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The Twelve Labours
Transcript of The Twelve Labours
Heracles's sixth labour, was to slay the Stymphalian birds. The Stymphalian birds were man eating birds that had bronze beaks and metallic feathers. The birds moved and gathered near Lake Stymphalia which is near the town of Stymphalos. Heracles had to fight them, but he couldn’t go too far into the swamp or else he would sink due to his weight. Then, Heracles received castanets or a rattle, or a krotala, which are similar to castanets from Athena. He climbed a mountain and created the noise, which startled the birds and made them fly. While the birds were flying, Heracles shot and killed them with a bow and arrow.
Mares of Diomedes
The Twelve Labours of Heracles
A series of labours ranging from killing the Nemean Lion to capturing Cerebus the beast.
Belt of Hippolyta
Apples of The Hesperides
Eurystheus was upset with Heracles' last labour
since he heard that he got help from Iolaus, so he sent him on his third labour. In this labour he had to capture the golden hind that was sacred to Artemis. Heracles chased the deer for a full year, on foot, through Greece, Thrace, Istria, and the land of Hybridize . Then once he finally caught the deer, he was bringing it towards an area called Tiryns, that is where he met Artemis, and she was very angry at him because she saw that he had her sacred deer. Once he told her why he had it, she calmed down and said to bring it back as soon as he shows her deer to his master, or she'll be very angry with Eurystheus. Then as soon as Artimis let Heracles go, he made sure that the deer would be brought back right away.
Heracles' third labour was to capture the golden
hind. We think they're two meanings to the third labour and they're to never give up on something you're determined to do and ask for things instead of just taking it. Heracles was determined to capture the golden hind (Artemis' sacred deer) without killing it, so he had to chase it on foot for a year. Eurystheus thought that when Artemis saw that Heracles was taking the deer she'd kill him, but since Heracles asked nicely to take it and that he would bring it back right away, she let him borrow it. Heracles is learning to be more careful with other peoples things.
Heracles needed to travel to Erytheia where Geryon lived. Heracles had to cross the Libyan desert, becoming frustrated with the heat, Heracles shot an arrow at the sun god, Helios. In admiration, Helios gave Heracles a cup to use for sailing. Heracles used the cup to sail to Erytheia.
Once he got to Erytheia, Heracles killed Geryon's watch dog, Orthrus, and a herdsman who tried to stop him. Heracles killed Geryon by shooting him with an arrow in a Hydra's venomous blood.
Hera sent gadfly to bite the cattle making them scatter. It took Heracles a year to find them again. After gathering the cattle, two sons of Poseidon stole them, so he killed them. Heracles needed to cross the river but Hera raised the water level. Heracles piled stones onto the river to make the water shallow. Heracles went to King Eurystheus and the King sacrificed the cattle to Hera.
The Cattle of Geryon
Heracles's fourth labour was to capture the Erymanthian boar that lived on Mt. Erymanthos and bring it back to King Eurystheus. On his way to capture the boar he got tired and hungry so he stopped by an old friend of his, a centaur name Pholus. Pholus looked after him but while helping him, Heracles wanted some wine but Pholus was scared to open it because it was for the other centaurs.
The centaurs could smell the wine so they came to drink some too and got drunk so they started to attack Heracles. Heracles killed the centaurs with his poisonous arrows, Pholus came to see how Heracles killed the other centaurs easily with one arrow but he dropped the arrow on his foot and died.
After he fought the centaurs, he went and captured the boar (alive) that every settlement was afraid of, but the boar was afraid of Heracles so it tried to run and hide from him but he caught it and brought it back to King Eurystheus. When Heracles brought the boar to King Eurystheus, he got scared of the boar and hid in the pithos (a buried storage).
The meaning behind the tenth labour is to be persistent no matter how many obstacles are in your way, and you'll get through them. Heracles had to walk through the desert with the unbearable heat of the sun, kill Orthrus, a heardsman, Geryon, two sons of Poseidon and deal with Hera's challenges yet never gave up.
The meaning of this labour is that you shouldn't interfere with people's jobs or doings in a bad way and to have determination and drive. When Hera went to check how Heracles was doing, she found that this labour was too easy since all he had to do was ask for the belt and Hippolyta would give it to him. She wanted him to suffer, so she came in the form of an amazon and convinced the amazons that Heracles was bad, so they turned on him. Heracles thought that he could trust Hippolyta, but then Hera made him believe that she was betraying him, so he killed her. In the process of trying to harm Heracles, Hera ended up making him kill the most powerful and greatest amazon. Heracles proved that he could fight through these obstacles and he became successful with giving the belt to Eurystheus.
Reason for Labour
The reason why Heracles went to capture the boar was because the boar would go and terrorize villages by killing the people and animals with its tusks and destroying everything in its path. King Eurystheus had to send someone to stop the boar so he had sent Heracles. But the true reason why King Eurystheus wanted Heracles to capture the boar was because he wanted to kill Heracles since he did the first three labours without any issues.
The Mares of Diomedes, also called the Mares of Thrace were four man-eating horses. Heracles was sent next to steal them. They belonged to Diomedes, king of Thrace, a son of Ares and Cyrene who lived on the shores of the Black Sea.
Once they got there, not aware that the horses were very wild,Heracles put Abderus, his favored companion, in charge of them while he fought Diomedes, and returned to found out that the boy was eaten. He founded the city, Abdera, in honour of him.
In revenge, Heracles fed Diomedes to his own horses to make them calm down, then taking the opportunity to bind their mouths shut. He took them back to King Eurystheus, who dedicated the horses to Hera.
King Minos had to prove himself to the throne, he had promised the sea god Poseidon that he would sacrifice whatever the God sent him from the sea. Poseidon sent a bull. King Minos thought it was too beautiful to kill and so he sacrificed another bull. Poseidon was furious at King Minos for breaking his promise.
Poseidon struck the bull; which went insane and the bull ran wild, through all Crete, knocking down orchard walls and destroying crops.
King Eurystheus sent Heracles to capture the bull, he then sailed off to the island of Crete. Heracles snuck up behind the bull, grabbing the bull by it's horns. Heracles wrestled the bull to the ground and tied the bull up so it could not escape. He then took the bull with him and sailed back to king Eurystheus. When the king saw how massive the bull was, he was frightened. He told Heracles to sacrifice the bull to Hera. Hera refused it for she hated Heracles, and all the labours had been secretly selected by her to destroy him. So, Heracles picked up the bull and tossed it to the sky and it became the constellation Taurus.
The fifth labour of Heracles did, was to clean the Augean Stables. The Augean Stables had not been cleaned the last 30 years. Over 1,000 cattle lived there. This job was really humiliating and impossible at the time. What he did to get an advantage was rerouting the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to wash out the filth. Eurystheus made Heracles' task even harder. The way he made it harder was by making him clean up the Cattle of Augeus in a single day. Augeus is the king of Mycenae. Mycenae is located 90 kilometers southwest of Athens. In the country of Greece.
The twelfth and final labour was the most dangerous of all, it was to capture Cerebus (a viscous beast that guarded the entrance to the underworld and kept the living from the dead).
Heracles went to Eleusis to be intitiated the Eulisinian Mysteries so that he could learn how to enter and exit the underworld alive. He found the entrance to the underworld, and Athena and Hermes pass through the entrance in each direction. Heracles found Hades and asked to bring Cerebus to the surface, which Hades agreed to.
Heracles was able to overpower the beast without using weapons and continued to sling Cerebus over his back. King Eurystheus asked Heracles to return Cerebus to the underworld to release him from his labours. After the labours Heracles joined Jason and the Argonauts to find the Golden Fleece.
This is the city of Mycenae
We still read the twelve labours because they are important to us. All the labours have a meaning and can relate to things that happen to us. The stories are old and a lot of people still read them. The stories meanings teach us something. Some teach us to be nice, respectful, and to never give up.
After twelve years of doing labors for King Eurystheus Heracles he was granted forgiveness. The labors he did taught us life lessons and can relate to things we do now. After killing his wife and six sons he realized what he did and was forgiven for it later on. We learn to be determine, to not give up, to not interfere with other peoples problems, and more.
The constellation, Taurus was created when Heracles tossed the Creten bull to the sky, since Hera refused.
It is one of the oldest constellation and it is one of the most prominent and visible of all the constellations.
The tenth to twelfth labour were metaphors for death. King Eurystheus wanted to see if Heracles could handle it all. Because Heracles completed all the labours and survived all of them, King Eurystheus wanted to make it harder for him because he wanted Heracles to die.
In this labour Heracles learns to ask for permission before taking things. We all should also ask permission before taking things.
Eurystheus' daughter Admete wanted the belt of Hippolyta , a gift to the queen of the Amazons (a nation of all-female warriors in Greek mythology) from the war god Ares. To please his daughter, Eurystheus ordered Heracles to retrieve the belt as his ninth labour. The girdle was a waist belt that signified her authority as queen of the Amazon. Heracles took some friends and set sail to an island called Paros in attempt to get the belt.
Since Hera hated Heracles, she had spread a rumor that Heracles and his crew were going to abduct the queen of the amazons. When Hercules got to the island to retrieve the belt the amazons attacked Hercules' ship. During the battle Hercules kills Hippolyta, the amazon queen and took her belt. Hercules and his crew finished the battle and sailed away.
Heracles' eleventh labour was to get three Golden Apples of the Hesperides, without any idea of where the Golden Apples were to be found. Heracles came into the land of Illyria and begged and asked the nymphs to tell him how he can find the Golden Apples, and they told him to go to Mount Caucasus, and to ask Prometheus, who was punished for disobeying Zeus by bringing fire to mankind. The way was long and dangerous but Heracles managed to get to Mount Caucasus and there he saw Prometheus and freed him, he also gave him a ring that he must wear for ever as a symbol that he is still a prisoner of Zeus. Prometheus told Heracles that the Golden Apples grows on the tree which Mother Earth (Gaia) gave Hera as a wedding present and that the tree is in a magical garden on the world's western edge, beyond the mountain on which his brother, Atlas showed him where the garden of Hesperides was and there he saw the dragon and he used an arrow to shoot the dragon's throat. The dragon then uncurled from the tree and died. Atlas shifted his mighty burden on Heracles shoulder and he went toward the garden. Then when Atlas came back with the Golden Apples, he didn't want the heavens back but Heracles tricked Atlas to take back the heavens onto Atlas shoulders and he took off with the Golden Apples.
After doing this labour, even though it was humiliating, he didn't feel that way because all he wants in the end is to not regret what he did and atone for his actions. He didn't care what he had to do for the sake of his own families death. Also, King Eurytheus sent him to do this not only because he knows how to do it but because he's basically the manliest man in the world and can do virtually anything with the powers between rage and serenity.
Heracles is the son of Zeus, king of all gods, and the mortal woman, Alcmene. Hera was enraged about her husband’s cheating ways and so he named this son after her. One night, Hera drove Heracles mad and caused him to kill his six sons and wife, Megara. After coming to and realizing what he had done, he travelled to Delphi to see how he can repay for his actions.
The oracle Pythoness told him to go to Tyrins to serve King Eurystheus. Heracles was to serve the king for twelve years and do whatever tasks, or labours, that were given to him. This was penance for Heracles because even though he wasn’t in control of the murders, he still needed to make it right. If he completed the labours, he would be given immortality, and inner forgiveness. These labours were a way for Heracles to forgive himself.
Reason for Labour
After capturing the Cretan bull, Heracles was to steal the Mares for King Eurystheus. Heracles encounters King Diomedes through performing his eighth labour. And he had to slay Diomedes with his own man-eating horses.
Upon arrival, Heracles, knowing how King Diomedes treats strangers, wrestles with him, trying to bring King Diomedes to the stables, where the mares live. He soon loses to Heracles, and is brought to the mares’ manger where they eat him. This cures them of their hunger for human flesh. It seems that all they wanted was their master’s blood.
Heracles with his wife, Megara
King Eurystheus gave Heracles his second labour. His task was to find and kill the nine-headed hydra. Heracles' nephew, Iolaus, came along with him. Athena appeared and told him that the center head is immortal. Every time Heracles chopped off a head, two would grow back so he realized that if you burn them and then chopped them off, they wouldn't grow back. Iolaus set fire on the heads and Heracles chopped them off. He cut the immortal head off and buried it, then went back to the King. Eurystheus said that he cheated and because he did it with help and because of that, this labour doesn't count.
*All images from Google Images
In the second labour, Heracles had to kill the Lernean Hydra. I think the meaning is that not every job requires one person, there are some jobs where you need help from someone.
Heracles' story is about correcting your mistakes and not getting your gods mad. After killing the lion, Heracles took one of the claws and used it to skin the lion and then showed it to King Eurystheus.
The meaning is to defeat an impossible problem and using it to solve its self. The pelt made from the lion means to correct our mistakes and trying again, and without doing so, you will never solve or learn from your problem.
The meaning of this Labour is that you have to wait a certain time to get the present (the golden apples), sometimes you need to trick people for your own good and you need to be smart to so that you can finish your job. For example: Hercules got tricked by Atlas to hold up the heavens. So, Hercules held it up and Atlas left him to get the golden apples from the Herperides' garden. When Atlas came back, he had the apples, but did not want the work anymore. Hercules had the bright idea to trick the Atlas. He asked Atlas to hold it so that he could make it more comfortable, Atlas took it. Hercules then walked away with the golden apples.
This labour is showing how to find and kill birds hidden in the wild. Heracles created a noise, which startled the birds, which caused them to fly away, but Heracles shot and killed them with his bow and arrow
In present day, most people create noises to make birds fly to create a clear target when bird hunting. Once the person has a clear target, the person would shoot it. That was Heracles strategy to kill the birds, and it is still used in present day
Heracles' job was to bring back the dead body of the Nemean lion. The lion had fallen from the moon and landed in the land of Nemea where it was attacking and killing many people from Nemea. No one could kill the lion because it's skin or hide was impenetrable. When Heracles arrived at Nemea, he decided to take a club, bow and arrow, and a sword with him from to find the lion. after searching for many days, he found found the lions den. Heracles waited for the lion outside its lair and when he saw it he tried to shoot it with an arrow, but the arrow bounced off it's hide. He took his sword and tried to stab the lion, but the blade bent and the lion fell backwards. Next he took the club and smashed it on the lions head and then the lion fled to his lair. Heracles ran into the lions lair and wrestled it until it died. Heracles lifted the dead body on his shoukders and too it to the king of Aegolis.
The Constellation Taurus