Hercules, the typical hero of the Greeks, son of Zeus and Alkmene, and the tried therefore of Hera, who persecuted him from his cradle, sending two serpents to devour him as he lay there, but which he strangled with his arms; grown into manhood, and distinguished for his stature and strength, was doomed by the artifice of Hera to a series of perilous adventures before he could claim his rights as a son of his father; these are known as the “Twelve Labours of Hercules”: the first the throttling of the Nemean lion; the second, the killing of the Lernean hydra; the third, the hunt and capture of the hind of Diana, with its hoofs of brass; the fourth, the taking alive of the boar of Erymanthus; the fifth, the cleansing of the stables of Augeas; the sixth, the destruction of the Stymphalian birds; the seventh, the capture of the Cretan bull; the eighth, the capture of the mares of Diomedes of Thrace; the ninth, the seizure of the girdle of the queen of the Amazons; the tenth, the killing of Geryon and capture of his oxen; the eleventh, fetching of the golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides; the twelfth, dragging Cerberus to the light of day. These were the twelve, but in addition, he strangled the giant Antæus, slew the robber Cacus, delivered Hesione, unchained Prometheus from the rocks of Caucasus, and smote the centaur Nessus, the last proving the cause of his death. See Nessus.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Herculaneum * Hercules, The Choice of
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Herbert, Edward, Lord
Herbert, George
Herbert, Sidney
Hercules, The Choice of
Hercules, The Pillars of
Hercynian Forest
Hereward the Wake
Hergest, The Red Book of


Hercules in Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable

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