Heracles (Hercules), the Strongest Man That Has Ever Lived

Known as Hercules in modern culture (as the name used for him in Roman mythology) Heracles is a hero in Greek mythology who was the last mortal son of Zeus from a human named Alcmene.

Heracles was a courageous hero of supernatural strength and he was known as the most powerful human being that has ever lived. However, in many situations throughout the myths Heracles has been defined as a man lacking intelligence and wisdom who, sometimes, did not act wise and became the captive of his anger. For example, it was mentioned in the folklore that once he stated he will shoot sun with his bow when he felt so hot. He was also known to be easily abashed/humiliated, he held grudges and never forgot if he was wronged. Although he was depicted as a brutal hero lacking intelligence in many of the literary works throughout history, there were some occasions that Heracles used his brains to solve a problem. For example, he is known for fooling and convincing Atlas to carry the sky over his shoulders.

Romans considered Heracles as their ideal form of hero and Heracles’ image changed throughout history thanks to this. By the time passes Heracles’ became a better hero in stories who is able to use his skills better. As a result of this admiration, Romans built temples to his name and they started a cult worshipping him as a God.

Myths regarding Heracles mostly tell us about Hera’s plans to kill him since she hates Heracles because he was an offspring of Zeus’ affair with another woman, Alcmene. Even right after he was born Hera tried to kill him by placing two snakes right next to his crib, however, baby Heracles killed these snakes and was found as holding these snakes in both hands.

One of the importants myth regarding Heracles is “the Twelve Labors of Heracles”. He was required to perform ten labors after killing his own children out of fury. He was promised to be rendered free of this sin if he manages to fulfill these ten labors. His archenemy Eurystheus gave him these tasks and after Heracles performed them, he added two more tasks, which were also performed successfully by Heracles.

Heracles was killed as a result of a trick played on him by Nessus, the centaur that was killed by Heracles since he tried to rape his wife Deianeira. After his death he was accepted to the pantheon and married Hebe, daughter of Hera, who has been trying to torment and kill him since the very beginning, and lived there.