Greek mythology: the 12 labors of Hercules

Greek mythology: the 12 labors of Hercules

If there are a series of feats by which Hercules is known is by the so-called 12 jobs. With her I had three children. One day Hercules got a fit of madness and ended their lives.

Regretful for such a heinous act, he went to Delphi to consult the oracle of the god Apollo what should he do to atone for his crime.

The oracle told him that he had to go to Tiryns and wear under the orders of King Eurystheus.

When Hercules came to court and exposed his problem, Eurystheus began to worry about whether in the future decided to take away the throne, so he decided get rid of him Entrusting him with twelve jobs, each one more complicated than the last.

What were the 12 labors of Hercules?

Hercules First Labor: The Nemean Lion

The first job consisted of attaining the Nemean lion skin. This lion was a beast that terrorized the Argolis.

Hercules came quickly and from afar he shot all the arrows he had, but it was useless because the animal was invulnerable to such weapons. He then decided to face the lion head-on by brandishing his mace.

After a strong blow, the animal he was badly injured and the mace broke in two. Then Hercules had to get into a melee fight until managed to drown the lion.

When the animal expired, Hercules skinned it and he covered himself with his skin as a cuirass.

Hercules' second labor: killing the ivy of Lerna

As a second job, Eristeo commissioned him to kill the hydra of Lerna. In the Lerna lagoon there lived a gigantic water snake with numerous heads.

This monster was dedicated to ravage the surrounding fields and devour all living things in the zone. But these were not the only things he did, but he also gave off a deadly breath and in case a head was cut off two more were born.

Hercules came along with his nephew Yolao to help him; while he was cutting heads, Yolao was cauterizing the stumps so that they would not be born again.

He ended his life when he only had one head left. Then dipped his arrows with his blood to endow them with a powerful poison.

Hercules' Third Labor: Capture the Hind of Mount Cerineo

The third job that Euristeo entrusted to him was to take him Long live the doe that dwelt on Mount Cerineo.

This doe was consecrated to the goddess Artemis and He had hooves of bronze and antlers of gold. Thanks to her great speed she had been able to avoid being hunted.

Hercules was chasing her for a year until reaching the country of the Hyperboreans. The doe ended up so tired that when crossing a river Hercules caught up with her and seized her with little resistance.

Hercules' Fourth Job: Capture the Erymanthian Boar

When he brought her to Eurystheus, he entrusted capture the boar of Erymanthus. It was an animal that was decimating the fields of Arcadia.

Hercules had to constantly chase the boar until he achieved lock him up in a dead end gorge. There thanks to his superior strength he managed to reduce it.

Fifth Labor of Hercules: exterminate the birds of the Stymphalian lagoon

Hercules went to court with the body of the boar, Eurystheus hid in a jar. From there he ordered Hercules exterminate the birds of the Stymphalia lagoon.

These birds had the bronze beak and wings and they fed on human flesh and they were hiding among the together and undergrowth that were around the lagoon.

In order to kill the birds, he scared them out of their hiding places and once in the air he shot them down with arrows.

Hercules' sixth labor: cleaning the stables of Augias

The next job was different, he did not have to face any being, but Euristeo commissioned him cleaning the stables of Augias.

These facilities belonged to the King of the Elide and they had not been cleaned for more than thirty years. In addition, most of the oxen in the area lived there, so bad odors even reached adjacent towns.

To clean it up, Hercules decided change the course of the river Alfeo so that the water would run through the stables and they would be clean

Hercules' Seventh Labor: Capture the Cretan Bull

Seeing that he managed to do all the work, Eurystheus decided to send Hercules beyond the Peloponnese. So he asked him I brought him the bull from Crete.

This bull was to be slaughtered in honor to the god poseidon at the hands of Minos, the king of Crete. Hercules managed to subdue the animal and transferred it to Tiryns, where he presented it to Eurystheus.

He released the bull, which he would later die at the hands of Theseus in Marathon.

Eighth Labor of Hercules: Bringing Diomedes' Mares to Tiryns

The next job consisted of bring Diomedes' mares to Tiryns. They were characterized by his savagery produced because his master I fed them with human flesh.

To tame them, Hercules fed them the flesh of his own master. Later he transferred them to the court of Euristeo, who commissioned him another job.

Ninth Labor of Hercules: Hippolyta's Belt

This time I had to go to kingdom of the amazons Y get Hippolyta's belt, his queen.

Hercules went to the Black Sea, spoke to the queen and she agreed to give it to him, but the goddess Hera wanted to complicate things by spreading the rumor that Hercules wanted to kidnap Hippolyta.

This caused the Amazons to face off against the hero and his army. Hercules got the belt after a bloody showdownin which he got the belt but at the cost of many lives, including Hipolita's.

Hercules' Tenth Labor: Geryon's Red Bulls

Eurystheus continued to entrust him with increasingly difficult jobs. The tenth was that take him the red bulls of Gerión, a herd that was on an island in the confines of the known world.

In addition, there was a giant monster that had three horns and had the help of a fearsome shepherd, Eurytion, and Orto, a two-headed dog with a serpent's tail.

Hercules managed to arrive thanks to the help of Helios; he had left him the cup that he used to move through the sky. When he arrived on the island he ended the lives of Eurytion and Orto.

Instead, the battle with Geryon was long until he managed to finish him off with an arrow. He led part of the bulls to Euristeo in Helios's cup.

Eleventh labor of Hercules: the apples of the garden of the Hesperides

The eleventh work consisted of bring him apples from the garden of the Hesperides. These apples were of gold and it was said they gave the gods the eternal youth.

This garden was far from where the sun was setting and it was guarded by the Hesperides, some nymphs, and by a serpentAlthough its exact location was unknown, it was a mystery.

After a long time searching, Hercules he consulted Nereo, since he knew all the secrets.

Hercules chained him and forced him to confess the location of the garden. The hero went to Atlas, since he supported the celestial vault on his back.

He decided to help Hercules by killing the snake that guarded the garden if he held while the sky; the hero accepted and Atlas killed the snake and got him the apples.

Hercules Twelfth Labor: Carry Eurystheus to Cerberus

As the twelfth and last job, Euristeo commissioned him face death itself and bring him to Cerberus, a dog with three heads and a serpent's tail that was in charge of guarding the entrance to the Underworld.

For this he had to reduce the animal only with force, without any weapon.

Eurystheus was completely unaware that Hercules was friendly with various humans and gods. Hercules went to Hermes to help him go down to the Underworld.

There he asked Persephone and Hades himself that they lent Cerberus, to which they agreed.

Eurystheus, frightened and seeing that he was capable of anything, finally decided grant you freedom the Theban hero.

Images: Public Domain
ImageHercules with the apple from the Garden of the Hesperides: Tetraktys.

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