Hercules of Ephesus

Hercules Strangling Nemean Lion

Hercules was the son of Zeus, the god of the gods, and the daughter of the king of Mycenae, and of Amphitryon’s wife, Alcmene. In the absence of Amphitryon, who organized an expedition against the Teleboians, Zeus disguised as a man and slept with Alcmene, and from this union the demigod Hercules was born. Being aware of the situation, Hera, the wife of Zeus, raged against Hercules. When Hercules was only 8 months old, while he was lying in a swaddle with his brother Iphicles, he sent two huge snakes. Iphicles was afraid because he was mortal, but Heracles killed the snakes by snapping their necks. This event was interpreted as an indication of how powerful Heracles will be in the future.

Hercules of Ephesus
Hercules of Ephesus

When Heracles was 18 years old, he achieved his first big job and gained fame by killing the lion of Kitharon, which harmed the herds of his father and the neighboring King Thespis. As a reward, Megara, the daughter of the king of Thebes, was given to him. Heracles, who had three children from Megara, was turned crazy by Hera and Heracles killed his wife Megara and his children. In order to be cleansed of this crime and sins, he was obliged to enter the service of Eurystheus, the king of Mycenae, and to do whatever the king wanted. The twelve works that the king of Mycenae had Heracles commissioned are called “The 12 Tasks of Heracles” in mythology.

  1. Nemean lion
  2. Lernaean Hydra
  3. Ceryneian Indian
  4. Erymanthian Boar
  5. Augean stables
  6. Stymphalian birds
  7. Cretan Bull
  8. Mares of Diomedes
  9. Belt of Hippolyta
  10. Cattle of Geryon
  11. Golden Apples of the Hesperides
  12. Cerberus
Hercules Gate at Ephesus
Hercules Gate at Ephesus