21

Both are correct: if you're not going to call him Ἡρακλῆς, then you need some way of representing his name in the Roman alphabet. Systems for doing this have changes over time. The letter "k" fell out of use in Latin so, classically the letter kappa (κ) has been transliterated as "c", and this carried through to English. However, in the modern ...


16

Diodorus Siculus tells us that Heracles was originally named Alcaeus and was renamed Heracles1 after he gained glory with Hera's aid: μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα ἡ μὲν Ἥρα δύο δράκοντας ἀπέστειλε τοὺς ἀναλώσοντας τὸ βρέφος, ὁ δὲ παῖς οὐ καταπλαγεὶς ἑκατέρᾳ τῶν χειρῶν τὸν αὐχένα σφίγξας ἀπέπνιξε τοὺς δράκοντας. διόπερ Ἀργεῖοι πυθόμενοι τὸ γεγονὸς Ἡρακλέα προσηγόρευσαν, ...


15

He Meant Thor The report by Tacitus was indeed a case of interpretatio graeca at work. As the Austrian historian Herwig Wolfram writes: Thor must have been swinging his hammer as the god Donar ("the Thunderer") of the West Germanic peoples already during the imperial period, since Tacitus equated him with Hercules. - Wolfram, Herwig. The Roman ...


14

It was a trophy. A Nemean Lion's Tail. It was the 1st labor of Hercules- it was Hercules' first great deed. The first of Hercules' labors was to kill the Nemean lion. Hesiod, in his Theogony, wrote Nemean lion, which Hera, the good wife of Zeus, brought up and made to haunt the hills of Nemea, a plague to men. There he preyed upon the tribes of her own ...


10

You are referring to the Aeschylus fragment "Prometheus Unbound". Unfortunately this play was mostly lost. (The source text can be found here: "The Prometheus bound of Aeschylus and the fragments of the Prometheus unbound" on page 145, but it won't be especially helpful unless you have some Latin and Greek.) For the Prometheus Unbound fragments on Theoi, ...


10

Presumably, by "the lion", you are referring to the Nemean Lion. The Wrestler The poet Theocritus addresses this precise issue in the 25th of his Idylls. In it, Heracles (whom the Romans called Hercules) is narrating to his friend Phyleus an account of how he vanquished this creature. After Heracles had, in vain, shot at the beast with arrows, the vexed ...


9

This is The Choice of Hercules, or sometimes Hercules at the Crossroads, a story that was once rather highly regarded. First told by Prodicus, whose works have been lost. Prodicus was apparantly a friend of Socrates, and is mentioned by Plato and Xenophon, through which some of his teachings survive. This one comes from Xenophon's Memorabilia, 2.1.29-40 (...


9

Bile, Not Blood Technically it was not the Hydra's blood that was venomous at all. The confusion regarding this seems to arise from the fact that it was Hydra-venom in combination with someone else's blood that eventually brought an end to Herakles the Hydra-slayer himself. There does not seem to be any ancient reference to Herakles using the Hydra's blood ...


9

If you're looking for a summary of what the ancient poets wrote about, your best bet would be to look at Pseudo-Apollodorus' Bibliotecha. The Bibliotecha is a work that collates nearly all of Greek mythology into a single, coherent narrative, including the Labors of Heracles. If you want an even quicker summary, there's also Hyginus' Fabulae, but you'll ...


7

Hera struck him with madness, and he killed his wife Megara and children. In some myths, his need to atone for this led to him performing 12 Labours of Hercules. Two plays, by Euripides and Seneca, have a different storyline: In the works of Euripides and Seneca, a usurper named Lycus has taken the throne of Thebes in Hercules' absence, killed King ...


7

The one story that I found while researching the question, is the story of Thor wrestling Elli1 in the Gylfaginning: And again he said: Let me see first! Call hither that old woman, Elle, my foster-mother, and let Thor wrestle with her if he wants to. She has thrown to the ground men who have seemed to me no less strong than Thor. Then there came into ...


6

While the diachronic development of Heracles is an interesting development in and of itself, it's not really the case here. What we have instead is one later author's piety reflected in his treatment of heroes. This is quite common, but it would be difficult to argue from it that there is a change in character. Pindar is known for his innovation in myth on ...


6

Yannis essentially answers the question here, but I'll add a little detail, just for fun, using poetry (since the deepest insights come from great poets) and linguistics. T.S. Eliot writes about this very specifically: The dove descending breaks the air With flame of incandescent terror Of which the tongues declare The one dischage from sin and ...


6

It's probably Lake Lerna, a real (former) lake in the Argive plain. You might also know this lake from the Lernaean Hydra, the killing of which was one of Heracles' tasks. The lake has disappeared now, but here was its approximate location. (Taken from Wikipedia.) Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography sums ups its relationship to this myth: ...


5

In the ancient Eastern historical accounts of great kings, there is a mention of King Yayati who was cursed to become old & invalid. However, he was able to exchange his old age for youth from his youngest son, Puru. A detailed description of the entire story can be found in Srimad Bhagavatam (spoken & compiled about 5,000 years ago) - Canto 9, ...


5

The reason that his mother 'Alcmene' named him as such, was to mock Hera's failed attempts at preventing her from delivering her child into the world. She required assistance to escape the Hera's minions and her daughter Eileithyia, played a role in this. There are different accounts of the efforts Hera put into this plot. Hercule's birth was Hera's 'failure'...


5

It's both. From my limited greek knowledge, κ is kappa, which translates to c or k. As a result, there's a Herakles and Heracles. (Though to be fair, Herakles looks a lot "older" and traditional than Heracles.) As @DavidRicherby states, c is the traditional translation of kappa instead of k. Ἡρ α|κ|λῆς Hera|c|les Stuff like this happens to Asklepios, I ...


4

These are two different, conflicting and thus contradictory versions based on variant traditions. The older tradition is the one in which Heracles actually interacts with the Titan Atlas, who helps him to procure the apples of the Hesperides. In the later version, in which Perseus had turned Atlas to stone generations before Heracles' birth, Heracles ...


4

It is the law for one who is defiled by shedding blood to be barred from speech until he is sprinkled with the blood of a new-born victim by a man who can purify from murder. Long before at other houses I have been thus purified both by victims and by flowing streams. That's Orestes, in Aeschylus Eumenides 448–52, trans. H. W. Smyth. The victims in ...


4

Heracles had a number of male lovers. Plutarch's Dialogue sur l'amour (Eroticos) mentions that the number of Heracles' male lovers were beyond counting. Hence, the list of lovers presented here is incomplete (most probably): Abderus Admetus Adonis Corythus Diomus Elacatas Euphemus Hylas Iolaus Iphitus Jason Nestor Nireus Perithoas Philoctetes Phrix ...


3

Ulysses, by Tennyson -- a classic poem of the aging hero. The full text may be found here. Tennyson begins the poem: It little profits that an idle king, by this still hearth, among these barren crags, match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole unequal laws unto a savage race, that hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me. expressing, ...


3

"Siamese Triplets" sounds about right, really. Apollodorus Library contains a textual brief description of his anatomy: This island was inhabited by Geryon, son of Chrysaor by Callirrhoe, daughter of Ocean. He had the body of three men grown together and joined in one at the waist, but parted in three from the flanks and thighs. Apollodorus Library, 2....


3

Great question! Bleh is correct on the rendering in English (or other languages using the Latin alphabet) being dual, either a "c" or "k" It is also Hercules ! This is the Latin form of the hero's name.


3

According to Diodorus Siculus, it was Herakles favour of Theseus that persuaded Hades to release him: Peirithoos now decided to seek the hand of Persephone in marriage, and when he asked Theseus to make the journey with him Theseus at first endeavoured to dissuade him and to turn him away from such a deed as being impious; but since Peirithoos firmly ...


3

The only ancient text which mentions the parents of the Stymphalian birds makes it sound like these killer avians were Arkadian [Arcadian] princesses. A scholion on Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautika 2.1054 preserves a statement made by the writer Mnaseas of Patrae. As with other things that Mnaseas has to say, it isn't quite the interpretation you might ...


3

It appears to be primarily by someone else ritually bloodying up the murderer's hands. The only place I have found a scene actually describing the ritual of purification from murder in Greek mythology is Book 4, Lines 685-718 of Apollonius Rhodius' Argonautica, in which Medea and Jason are welcomed by Circe upon her island of Aeaea. She seems to know ...


3

>File Not Found!< From what I've been able to find, there is no ancient source which tells such a story about Aidepsos (the commonly older transliteration of the town's name, which is Latinised as Aedepsus). It seems that this "legend" has been cobbled together from a random grab-bag created by eclectically appropriating a variety of sources talking ...


2

Four years, according to the introductory plot summary of Seneca's play Phaedra, is the amount of time Theseus was in the Underworld. The Mechanics Thereof I think you've answered your own concern regarding how it is Theseus and Peirithous were able to remain alive while they were trapped in the Underworld. Considering the powers possessed by the gods and ...


2

There was a RL case of an explorer attacked by a (provoked) leopard, and strangling the leopard with his bare hands. Granted this was a leopard, not a lion; but neither was the explorer Heracles, so I suppose you could call it a "scaled down" equivalent. Carl Akeley describes his fight in detail here. He did not strangle the beast from behind, but ended ...


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