Questions tagged [hercules]

For questions about Hercules, the popular name for the Ancient Greek hero and the son of Zeus, known for completing a series of labors.

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Issues with the temporality of Heracles

When I was in Greece recently, almost everyone I met (writers, politicians, common people) believe that Heracles was a real person. One of Hippocrates' forefathers was Heracles (from his mother's ...
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What is the source of the legend of Herakles bathing in the spa waters of Edipsos?

Locals in the spa town of Edipsos in the north of Evia are always quick to point out that the legendary Herakles would visit their town to rejuvenate himself in its spa waters. Here are a few sites ...
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How did Hercules kill the lion without being clawed to death?

The myth says he killed the lion by putting the beast in a stranglehold and choking it to death, but how did he avoid being clawed and bitten by the lion while doing so?
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The Atlas Continuity Issue

One of Heracles's twelve labors was to retrieve the golden apples from the Hesperides, the "Daughters of the Evening". The only one who'd know where they are is the titan Atlas, who was condemned to ...
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Is there a myth were Heracles chooses duty over pleasure?

Last year, I was handed a worksheet. It was an excerpt of an autobiography if I recall correctly. One part I remember in particular involved Heracles, that he was given a choice between duty and ...
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How long was Theseus in the Underworld?

This is the way I see it. Heracles rescued Theseus from the Underworld. But now I'm left with the question, "If Heracles and Theseus were alive at the same time, how did Theseus ever get any glory?" ...
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1answer
221 views

Who/What parented the Stymphalian birds?

Getting rid of the Stymphalian Birds is Heracles's sixth labor. The Stymphalian Birds are man-eating birds with beaks of bronze, sharp metallic feathers they could launch at their victims, and ...
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How does one get purified of murder in Greek mythology?

There are four myths that I know of where someone murders another and does something about it to be relieved of it. The first, most famous and only myth saying what is done, is Heracles. He murdered ...
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208 views

Is it possible that the Heracles myths are a compilation of stories from multiple cultures?

About two years ago, I found this Greek Mythology documentary called, "Clash of the Gods." It is a three disk series with ten episodes. They feature Heracles by his Roman name, Hercules, in the ...
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586 views

Why did Hades let Heracles rescue Theseus?

Why would Hades allow Heracles to rescue Theseus after he and Pirithous came down to kidnap Persephone?
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Why is Heracles in the Underworld?

Odysseys during his travel to the Underworld in Book XI of the Odyssey meets the "phantom" of the deified Heracles: And after him I marked the mighty Heracles—his phantom; for he himself among the ...
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Is it Heracles or Herakles?

In the question, "What happened to Theseus after Heracles found him" that I answered, someone edited my answer and replaced Heracles with Herakles. I was confused because when I searched up Heracles ...
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Why did Heracles transform into a fawn, during the gods flight to Egypt?

In some tellings of Typhon's revolt, the gods take animal forms and flee to Egypt in panic. The version in the Metamorphoses of Antoninus Liberalis references Nicander of Colophon and explicitly ...
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Why did Hercules murder his first wife?

I am speaking, of course, of the ill-fortuned Megara. (Literal answer is fine, although I'd welcome commentary and analysis. Ideally, links will come from Academic sources where possible.)
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What happened to Prometheus after Hercules freed him?

I couldn't find much (any) info about this question. According to wikipedia: Prometheus, in eternal punishment, is chained to a rock in the Caucasus, Kazbek Mountain or Mountain of Khvamli, where ...
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Are there stories of a hero or god fighting off old age?

I recently learned of Geras, the personification of old age. The deity is primarily known from vase depictions that show him with Heracles. One example is this Attic red-figured neck-amphora1: ...
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What is the meaning of Hercules' self-immolation?

Per my previous question, we've established that Heracles' had committed suicide of the pain of poison. The idea that the poison will kill him, however, is not universal. The Heracles of the ...
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Goods reads about Herakles/Hercules twelve labors?

I would like to read more about Herakles twelve labors. I would like to know if there are any remaining work about it ? I am looking for work dating from the Greek or Roman era.
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What is the name of the lake in Frogs?

In Aristophanes' Frogs, Dionysus crosses a lake to reach Hades. The lake is where we first (and last) meet the eponymous frogs of the play, and Aristophanes does not name it. We do know, however, that ...
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Does Hercules have a tail?

I was astonished when I saw these two tapestries in a museum: Hercules fighting Centaurs Hercules fighting a multi-headed dog In both of them Hercules/Heracles seems to have a well defined tail ...
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Are there any surviving depictions/descriptions of Geryon?

One of the stranger monsters mentioned in the twelve tasks of Hercules, Geryon is described, in all the source material I've seen as having three bodies. I've always had a little trouble picturing ...
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Do we know how Hercules avoided the Hydra's venomous breath?

In most all references to the Lernaean Hydra, it says that the hydra has venomous breath and blood. Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 30 : "He [Herakles] killed at the spring of Lerna the nine headed ...
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Did Hercules complete his labors as described in the 2014 movie “Hercules”?

Is it true that most monsters of his labors are exaggerated, like the hydra monster that turned out to be warriors with masks of serpents as it is shown in the 2014 movie, Hercules?
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Was there a significant transformation of the Heracles mythos from Homeric times to classical times?

Homer, in book 5 of the Iliad, tells us that during his expedition against Neleus of Pylos (Poseidon's son), Heracles won battles against Poseidon and Apollo, and managed to wound Hera and Hades with ...
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Was Eurystheus a lover of Heracles? Did Heracles have any other male lovers?

In some versions of the 12 labors of Heracles, Eurystheus is a lover of Heracles and he undertook the 12 labors for Eurystheus' love. Did Heracles have any other male lovers?
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Was there a cult of Hercules in Germania?

Publius Cornelius Tacitus in his De Origine et situ Germanorum tells us that 1st century Germanic tribes worshipped Hercules: They say that Hercules, too, once visited them; and when going into ...
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Why is Heracles named after Hera if she hated him so much?

Why is Heracles named after Hera if she hated him so much? He was Zeus's favored son but not Hera's. This is from Eric Flaum's The Encyclopedia of Mythology.