Later on in life, Heracles was taught music. But the young demigod had killed his teacher, after he was told he must practice more.

Adulthood

Since birth, Heracles was haunted by Hera's fury. Her revenge came to a climax after Heracles' marriage. One day, Hera made Heracles go into a blind frenzy, inflicting chaos on all those around him. But those people were his wife and children. After recovering from the rage, he was shocked to find his family dead at his feet. The people around could not bear the knowledge of Heracles act and told him. Crying for his loved ones, and calling himself a murderer, Theseus king of Athens came forth from the crowd, offered the demigod his hand and told to come with him to Athens. At first, Heracles refused to touch the hand, since according to the Greek belief, a man who touches the blood of a murdered one is also responsible for the act. After Theseus insisted, Heracles agreed. At Athens, Heracles sought out the oracle, which told Heracles that if he wishes to be pure again, he must punish himself. Heracles agreed, and turned to his uncle, Aristaeus, who was a cruel, insidious man. Aristaeus took the offer and gave Heracles what was later known as The Twelve Labors.

Second Marriage

Hercules was married to Deianeira. Long after their marriage, one day the centaur Nessus offered to ferry them across a wide river that they had to cross. Nessus set off with Deianeira first, but tried to abduct her. When Hercules realized the centaur's real intention, Hercules chased after him and shot him with an arrow which was poisoned with Hydra's blood. Before he died, Nessus told Deianeira to take some of his blood and semen and treasured it, since it was a very powerful medicine and: if she ever thought Hercules was being unfaithful, the centaur told her, the mixture would prevent him from betraying him. Deianeira kept the vial of blood and semen.

Many years after that incident she heard rumours that Hercules had fallen in love with another woman. She smeared some of the mixture on a robe and sent it to Hercules by a servant named Leechas. When doing so, some of the mixture was spilled on the floor and when the sun rays fell on it, it begun to burn. Because of this Deianeira begun to suspect Nessus's advice and decided to send another servant to fetch Leechas back before he could hand over the soaked robe to Hercules. She was too late. Hercules has already put on the robe and when he did so the blood still poisoned from the same arrow used by Hercules, burnt into his flesh. When he jumped into a nearby river in hope of extinguishing the fire, it only made it worse. When he tried to rip off the robe from his body his organs were also ripped off with it.

Furiously, Hercules caught Leechas and tossed him into the sea. After that he told his friend Philoctetis to build him a pyre on the mountain Oata. He was burnt to death on the pyre. Before dying, Hercules offered his bow and arrows as a token of gratitude to Philoctetis. His father Zeus then turned him into a god. Deianeira, after hearing what she had caused, committed suicide.

After his death, Heracles was brought to Mt. Olympus and made a god. At this point Hera finally overcame her jealousy and offered Heracles her daughter Hebe's hand in marriage.

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