Known as a great hero in classical mythology, his name is of Greek origin that meant “in Hera’s service”. He was the son of Greek god Zeus and Alcmene, a mortal. Hercules is known for his enormous strength and his great adventures. He can be found on the Bible Timeline Chart around 1300 BC.
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The Romans decided to adapt this heroic Greek icon in their myths and literary pieces, as well as in the art. However, in popular culture and Western literature, the name Heracles was used less often than the name Hercules. This divine hero was also famous as a figure with contradictory traits.
There were several versions of the life and adventures of Hercules. However, it remained constant in various storytellers that the father of Hercules was Zeus, who was also the supreme god. Although he was mighty and powerful, he was not quite a good husband to Hera, who was his wife and the queen of the gods. In fact, Zeus fell for a lovely mortal named Alcmene, and the two had a son.
When Hera learned about this, she became enraged and was determined to harm the unborn child. Nevertheless, Alcmene was able to protect the child and gave birth to a boy whom she named as Herakles. This name meant “the glorious gift of Hera”. The queen of the gods became even angrier upon learning this, and she decided to send snakes into the child’s crib to kill him. However, Hercules was amazingly strong even as a baby, and he was able to strangle and kill the snakes even before they could hurt him.
This did not stop Hera from scheming ways to make Hercules’ life miserable. After all, she wanted Zeus to pay back for his mistakes and infidel ways. She was also angry at the fact that she lacked much power to stop Zeus from having a child with another woman.
Strength of Hercules
Heracles grew up to be a strong and great warrior. He also married Megara, and they were blessed with two children. Unfortunately, Hera continued to make Hercules suffer by killing his children and his wife. Devastated by his misfortunes, Hercules consulted Apollo for advice on how to free himself from these punishments from Hera. Apollo told Hercules to perform tasks that would cleanse him from his mistakes. Hence, he obediently performed 10 labors, which were eventually increased to a total of 12.
Afterwards, Apollo ordered Hercules to go to Tiryns, which was led by a ruthless ruler named Eurystheus. In myths, Eurystheus was a harsh and brutal king, and Hercules expected to receive much punishment from the king. Also, Hercules was tasked to serve the king for 12 years as he performed each of the 12 labors.
Upon completion of his tasks, he was able to fulfill his deepest dreams. Apollo told Hercules that he would become immortal. This means, he was spared from death, and that he would become like one of the gods who enjoyed eternal life and great powers throughout his life.
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