21 votes
Accepted

Is it Heracles or Herakles?

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 ...
David Richerby's user avatar
14 votes
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Does Hercules have a tail?

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 ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 7,095
11 votes
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What happened to Prometheus after Hercules freed him?

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 ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.1k
9 votes
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How did Hercules kill the lion without being clawed to death?

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 ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
9 votes
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Is there a myth were Heracles chooses duty over pleasure?

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 ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 6,006
9 votes
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Why did Hercules murder his first wife?

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, ...
solsdottir's user avatar
  • 5,896
9 votes
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Do we know how Hercules avoided the Hydra's venomous breath?

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 ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
9 votes
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Goods reads about Herakles/Hercules twelve labors?

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 ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 7,302
7 votes

Are there stories of a hero or god fighting off old age?

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 ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
6 votes

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

Absolutely. I can think of at least three separate strands in the development of Heracles/Hercules: Walter Burkert mentions in his book "Greek Religion" that Heracles at least partially ...
DarkWolf's user avatar
  • 176
6 votes
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What is the meaning of Hercules' self-immolation?

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 ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.1k
6 votes
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What is the name of the lake in Frogs?

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 ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 7,302
5 votes

Is it Heracles or Herakles?

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 ...
bleh's user avatar
  • 6,719
5 votes

Are there stories of a hero or god fighting off old age?

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 ...
mVentures's user avatar
  • 171
5 votes
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Has Herakles been swallowed by a whale?

The story of Heracles being swallowed by the sea-monster appears in the Alexandra or Cassandra attributed to Lycophron: αἰαῖ, τάλαινα θηλαμών, κεκαυμένη [31] καὶ πρόσθε μὲν πεύκαισιν οὐλαμηφόροις ...
Gareth Rees's user avatar
5 votes

Which of these heroes lived first: Achilles, Hercules or Theseus?

Chronologically, it goes Hercules/Heracles, Theseus, and then Achilles in the main mythological accounts. Achilles is last. Hercules older by far because he's the one who placed child Priam on the ...
cmw's user avatar
  • 7,302
5 votes
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Is there any ancient source that says the Augean Stables hadn't been cleaned for 30 years?

The oldest reference to the 30 year figure I've been able to find, comes from a 17th century translation of Diodorus Siculus' Bibliotheca historic, translated by H.C. Gent and published in 1653. That ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 7,836
4 votes

The Atlas Continuity Issue

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 ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
4 votes

How does one get purified of murder in Greek mythology?

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 ...
Brian Donovan's user avatar
3 votes

Are there any surviving depictions/descriptions of Geryon?

"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 ...
femtoRgon's user avatar
  • 9,198
3 votes

Are there stories of a hero or god fighting off old age?

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 ...
Mary Carnahan's user avatar
3 votes

Is it Heracles or Herakles?

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 ...
DukeZhou's user avatar
  • 14.1k
3 votes

How long was Theseus in the Underworld?

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 ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
3 votes
Accepted

Who/What parented the Stymphalian birds?

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....
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
3 votes
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How does one get purified of murder in Greek mythology?

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 ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
3 votes
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Why did Hades let Heracles rescue Theseus?

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 ...
yannis's user avatar
  • 17k
3 votes
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What is the source of the legend of Herakles bathing in the spa waters of Edipsos?

>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 ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833
2 votes

Issues with the temporality of Heracles

From Wikipedia: A Euhemerist reading of the widespread Heracles cult was attributed to a historical figure who had been offered cult status after his death. Thus Eusebius, Preparation of the ...
Codosaur's user avatar
  • 5,368
2 votes

What is the source of the legend of Herakles bathing in the spa waters of Edipsos?

One source is Strabo, who calls the hot springs of Edipsos the "hot waters of Heracles" in Geography 9.4.2.
Narcissus's user avatar
  • 151
2 votes
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What Ionia does Solinus say is named after Ione, daughter of Aulochus?

In 1629, Claude de Saumaise, who also styled himself by a Latinised form of his name, as Claudius Salmasius, wrote a commentary on Solinus's Polyhistor text to which you are referring. He was just as ...
Adinkra's user avatar
  • 9,833

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