William Smith.

A smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... online

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and henceforth wore its skin as his ordinary
garment, and its mouth and head as his
helmet. Others related that the lion's skin
of Hercul^ was taken fh>m the Nemean lion.
He next defeated and killed Erginus, king of
Orchomenos, to whom the Thebans used to
pay tribute. In this battle Hercules lost his
father Amphitryon; but Creon rewarded
him with the hand of his daughter, Megara«
by whom he became the father of several
children. The gods liiade him presents of
arms, and he usually carried a huge club,
which he had cut for himself in the neigh-
bourhood of Nemea. Soon afterwards Her.
cules was driven mad by Hera, and in this
state he killed his own children by Megara
and 2 of Iphicles. In his grief he sentenced
himself to exile, and went to Thespius, who
purifled him. He then consulted the oracle
of Delphi as to where he should settle. The
Pythia first called him by the name of Her.
cules — for hitherto his name had been
Alcides or Alc-eus — and ordered him to live
o2



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at Tiryns, and to serve Eurystheus for the
space of 12 years, after which he should
become immortal. Hercules accordingly
went to Tiryns, and did as he was bid by
Eurystheus. The accounts of the 12 labours
which Hercules performed at the bidding of
Eurystheus, are found only in. the later
writers. 'The only one of the 12 labours
mentioned by Homer is his descent into the
lower world to carry oflf Cerberus. Vfe also




Hercules and Nemean Lion. (Prom a Soman Lamp.)

find in Homer the fight of HeiTeules with a
sea-monster ; his expedition to Troy to fetch
the horses which Laomedon had refused





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Hercules and Hjrdra. (From a Marble at Naples.)

him ; and his war against the Pylians, when
he destroyed the whole family of their king
Keleus, with the exception of Nestor. The



12 labours are usually arranged in fhe
following order: — (1) The fight with the
Nemean lion. The valley of Nemea, be-
tween Cleonae and Phlius, was inhabited by
a monstrous lion, the offspring of Typhon
and Echidna. Eiu*ystheu8 ordered Hercules
to bring him the skin of this monster. After
using in vain his club and arrows against the
lion, he strangled the animal with his own
hands, and returned to Tiryns, carrying the
dead lion on his shoulders. — (2) light against
the Lernean hydra. This monster, like the lion,
was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna,
and was brought up by Hera. It ravaged
the country of Lema, near Argos, and
dwelt in a swamp near the well of Amy-
mone. It had 9 heads, of which the middle
one was immortal. Hercules struck off its
heads with his club ; but in the place of the
head he cut off, 2 new ones grew forth each
time. However, with the assistance of his
foithful servant lolaus, he burned away the
heads of the hydra, and buried the ninth, or
immortal one, under a huge rock. Having
thus conquered the monster, he poisoned his
arrows with its bile, whence the wounds in-
flicted by thembecame incurable. — (3) Capture
of the Arcadian stag. This animal had golden
antlers and brazen feet. Hercules was ordered
to bring the animal alive to Eurystheus. He
pursued it in vain for a whole year : at
length he wounded it with an arrow, caught
it, and carried it away on his shotilders.



Hercules and Arcadian Stag. (From a Statue
at Naples.)

(4) Desttuetion of the Erymanthian hoar.
This animal, which Hercules was also ordered
to bring alive to Eurystheus, had descended
from mount Erymanthus into Psophis. Her-
cules chased it through the deep snow, and



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having thus vorn it out h6 caught it in
a net, and carried it to Eurystheus. Other



the rivers Alpheus and Peneus through the
stalls, which were thus cleansed in a single




HeroulM and Bov, with Kurysthetu. (Fh>m
a Marble at Maplea.) .

traditions place the hunt of the Erymanchian
boar in Thessaly. It must be observed that
this and the subsequent labours of Hercules
are connected with certain subordinate
labours, called Parerga. The first of these
is the fight of Hercules with the Centaurs.
In his pursuit of the boar he came to the
centaur Pholus, who had received firom Dio-
nysus (Bacchus) a cask of excellent wine.
Hercules opened it, contrary to the wish of
his host, and the deUcious firagrance attracted
the other centaurs, who besieged the grotto
of Pholus. Hercules drove them away ; they
fled to the house of Chiron ; and Hercules,
eager in his pursuit, wounded Chiron, his old
friend, with one of his poisoned arrows ; in
consequence of which Chiron died. [Chibon.]
Pholus likewise was wounded by one of the
arrows, which by accident fell on his foot
and killed him. — (5) Cleaming of the gtablet
ofAugeM, Eurystheus imposed upon Her.
cules the task of cleansing in <me day the
stalls of Aueeas, king of Ells. Augeas had
a herd of sOOO oxen, whose stalls had not
been cleansed for 30 years. Hercules, with-
out mentioning the command of Eurystheus,
went to Augeas, and offered to cleanse his
stalls in one day, if he would give him the
10th part of his cattle. Augeas agreed to
the terms ; and Hercules, after taking Phy-
leus, the son of Augeas, as his witness, turned



Hercules cleaning the Stables of AuKea«.
(From a Belief at Rome.)



day. But Augeas, who learned that Her.
cules had undertaken the work by the com.
mand of ^Eurystheus, refused to give him the
reward. His son Phyleus then bore witness
against his father, who exiled him ft-om
Elis. At a later time Hercules invaded Elis»
and killed Augeas and his sons. After this
he is said to have founded the Olympic games.
— (6) Lttruetion of the Stymphalian bird*.



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Hercnlea and the StTmphaliaa Blrda. (From
a Gem at Florence.}

These voracious birds had been brought up



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by Ares. They had brazen claws, wings,
and bosiks, used their feathers as arrows, and
ate human flesh. They dwelt on a lake near
Stymphalus in Arcadia, from which Hercules
was ordered by Eurystheus to expel them.
When Hercules undertook the task, Athena
provided him with a brazen rattle, by the
noise of which he startled the birds ; and, as
they attempted to fly away, he killed them
with his arrows. According to some ac-
counts, he only drove the birds away, and
they appeared again in the island of
Aretias, where they were found by the
Argonauts. — (7) Capture of the Cretan hull.
The bull had been sent out of the sea by
Poseidon, that Minos might offer it in sacri-
fice. But Minos was so charmed with the
beauty of the animal, that he kept it, and
sacrificed another in its stead. Poseidoit
punished Minos, by driving the bull mad,
and causing it to commit great havoc in the
island. Hercules was ordered by Eurystheus
to catch the bull, which he succeeded in
doing. He brought the boll home on his
shoulders ; but he then set the animal free
again. The bull now roamed through Greece,
and at last came to Marathon, where we meet



the sea coast. But here he was overtaken
by the Bistones. During the fight he en-
trusted the mares to his friend Abderus, who
was devoured by them. Hercules defeated
the Bistones, killed Diomedes, whose body
he threw before the mares, built the town of
Abdera in honour of his unfortunate friend,
and then returned to Eurystheus with the
mares, which had become tame after eating
the flesh of their master. The mares were
afterwards set free, ana destroyed on Mt«



Hercules and Bull. (From a Bai-reliet
in the Yatickii.)

it again in the stories of Theseus. — (8) Cap-
ture of the marea of the Thracian Diomedes,
This Diomedes, king of the Bistones in
Thrace, fed his horses with human flesh.
Eurystheus ordered Hercules to bring him
these animals. With a few companions, he
seized the animals, and conducted them to



Bercuies and Horses of Diomedes. (From the
Museo fiorbonico.)



Olympus by wild beasts. — (9) Seizure of the
girdle of the queen of the Amazons, Hippo-
lyte, the queen of the Amazons, possessed a
girdle, which she had received from Ares.
Admete, the daughter of Eurystheus, wished
to obtain this girdle ; and Hercules was
therefore sent to fetch it. After various ad-
ventures in Europe and Asia, he at length
reached the country of the Amazons. Hip-
polyte at first received him kindly, and
promised him her girdle ; but Hera having
excited the Amazons against him, a contest
ensued, in which Hercules killed their queen.
He then took her girdle, and carried it with
him. On his way home he landed in Troas,
where he rescued Hesione from the monster
sent against her by Poseidon ; in return for
which service her father^ Laomedon, promised
him the horses he had received from Zeus as
a compensation for Ganymedes. But, as
Laomedon did not keep his word, Hercules
on leaving threatened to make war against
Troy, a threat which he afterwards carried
into execution. — (10) Capture of the oxen of
Geryonee in Erythia. Geryones, the monster
with 3 bodies, lived in the fabulous island of
Erythia (the reddish), so called because it



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lay in the \V., under the rays of the setting
sun. This island was originally placed off the
coast of Epirus, hut was afterwards identified
either with Gades or the Balearic islands.
The oxen of Geryones were guarded hy the
giant Eurytion and the two-headed dog Or-
thus ; and Hercules was commanded hy
Eurystheus to fetch them. After traversing
various countries, he reached at length the
frontiers of Libya and Europe, where he
erected 2 pillars (Calpe and Abyla) on the
2 sides of the straits of Gibraltar, which
were hence called the pillars of Hercules.
Being annoyed by the heat of the sun, Her-
cules shot at Helios (the sun), who so nluch
admired his boldness, that he presented him
with a golden cup or boat, in which he sailed
to Erythia. He there slew Eurytion and his
dog, as well as Geryones, and sailed with his



Bercales and Geryon. (Mumo Borbouico.)

booty to Tartessus, where he returned the
golden cup (boat) to Helios. On his way
home he passed through Gaul, Italy, Illy-
ricum, and Thrace, and met with numerous
adventures, which are variously embellished
by the poets. Many attempts were made to
deprive him of the oxen, but he at length
brought them in safety to Eurystheus, who
sacrificed them to Hera.— (n) Fetching the
golden apples of the Heapertd^s. This was
particularly difficult, since Hercules did not
know where to find them. They were the
apples which Hera had received at her wed-
ding from Ge (the Earth), and which she
had entrusted to the keeping of the Hespe-
rides and the dragon Ladon, on Mt. Atlas, in
the country of the Hyperboreans. [Hks-
PBRiDEs.] On arriving at Mt. Atlas, Hercules
sent Atlas to fetch the apples, and in the mean-
time bore the weight of heaven for him.
Atlas returned with the apples, but refused



to take the burden of heaven on his shoulders
again. Hercules, however, contrived by a
stratagem to get the apples, and hastened
away. On his return Eurystheus made him
a present of the apples ; but Hercules dedi-
cated them to Athena (Minerva), who restored
them to their former place. Some traditions
add that Hercules killed the dragon Ladon. —






I

Hercules and the Ueuppiidcs. (From a Baa-relief
at Rome.)

(12) bringing Cerberus from the lower toor'd.
This was the most difficult of the 12 labours
of Hercules. He descended into Hades, near
Taeliarum inLaconia, accompanied by Hermes
(Mercury) and Athena. He delivered Theseus
and Ascalaphus from their torments. He
obtained permission from Pluto to carry
Cerberus to the upper world, provided he
could accomplish it without force of arms.
Hercules succeeded in seizing the monster
and carrying it to the upper world; and
after he had shown it to Eurystheus, he
carried it back again to the lower world.
Besides these 12 labours, Hercules performed
several other feats without being commanded
by Eurystheus. Several of them were in-
terwoven with the 12 labours, and have been
already described : those which had no con-
nection with the 12 labours are spoken of
below. After Hercules had performed the
12 labours, he was released from the servi.
tnde of Eurystheus, and returned to Thebea.



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lie there gave Megara in marriage to lolaus ;
and be wished to gain in marriage for him-



Hercttles and Cerberus. (MiUin, Tombeau
de Canoaa.)

self lole, the daughter of Eurytus, king of
Oechalia. Eurytus promised his daughter to
the man who should conquer him and his
sons in shooting with the bow. Hercules
defeated them; but Eurytus and his sons,
with the exception of Iphitiu, refused to
give lole to him, because he had murdered his
own children. Shortly afterwards he killed
his friend Iphitus, in a fit of madness.
Though purified from this murder, he was,
nerertheless, attacked by a severe illness.
The oracle at Delphi declared that he would
be restored to health, if he would serve 3
years for wages, and surrender his earnings
to Eurytus, as an atonement for the murder
of Iphitus. Thereupon he became a servant
to Omphale, queen of Lydia, and widow of
Tmolus. Later writers describe Hercules as
living effeminately during his residence with
Omphale : he spun wool, it is* said, and some,
times put on the garments of a woman,
while Omphale wore his lion's skin. Ac-
cording 4o other accounts he nevertheless
performed several great feats during this
time. He undertook an expedition to Col.
chis, which brought him into connection
with the Argonauts ; he took part in the
Calydonian hunt, and met Theseus on his
landing from Troezene on the Corinthian
isthmus. When the time of his servitude
had expired, he sailed against Troy, took the
city, and killed Laomedon, its king. It was
about this time that the gods sent for him
in order to fight against the Giants. [Gi-
OANTSS.] Soon after his return to Argos, he
marched against Augeas, as has been related
above. He then proceeded against Pylos,
which he took, and killed the whole family



of Neleus, with the exception of Nestor.
He then proceeded to Calydon, where he ob-
tained Dei'anlra, the daughter of Oeneus, for
his wife, after fighting with Achelous for
her. [DxiANi&A ; Achelous.] After Hercules
had been married to Deianira nearly 3 years,
he accidentally killed at a banquet in the
house of Oeneus the boy Eunomus. In ac- •
«ordance with the law, Hercules went into
exile, taking with him his wife Deianira.
On their road they came to the river Evenus,
across which the centaur Ncssus carried
travellers for a small sum of money. Her-
cules himself forded the river, but gave
Deianira to Nessus to carry across. Nessus
attempted to outrage her : Hercules heard
her screaming, and shot an arrow into the
heart of Nessus. The dying centaur called
out to Deianira to take his blood with her,
as ic was a sure means of preserving the
love of her husband. After this he took up
his abode at Trachis, whence he marched
against Eurytus of Oechalia. He took
Oechalia, killed Eurytus and his dons, and
carried off his daughter lole as a prisoner.
On his return home he landed at Cenaeum, a
promontory of Euboea, erected an altar to
Zeus, and sent his companion, Lichas, to
Trachis, in order to fetch him a white gar-
ment, which he intended to use during the
sacrifice.' Deianira, afraid lest lole should
supplant her in the affections of her husband,
steeped the white garment he had demanded
in the blood of Nessus. This blood bad been
poisoned by the arrow with which Hercules
had shot Ne^us ; and, accordingly, as soon
as the garment became warm on the body of
Hercules, the poison penetrated into all his
limbs, and caused him the most excruciating
agony. He seized Lichas by his feet, and
threw him into the sea. He wrenched off
the garment, but it stuck to his flesh, and
with it he tore away whole pieces from his
body. In this state he was conveyed to
Trachis. Deianira, on seeing what she had
unwittingly done, hanged herself. Hercule-i
commanded Hyllus, his eldest son by
Deianira, to marry lole as soon as he should
arrive at the age of manhood. He then
ascended Mt. Oeta, raised a pile of wood, o:i
which he placed himself, and ordered it to
be set on fire. When the pile was burning,
a cloud came down f^om heaven, and amid
peals of thunder carried him to Olympus,
where he was honoured with immortality,
became reconciled to Hera, and married her
daughter Hebe. He was in course of time
worshipped throughout all Greece both as a
god and as a hero. His worship, howevcF,
prevailed more extensively among the Dorians
than among any other of the Greek raceeu



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The sacrifices olfered to him consisted prin.
cipally of buils, boars, rams, and lambs.
The works of art in which Hercules is re-
presented are extremely numerous ; but
whether he appears as a child, a youth, a
struggling hero, or as the immortal inhabitant
of Olympus, his character is always one of
heroic strength and energy. The finest re-
presentation of the hero that has come down
to us is the so-called Famese Hercules. The
hero is resting, leaning on his right arm,
and his head reclining on His left hand : the
whole figure is a most exquisite combination
of peculiar softness with the greatest streng^th.
The worship of Hercules at Rome and in
Italy is connected by Roman writers with
the hero's expedition to fetch the oxen of
Geryones. They stated that Hercules, on his
return, visited Italy, where he abolished
human sacrifices among the Sabines, esta-
blished the worship of fire, and slew Cacus,
a robber, who had stolen his oxen. [Cacus.]
The aborigines, and especially Evander,
honoured Hercules with divine worship ;
and Hercules, in return, taught them the
way in which he was to be worshipped, and
entrusted the care of his worship to 2 dis-
tinguished families, the Potitii and Pinarii.
[PiNABiA Gbns.] At Rome Hercules was
connected with the Muses, whence he is called
JUtuageteSf and was represented with a lyre,
of which there is no trace in Greece. The
Greeks and Romans also give the name of
Hercules to heroes distinguished by their
bodily strength among other nations of the
Bncient world. Thus we find mention of the
Egyptian, Indian, and Phoenician Hercules.

HERCOleS (-is and -i), son of Alexander
the Great by Barsine, the widow of the
Rhodian Memnon, murdered byPolysperchon,
B.C. 310.

HERCtJLIS COLUMNAE. [Abtla ;
Calpk.]

HERCtLIS MONOECI PORTUS. [Mo-

KOECUS.]

HERCCLIS PORTUS. [Cosa.]
HERCtJLIS PROMONTORIUM {C. Spar-
tivento)t the most S.-ly point of Italy in
Bruttium. •• i

HERCtNIA SILVA (-ae), an extensive
range of mountains in Germany, covered
with forests, described by Caesar as 9 days*
journey in breadth, and more than 60 days*
Journey in length, extending E. f^om the
territories of the Helvetii, Nemetes, and
Rauraci, parallel to the Danube, to the fron-
tiers of the Dacians. Under this general
name Caesar appears to have included all the
mountains and forests in the S. and centre of
Germany. The name is still preserved in the
modem ITarz and Era,



HERDONIA (-ae), a town in Apulia, de-
stroved by Hannibal.

HERILLUS (-i), of Carthage, a Stoic phi-
losopher, the disciple of Zeno of Cittium.

HERMAEUM (-i), or, in Latin, MER-
CURII PROMONTORIUM {Cape Bon),
the extreme N.E. point of the Carthaginian
territory, opposite to Lilybaeum, the space
between the two being the shortest distance
between Sicily and Africa.

HERMAGOraS (-ae). (1) Of Temnos, a
distinguished Greek rhetorician of the time
of Cicero, belonging to the Rhodian school
of oratory. — (2) A Greek rhetorician, who
taught rhetoric at Rome in the time of
Augustus.

HERMAPHRODlTUS (-i), son of Her-
mes and Aphrodite (Venus), and consequently
great-grandson of Atlas, whence he is called
Atlantiades or Atlantius. He had inherited
the beauty of both his parents, and thus ex-
cited the love of the nymph of the fountain of
Salmacis, near Halicamassus . She tried in
vain to win his affections; and as he was
one day bathing in the fountain, she em-
braced him, and prayed to the gods that she
might be united with him for ever. The gods
granted the . request, and the bodies of the
youth and the nymph became united together,
but retained the characteristics of each sex.

HERMfiS (-ae), called MERCURIUS (-i),
by the Romans. The Greek Hermes was a
son of Zeus (Jupiter) and Maia, the daughter
of Atlas, and was bom in a cave of Mt.
Cyllene in Arcadia, whence he is called
Atlantiades or Oyllmius, A few hours aftez
his birth he displayed his natural propensi-
ties ; escaping from his cradle, he went to
Pieria, and carried off some of the oxen of



Hennn (Mercory) making a Ljre.
(Otterlej, Denk. der tit. Kout, thdl 2; ut. 29.)

Apollo, which he drove to Pylos. He then



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HERMES.



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HERMES.



returned to Cyllcne, and flnding a tortoise at
the entrance of his native cave, he placed
strings across its shell, and thus invented
the lyre, on which he immediately played.
Apollo, by his prophetic power, had mean-
*JTOe discovered the thief, and went to
Oyllene to charge Hermes with the crime.
His mother, Maia, showed to the god the
child in its cradle; but Apollo carried the
boy before Zeus, who compelled him to re-
store the oxen. But when Apollo heard the
sounds of the lyre, he was so charmed that he
allowed Hermes to keep the animals, and
became his friend. Zeus made Hermes
his herald, and he was employed by the
gods, and more especially by Zeus, on a
variety of occasions whicli are recorded in
ancient story. Thus he led Priam to Achilles
to fetch the body of Hector ; tied Ixion to
the wheel ; conducted Hera (Juno), Aphro.
dite (Venus), and Athena (Minerva) to Paris ;
rescued Dionysus (Bacchus) after his birth
from the flames ; sold Hercules to Omphale ;
and was ordered by Zeus to carry off lo, who
was metamorphosed into a cow, and guarded
by Argus, whom he slew. [Argus.] He
was also employed by the gods to conduct
the shades of the dead from the upper
into the lower world. Being the herald of
the gods, he is the god of eloquence, since |
the heralds are the public speakers in the
assemblies and on other occasions. He was



Hermes (Mercmy}. (Museo borbonico,toiu. 6. tav. 2.)

also the god of prudence and eimning, both
in words and actions, and even of fraud,
|)erjury, and theft. Being endowed with this
shrewdness and sagacity, be waa regarded
as the author of s^ variety of inventions,



such as the lyre and syrinx, the alphabet,
numbers, astronomy, music, the art of fight-
ing, gymnastics, the cultivation of the olive
tree, measures, weights, and many other
things. From being the herald of the gods,
he was regarded as the god of roads, who
protected travellers; and numerous statues
of him, called Hermue, were erected on roads,
and at doors and gates. He was also the god
of commerce and of good luck, and as such
presided over the game of dice. Hermes was
believed to have been the inventor of sacri-
fices, and hence was the protector of saorificial
animals. For this reason he was especially
worshipped by shepherds, and is mentioned
in connection with Pan and the nymphs.
Hermes was likewise the patron of all
the gymnastic games of the Greeks. All
gymnasia were under his protection ; and the
Greek artists derived their ideal of the god
from the gynmasium, and represented him
as a youth whose limbs were beautifully
and harmoniously develojied by gynmastio
exercises. The most ancient seat of the
worship of Hermes is Arcadia, the land of his
birth, whence his worship was carried to
Athens, and ultimately spread through all
Greece. The festivals celebrated in his
honour were called Hermaea. Among the
things sacred to him were the palm tree, th«
tortoise, the number 4, and several kinds of
fish ; and the sacrifices offered to him con-




Hermes (Mercury), ntture p Bronzl d'Ercolano,
vol. 4, tav. 31.)



sisted of incense, honey, cakes, pigs, and
especially lambs and young goats. The prin.



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HERMIXIUS.



203



nERODES,



cii>al attributes of Hermes are : — 1. A tra-
velling bat witb a broad brim, wbich in
later times yr&a adorned vitb 2 small wings.

2. The staff which he bore as a herald, and
had received from Apollo. In late works of



Online LibraryWilliam SmithA smaller classical dictionary of biography, mythology, and geography ... → online text (page 38 of 90)