CLASSICS 102 Lecturen Notes April 3
HERACLES had to go clean the stables of Augeas who had many cows
but had never cleaned them. heracles had to clean out the manure
in one day.
when he gets there, he tells augeas if he cleans them, will you
give me some cattle?
with the help of ATHENA, heracles diverts two major rivers to
make the water run right through the stables.
then he's like gimme some cows. augeas is like forget it, i just
learned you had to do this for free.
Phyleus, the son of Augeas, was like you should give heracles
some cows, that was the deal.
so augeas exiles them both.
when he gets back to Eurysthes (spelling?) he is like i am not
counting this labour cause you tried to get paid.
later, when heracles is done his labours, he goes back and kills
augeas and sets phyleus up as the new boss.
during this labour it is often said that htis is when heracles
goes to olympia and establishes the Olympic Games. he also
plants the olive tree from which the olive wreath is given to
the winners. all the games have their own wreaths.
6. STYMPHALIAN BIRDS
told to go shoot these birds that flock near lake STYMPHALUS.
ATHENA gives him castanets that make the birds fly up in the
air, and he shoots them down. some of them escape and fly to Black Sea and jason deals with
completes with relative ease
last one to occur in pelopponese. next six are all over
7. CRETAN BULL
goes to crete
told to capture a bull, THE CRETAN BULL. king minos had prayed
to poseidon for a fantastic bull that he would, after receiving
it, sacrfice it to poseidon. minos liked it too much and tried
to sacrfice another. poseidon punishes him by making his wife
get a bull fetish. so minos lets it go to run around the island
heracles captures it, brings it back, it roams attica.
Theseus, athens hero, kills it later. this is to make theseus
closer to the greatness of heracles.
8. MARES OF DIOMEDES
go get diomedes' horses.
these are man eating horses. diomedes feeds them humans instead
when heracles encounters diomedes, he tames the horses by
feeding diomedes to the humans, which cures them of their hunger
they become tamed and heracles brings them back to eurystheus,
who dedicates them to Hera and sets them free.
*side adventure while doing this. goes to a man named ADMETUS
and his house. the guy feeds heracles, clothes him, good xenia, without telling him that his wife, ALCESTIS, just died. he was
treated respectfully even though. because of this great
hospitality, when heracles hears his wife dies, he goes and
physically fights with Death / THANATOS and gets Alcestis back
so heracles physically overcomes death
9. GIRDLE OF HIPPOLYTA
go get the girld of hippolyta, queen of the amazons. according
to myth it had magical powers.
heracles kill her, takes the girdle, brings it back.
later in history, the city of argos would claim they owned this
mystical girdle. they displayed it in a temple. as an attempt to
link reality to mythology.
*everyone wanted to be connected with heracles
during this labour, he stops at Troy, which at this time the
king was Laumedon (spelling?), not priam. they were having
trouble with a sea monster because laumedon didn't pay apollo
and poseidon for building the walls even though he told them he
when heracles gets there, he rescues HESIONE who is being
offered to the sea monster.
laumedon doesn't pay him his reward. he comes back later and
kills him and sets up priam as the new leader.
10. CATTLE OF GERYON
each labour is harder than the last. as the challenges go on, no ammount of phys pain can ease his
emotional anguish for killing his family.
he has to keep going out further and further from greece. the
further you go you cross over from mortal world and immortal
guarded by a three headed / bodied monster, grandson of medusa,
named THE GERYON.
To reach it, he has to leave the mediterranean, but it is
blocked by a mountain. hercules broke it open (straight of
gibraltar called the pillars of hercules. for greeks to talk
about beyond there is like talkinga bout somewhere beyond the
rainbow. for him to have gone there and come back is crazy.)
shrine to hercules at the straight of gibraltar
beyond the pillars, the threeheaded geryon and the cattle await.
hercules uses the arrows dipped in the venom of the hydra.
a lot of the difficulties of the task are just getting there.
there is also a EURYTION, A HERDSMAN, AND ORTHUS, the two headed
dog brother of cerebus. he had to kill them to.
he was also aided by the god HELIUS who gave him a large golden
cup that he sailed in.
he had to take the cattle back to greece by land.
as he tried to get back home he had lots of side adventures
cows would wander or someone would try to steal them.
PARERGA - "adventures"
attacked by LIGURIANS (the south of france). he is running out
of hydra blood arrows. ZEUS FINALLY DECIDES TO HELP HIM OUT AND
SENDS A SHOWER OF STONES
he eventually makes it to italy. a temple is there to him. in roman times it is where the cattle market emerged.
while he was in Rome, some cows escape and travel all the way to
sicily. he had to go get them.
when he got there, he encountered KING ERYX, king of Sicily. it
was his custom to wrestle strangers.
heracles wrestled him and killed him.
as he passed through DALMATIA, he runs into a giant ALCYONEUS.
he kills him.
*so he is shown helping all over the mediterranean, making
peiple safe. this is why he moves from local hero to universal
finally gets the cows to Eurystheus who sacrifices them all to
11. THE GOLDEN APPLES OF HESPERIDES
HESPERIDES were the three daughters of NIGHT.
this garden is owned by hera with an apple tree that produces
golden apples. hesperides took care of it. hera didn't trust
them from eating them though, so she also put a serpent to guard
the tree, LADON, hundred head dragon.
HERACLES is told to fetch some apples.
the garden is located on the edge of the world in an unknown
he wanders searching for it for years.
he one day comes across NEREUS who knows where the garden is
he goes, kills LADON, brings back the apple. (euripedes version)
another version: heracles doesn't get to the garden, but rather
Atlas completes the task for him.
*parallels story of Adam and Eve ...
**these apples are signs of hera's marriage to zeus. he wanders till he reaches the end of the world and meets atlas,
holding the earth on his shoulders.
hercules volunteers to hold the world while atlas goes and gets
then atlas is like ive got your apples but you can stay there.
heracles is like, hold it just a sec while i get my lion skin
and then i'll take it back. he's like ok. then herc is like
otehr side adventures while looking for the apples:
finds his way to egypt.
king BUSIRIS would sacrifice all strangers to Zeus. Heracles
also encounters in Libya a man named ANTAEUS who would wrestle
to the death all strangers. Antaeus mother was Gaia. Heracles
lifted him in the air and so he couldn't gain strength from his
mom. then heracles crushes him to death in his grasp.
rids world of this dangerous guy
many versions also have him at this point run into Prometheus
who is shackled. he asks zeus if he can free prometheus. in
gratitude, prometheus says go to atlas and he can help you wit
told to go fetch CERBERUS, the hound of hell, bring him to the
THIS WAS MOST DIFFICULT TASK gets help from hermes and athena.
hermes guides him to underworld.
ATHENA aids him to get past Chiron and guide him around the
heracles goes to hades and asks if he can take the dog
hades says yes but you must take him by force and bring him back
brings him to eurystheus who jumps in his hiding pot.
by going to underworld and returning alive, he overcomes death
side adventure in underworld
runs into THESEUS, rescues him as he helps his friend to kidnap
persephone. they were trapped. he gets theseus out.
runs into friend MELEAGER. Deianira, his sister, couldn't find a
hubby. meleager says please marry her for him.
THIS SETS IN MOTION HERACLES' DEATH
HERACLES & DEIANIRA
he goes to finish his promise to meleager, goes to get deianira
to marry him.
when he gets there he finds out he needs to wrestle a river god,
ACHELOUS, a shape shifting river god with a horn on his head.
during the wrestling match, he breaks off ACHELOUS horn off.
then beats him.
he wins Deianira. after the wrestle, achelous wants his horn back.
he only gives it back by trading for the HORN OF AMALTHEA, the
CORNUCOPIA. amalthea was the goat that helped raise zeus when he
he has deianira and the horn of plenty.
bringing Deianira back home, he runs into a centaur named NESSUS
at the bank of a river.
NESSUS offers to give Deianira a ride across the river so she
doesn't get wet. He tries to violate her while he takes her
Heracles sees and shoots him with a hyrdra arrow.
while dying he convinces Deianira to take some of his blood and
use it as an aphrodesiac when heracles stops being into you.
Deianira takes the phial, stores it away for later just in case
(so you see how blood of hydra comes back to take care of
DEATH OF HERACLES / DEIANIRA & THE ROBE
takes place in play by SOPHOCLES called TRACHINIAE
Heracles earlier on had won Iole in a competition and was
refused her hand. so he comes back, kills the king, takes what
he was owed, Iole, and takes some other females and some riches.
he then ships Iole and other female captives to his wife
Deianira to where they were living in TRACHIS.
she is like, hmm, he isn't ino me any more.
so she takes the phial and pours it on a festive robe and lets
it soak in, then gives it to servent to bring to him.
heracles takes the robe, puts it on, and begins to feel warm
burning. in his fury he kills the messenger. he burns to death.
APOTHEOSIS (DEIFICATION) OF HERACLES
when he dies, a funeral pyre is set on Mt. Oeta.
deianira, realizing she killed him, kills herself in anguish.
spirit of heracles shows up to his son Hyllus and gives him
a man named POEAS lights the pyre and is given the bull of
heracles as a gift.
since he is semi-divine, he should go to underworld.
BUT, heracles was told if he finished the labours he would be
the mortal part goes down
the immortal goes to olympus, makes up with hera, greeted by
gods, given HEBE as wife, takes his place.
hera's not mad at him anymore.
mortal heracles is still found in underworld when people go
THE ORIGIN OF HERACLES
many scholars want to know where heracles comes from
1 from city of TIRYNS much like theseus was from athens, etc.
then spread into greece as his exploits and popularity grew.
then out of greece.
2 brought from the NORTH, dorian/ionian greeks, by early settlers. and came into the area and caught on.
he is connected to a few cities:
TIRYNS, ARGOS, THEBES, & TRACHIS.
because he is linked to these cities, the first possibility is
thought more likely.
either way, cult of heracles flourished from england to egypt.
mythology passed orally and in literature. everywhere.
lots of similarities to GILGAMESH, MELKART, SAMSON.
some even go so far as to argue that Heracles is super old hero,
like caveman hero, because of his primitive weapon and lion
skin, it may symbolize that his origins go back way farther.
"HERACLES" MEANS "THE GLORY OF HERA" which makes no sense.
scholars try to figure it out.
● popular name for him by people
● people called him that to further tick off hera. most
● common name?
THE GREAT HERO OF ATHENS
He has a father that is a god and father who is mortal.
poseidon violated AETHRA, out came theseus.
his mortal father is KING AEGEUS. some myths say that theseus takes over aegeus body.
according to the human father myth, king aegeus is childless,
can't procreate. he goes to delphi to help him be fertile. it
says go back to your home and you'll be fertile that night if
you don't open a wineskin on the way back.
before he gets home he stops off in city of TROEZEN to visit a
king friend, PITTHEUS. pittheus knows what it means, so he gets
Aegeus drunk and his dauther Aethra goes to bed with him and
gets her pregnant.
Aegeas leaves before baby is born but instructs her that when
child is born, if it is a male, send him to athens so i can meet
him. i will leave two tokens of recognition, sandals and sword,
put under stone.
tell son to put these on and come see me and i will welcome him
as son and future king.
later, a son is born, THESEUS.
he grows up, puts on the sandals and swords, and hoofs it to
so the actual origins of theseus are not in athens but in city
the hero theseus has connections to troezen but because most the
writings surviving come from athens, the athenians try to
pretend that never occured. they gloss over links to troezen.
they focus more on theseus being an athenian king.
scarcely known before 6C BCE. he was known but wasn't in upper
echelon of heros.
in 500s the athenians went hard to popularize him and make him
bbecause athenian pottery is a huge export, they put theseus on
all the pottery and ship it out an epic poem about him is written, called the THESEIS, which is
further more, to make him a big time hero, they had him doing a
lot of similarr deeds to heracles.
he comes to be known as SECOND HERACLES.
he becomes famous because of athenian writers, and we know lots
they mingle him with real historical figures:
a (good) tyrant, PISISTRATUS, who unified athens, established
coinage, and established the panathenaic games... after he died,
athenians attributed all this to THESEUS.
in doing so, it increased the re