Profile of Hercules
Herakles was the son of
Hi, I'm Zoya Popova for About.com, and today we're going to talk about Hercules.Hercules is the Roman name for the mythical Greek hero Herakles. Herakles was the son of the king of the gods, Zeus, and the mortal queen Alcmene. From the moment he was born, was persecuted by the wrath of Zeus's jealous wife Hera. In an attempt to kill Herakles, she sent two giant snakes to his cradle, but even as a baby, Herakles was unnaturally strong and strangled the serpents. Hera's persecution continued into the adulthood of Herakles. She sent madness upon him, and, as a result, he killed his wife and children.As redemption, Herakles had to enter the service of the king Eurystheus. Eurystheus devised daunting tasks for him to complete, the first of which was to kill the vicious lion of Nemea. Herakles had to complete twelve labors in total, including battling the Lyrnean hydra that spawned two new heads in place of each one Herakles cut off; obtaining apples from the garden of the Hesperides, which was guarded by a monstrous dragon; and stealing Kerberos, the three-headed dog of Hades himself, from the Underworld.Herakles lived his life undefeated in battle, but he died at the hand of a woman. His wife Daianeira, jealous of Herakles' affection for another woman, smeared his robes with a poison, which she thought to be a love charm. Herakles died a slow and painful death, but, by the order of his father Zeus, he was promptly raised to Olympus and rendered immortal.And this is it for us for today.Thank you for watching, and for more information, please visit About.com.