Hercules (Myths and Legends of the World)
The greatest of all heroes in Greek mythology, Hercules was the strongest man on earth. Besides tremendous physical strength, he had great self-confidence and considered himself equal to the gods. Hercules (called Heracles by the Greeks) was not blessed with great intelligence, but his bravery made up for any lack of cunning. Easily angered, his sudden outbursts of rage often harmed innocent bystanders. When the fury passed, though, Hercules was full of sorrow and guilt for what he had done and ready to accept any punishment for his misdeeds. Only supernaturalrelated to forces beyond the normal world; magical or miraculous forces could defeat him, and it was magic that ended his mortal life. In Greek mythology, only two figures with half-mortal, half-immortalable to live forever parentageercules and Dionysusecame fully immortal and were worshiped as gods.
Birth and Early Life. Hercules was the son of Zeusin Greek mythology, king of the gods and husband of Hera (Roman god Jupiter) and Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon, a distinguished Greek warrior and heir to the throne of Tiryns. One night while Amphitryon was away, Zeus came to Alcmena disguised as her husband. The next day, the real Amphitryon returned and slept with his wife. Concerned that Amphitryon did not remember...
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