Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Other adventures of Heracles (Hercules)

The Golden Fleece.
The Golden Fleece.
After completing the 12 labours, the Greek Hero Hercules joined the quest organized Greek hero Jason for the search of the Golden Fleece. The Golden Fleece is made from a winged sheep (ram), which was held in Colchis. The fleece is famous because it has been used as a symbol of authority and kingship.The Greek hero Jason and his Argonauts including Hercules, set a quest on search for the fleece by order of King Pelias. As reward the King Pelias will place Jason on the throne of Iolcus in Thessaly.

Hercules fell in love with the daughter of the king King Eurytus of Oechalia, Princess Iole. The king promised his daughter, Iole, to whoever could beat his sons in an archery contest. However, King Eurytus dishonored his promise and denied giving the hand of his daughter Princess Iole to Hercules, when he won his sons. Hercules' intentions were rejected by the king and his sons, with the exception of one son and brother of Iole: Iphitus. Hercules killed the king and his sons, except Iphitus, and abducted Iole to become his wife.

Greek hero Hercules punishing Cercopes
Greek hero Hercules punishing Cercopes. From Wikimedia.
Iphitus was one of the best friends of Hercules. However, goddess Hera made Hercules crazy and according to the myth, he killed Iphitus by throwing him from the city wall. When Hercules understood what he have done, for forgiveness placed himself under the queen Omphale of Lydia. For punishment, Omphale forced him to wear  wear women's clothes and make women's work. The queen Omphale also took the opportunity to wear the skin of the Nemean Lion.  After some months queen Omphale fall in love with him and married him. Unfortunately, Cercopes, a forest creatures living in Thermopylae, stole Hercules's weapons. Hercules was able to hunt it down and he was able to recover them. Then he punished them by tying them to a piece of wooded pole and he place it over his shoulder, with their faces pointing downwards.

In one of the Hercules journeys he met the tribe of Dryopes. Hercules previously had slain their king, Theiodamas, and declared war upon the Dryopes. Dryopes after loosing their king, gave up the war and offered him the Prince Hylas. According to other mythological sources, Hylas become friend of Hercules and possibly lover. Hercules and Hylas joined the crew of the Argo, although they only participated in part of the journey. In Mysia, Hylas was kidnapped by the water nymphs of a local spring. Hercules, searched to find him, but without success. Later the story says that Hylas fallen in love with one of the water nymphs and never showed up again through the history.

According to mythological sources from Hesiod's Theogony and Aeschylus' Prometheus Unbound, Hercules killed the eagle that tortured the Titan Prometheus, as punishment. The eagle was eating parts of Prometheus, but it was not possible to kill him. This was his punishment by Greek god Zeus, ruler of the Greek gods, for stealing fire from the mount Olymous and giving it to humans. Hercules freed the Titan from his chains and the Titan Prometheus then made predictions regarding further deeds of Hercules. On his way back to Mycenae, having obtained the Cattle of Geryon as his tenth labour, Hercules crossed over to Liguria in North-Western Italy. He then met the two giants, Albion and Bergion or Dercynus, sons of Poseidon. He had to fight them to continue his journey back to ancient Greece. The opponents were strong and Hercules was in a very pad position. Thus, he prayed to his father Zeus for help, and with the help of ZeusHercules won the battle.

Picture of Prometheus and Hercules.
Prometheus and Hercules.
Before Homer's Trojan War, Hercules made an expedition to Troy. The Greek god of the sea Poseidon sent a sea monster to attack the town of Troy. Trojan King Laomedon planned to sacrifice his daughter Hesione to Poseidon in the hope of helping Troy to kill the monster. When Hercules arrived, he agreed to kill the monster in exchange the horses received from Greek god Zeus. if Laomedon would give him the horses received from Greek god Zeus. Zeus gave the horses to Trojan king  as compensation for kidnapping her daughter princess Ganymede. The king agreed to the offer of Hercules, and he killed the monster, but Laomedon dishonored his aggreemt and didn't give the horses to the Greek hero. Finally, Hercules and his followers attacked Troy in a later expedition.