Hera was determined to make Hercules suffer and to do this, she made him insane. In his crazy rage, he killed many people, including his own wife and children. When he was cured of his insanity, Hercules was saddened by what he had done. He sought out Apollo for guidance and the god's oracle commanded Hercules to serve King Eurystheus for 12 years as punishment for the murders. Hercules would also have to perform 12 Labors. These tasks so dangerous and difficult that they seemed impossible. But he was able to complete all 12 labors and become Greece's greatest hero.
The 12 Labors (a brief synopsis)
LABOR I Hercules kills the Nemean Lion with a self-made club and brings the skin back to Eurystheus. The skin and club become the symbols that help identify Hercules in both art and literature.
LABOR II With the help of his nephew Iolatus, Heracles kills the many-headed Hydra. Afterwards, he dips his arrow tips into the poison blood of the Hydra.
LABOR III He steals the Cerynean Hind from Artemis and brings it to Eurystheus.
LABOR IV He traps the destructive Erymanthian Boar, which instills fear in Eurystheus when placed before the king.
LABOR V Hercules cleans the Augean Stables by directing the rivers Alpheus and Peneus to flow right them.
LABOR VI He shoots the Stymphalion Birds after dispersing them using castanets given to him by Athena.
LABOR VII He catches the Cretan Bull.
LABOR VIII He tames the flesh-eating Mares of Diomedes.
LABOR IX Heracles kills Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons and takes her magical girdle.
LABOR X He takes the cattle of Geryon, by killing their three-bodied owner, a giant herdsman known as Eurytion and a two-headed hound named Orthus.
LABOR XI He holds up the world while Atlas retrieves the Apples of Heserides for
LABOR XII He shows Eurystheus Cerebus, the three-headed dog that guards the entrance to Hades.
OTHER Hercules also performs many other tasks alongside these twelve specific labors, including wounding the centaur Chiron so that Prometheus might take on his immortality and be freed from his punishment, and saving Alcestis from Death
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