is probably the biggest hero of the Greek mythology.
He is the son of Alkmene and Zeus. Alkmene was the granddaughter of
Perseus and was together with Amphitryon from
Theban. Hera, jealous one more time because Zeus had been with another
woman, postponed the birth of Heracles (the Roman Hercules) until the
next grandson of Perseus was born so that he would not have the right to
the throne of Mycenae.
But Alkmene was
still afraid of the revenge of Hera, and she abandoned her baby. One
day, Hera and Athena were walking along the beach and they found the
little child. They kept him and took care of him, and Hera even
breastfed him, through what he became immortal.
gave the baby to Alkmene telling her that he was an orphan and she took
him happy and free of worries. But Hera knew who the baby was and she
wanted to erase him from the world. To make it, she sent two huge snakes
that went into the room of the child and laid around his neck. The boy
woke up with a scream and, good before somebody could arrive to help
him, he had already grabbed and strangled the beasts.
When they saw
this, his parents were completely amazed but also quite anxious. So they
visited the prophet Teiresias, known from many other stories, who
foretold them the brilliant future of the boy. This convinced them to
give the child a worthy education, and he did get the best education,
learning all about archery, javelin-throwing, art and science.
Heracles thought he would like to do something with all what he had
learnt. This was not difficult, since by that time in Greece there were
lots of forests and marshes full of wild animals, robbers and
One of the
things he did was to remove the tribute that the citizens from Theban
had to pay to the king Erginos. In appreciation for this he got the hand
of the daughter of Kreon, Megara. Hermes gave him a sword, Apollo
arrows, Hephaestus a golden case and Athena a tunic. With Megara he had
three sons who lived with them a good while.
He also helped
the gods in the war against the giants, from which the prophets said
that could just be won if they had a mortal fighting by their
side. After the victory, Heracles went up to the Olympus.
Up / Perseus / Heracles / Theseus / The Argonauts / Odyssey / Phaethon / Orpheus