You can find it here if you missed my article on Rataosker, Artio, and Awilix.
Hercules, contrary to popular belief, is Roman. His Greek counterpart is Heracles or Herakles. Hercules spent most of his life helping and saving humans. Hercules was our protector. His symbols are the club, the Nemean lion, and the bow and arrow.
Hercules is the son of Jupiter (Greek= Zeus) and the mortal Alcmene (same name as her Greek counterpart). Since only one of his parents is divine, Hercules is a demigod. To my knowledge, he never becomes or rejects becoming a full God. Forget the Disney movie. With Jupiter as his father, his siblings are widespread. Also, because Hercules is Jupiter’s son, Juno HATED him. I will explain in a minute. One of his wives was Juventas, who is the Goddess of youth and rejuvenation. That is very different from his Greek version.
Okay, back to Juno hating Hercules. As we all know, Jupiter (Zeus) gets around with loads of women. Juno is jealous and desires her husband to be faithful. She dislikes many of Jupiter’s children from other mothers. For some reason, though, Juno really had it out for Hercules. First, she tried to prevent Aclmene from delivering Hercules, which obviously failed. Next, Juno sent snakes to kill him as an infant, but he killed them. According to some myths, to protect Hercules, his mother abandoned in the woods. He was found by the goddess Minerva and taken to Juno in a twist of irony. To add insult to injury to an unsuspecting Juno, she nursed Hercules from her own breast until he bit her. She didn’t know it was the child she wanted dead. When Hercules bit Juno, they created the Milky Way. By breastfeeding Hercules, she made him stronger.
Hercules is famous for traveling and his twelve labors. He had to slay the Nemean Lion, the Lernaean Hydra, and the Stymphalian. He had to capture the Golden Hind of Artemis, the Erymanthian Boar, the Cretan Bull, and Cerberus. Hercules had to steal or obtain the Mare of Diomedes, the girdle of Hippolyta (DC got right that she is Queen of the Amazons, but the myths say nothing about Wonder Woman), the cattle of Geryonand the apples of Hesperides. He also had to clean the Augean stables in a day. These aren’t in the order that he did them, just the easiest to way to write it.
Not only did he do his twelve labors, but he also freed Prometheus, retrieved Alcestis from the Underworld, held up the sky for Atlas, and almost had to keep holding it up, and so much more. I can’t say how Hercules died. I can find out how Heracles died. So if you want to know that, let me know in the comments below, and I will dish the goods.
Hercules being in Smite makes so much sense to me. Hercules was part of the reason I became obsessed with the Greek and Roman Gods and Goddesses. There are some distinct differences between Roman and Greek mythology, but honestly, they are pretty interchangeable. What do you think of Hercules? Did you know about Heracles? Let me know in the comments below. I would love to know how many of you know about the distinction. My witchy daughter didn’t even know. Until next time, have fun storming the castle!