Elysium or the Elysian Fields is a conception of the afterlife that developed over time and was maintained by some Greek religious and philosophical sects and cults. Separate from the realm of Hades, admission was reserved for mortals related to the gods and other heroes, it expanded to include those chosen by the gods, the righteous, the heroic, where they would remain after death, to live a blessed and happy life, indulging in whatever employment they had enjoyed in life. The Elysian Fields were, according to Homer, located on the western edge of the Earth by the stream of Okeanos. In the time of the Greek oral poet Hesiod, Elysium would be known as the Fortunate Isles or the Isles of the Blessed, located in the western ocean at the end of the earth; the Isles of the Blessed would be reduced to a single island by the Thebean poet Pindar, describing it as having shady parks, with residents indulging in athletic and musical pastimes. The ruler of Elysium varies from author to author: Pindar and Hesiod name Cronus as the ruler, while the poet Homer in the Odyssey describes fair-haired Rhadamanthus dwelling there.
In Homer's Odyssey, Elysium is described as a paradise: to the Elysian plain...where life is easiest for men. No snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor rain, but does Ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing West Wind that they may give cooling to men. According to Eustathius of Thessalonica the word "Elysium" derives from ἀλυουσας or from ἀλύτως, synonymous of ἀφθάρτως, referring to souls' life in this place. Another suggestion is from ελυθ-, ἔρχομαι; the Greek oral poet Hesiod refers to the Isles of the Blessed in his didactic poem Days. In his book Greek Religion, Walter Burkert notes the connection with the motif of far-off Dilmun: "Thus Achilles is transported to the White Isle and becomes the Ruler of the Black Sea, Diomedes becomes the divine lord of an Adriatic island", and they live untouched by sorrow in the islands of the blessed along the shore of deep-swirling Ocean, happy heroes for whom the grain-giving earth bears honey-sweet fruit flourishing thrice a year, far from the deathless gods, Cronos rules over them Pindar's Odes describes the reward waiting for those living a righteous life: The good receive a life free from toil, not scraping with the strength of their arms the earth, nor the water of the sea, for the sake of a poor sustenance.
But in the presence of the honored gods, those who gladly kept their oaths enjoy a life without tears, while the others undergo a toil, unbearable to look at. Those who have persevered three times, on either side, to keep their souls free from all wrongdoing, follow Zeus' road to the end, to the tower of Cronus, where ocean breezes blow around the island of the blessed, flowers of gold are blazing, some from splendid trees on land, while water nurtures others. With these wreaths and garlands of flowers they entwine their hands according to the righteous counsels of Rhadamanthys, whom the great father, the husband of Rhea whose throne is above all others, keeps close beside him as his partner In Virgil's Aeneid, like Heracles and Odysseus before him, travels to the underworld. Virgil describes those who will travel to Elysium, those who will travel to Tartarus: Night speeds by, And we, lose it in lamenting. Here comes the place where cleaves our way in twain. Thy road, the right, toward Pluto's dwelling goes.
But the left Speeds sinful souls to doom, is their path To Tartarus th' accurst. Virgil goes on to describe an encounter in Elysium between Aeneas and his father Anchises. Virgil's Elysium knows perpetual spring and shady groves, with its own sun and lit by its own stars: solemque suum, sua sidera norunt. In no fix'd place the happy souls reside. In groves we live, lie on mossy beds, By crystal streams, that murmur thro' the meads: But pass yon easy hill, thence descend; this said, he led them up the mountain's brow, And shews them all the shining fields below. They wind the hill, thro' the blissful meadows go. In the Greek historian Plutarch's Life of Sertorius, Elysium is described as: These are two in number, separated by a narrow strait, they enjoy moderate rains at long intervals, winds which for the most part are soft and precipitate dews, so that the islands not only have a rich soil, excellent for plowing and planting, but produce a natural fruit, plentiful and wholesome enough to feed, without toil or trouble, a leisured folk.
Moreover, an air, salubrious, owing to the climate and the moderate changes in the seasons, prevails on the islands. For the north and east winds which blow out from our part of the world plunge into fathomless space, owing to the distance, dissipate themselves and lose their power before they reach the islands; therefore a firm belief has made its way to the Barbarians, that here is the Elysian Field and the abode of the blessed, not true, of which Homer sang. Diodorus, in his first book, suggested that the Elysian fields which were much celebrated by Grecian poetry, corresponded to the beautiful plains in the neighborhood of Memphis which contained the tombs of that capital city of Egypt, he further intimated that the Greek prophet Orpheus composed his fables about the afterlife when he traveled to Egypt and saw the customs of the Egyptians
The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometres through Tuscany and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometres; the river has achieved lasting fame as the main watercourse of the city of Rome, founded on its eastern banks. The river rises at Mount Fumaiolo in central Italy and flows in a southerly direction past Perugia and Rome to meet the sea at Ostia. Popularly called flavus, in reference to the yellowish colour of its water, the Tiber has advanced at the mouth by about 3 kilometres since Roman times, leaving the ancient port of Ostia Antica 6 kilometres inland. However, it does not form a proportional delta, owing to a strong north-flowing sea current close to the shore, to the steep shelving of the coast, to slow tectonic subsidence; the source of the Tiber consists of two springs 10 metres away from each other on Mount Fumaiolo.
These springs are called "Le Vene". The springs are in a beech forest 1,268 metres above sea level. During the 1930s, Benito Mussolini placed an antique marble Roman column at the point where the river arises, inscribed QUI NASCE IL FIUME SACRO AI DESTINI DI ROMA. There is an eagle on the top of this column; the first miles of the Tiber run through Valtiberina before entering Umbria. It is probable that the genesis of the name Tiber was pre-Latin, like the Roman name of Tibur, may be Italic in origin; the same root is found in the Latin praenomen Tiberius. There are Etruscan variants of this praenomen in Thefarie and Teperie; the legendary king Tiberinus, ninth in the king-list of Alba Longa, was said to have drowned in the river Albula, afterward called Tiberis. The myth may have explained a memory of an earlier pre-Indo-European name for the river, "white" with sediment, or "from the mountains" from pre-Indo-European word "alba, albion" mount, elevated area. Tiberis/Tifernus may be a pre-Indo-European substrate word related to Aegean tifos "still water", Greek phytonym τύφη a kind of swamp and river bank weed, Iberian hydronyms Tibilis and Numidian Aquae Tibilitanae.
Yet another etymology is from *dubri-, considered by Alessio as Sicel, whence the form Θύβρις Tiberis. This root * dubri - is widespread in Portus Dubris. According to the legend, Jupiter made him a guardian spirit of the river; this gave rise to the standard Roman depiction of the river as a powerfully built reclining god named Tiberinus, with streams of water flowing from his hair and beard. The Tiber was believed to be the river into which Romulus and Remus were thrown as infants. According to legend, the city of Rome was founded in 753 BC on the banks of the Tiber about 25 kilometres from the sea at Ostia; the island Isola Tiberina in the centre of Rome, between Trastevere and the ancient center, was the site of an important ancient ford and was bridged. Legend says Rome's founders, the twin brothers Romulus and Remus, were abandoned on its waters, where they were rescued by the she-wolf, Lupa; the river marked the boundary between the lands of the Etruscans to the west, the Sabines to the east and the Latins to the south.
Benito Mussolini, born in Romagna, adjusted the boundary between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna, so that the springs of the Tiber would lie in Romagna. The Tiber was critically important to Roman trade and commerce, as ships could reach as far as 100 kilometres upriver, it was used to ship stone and foodstuffs to Rome. During the Punic Wars of the 3rd century BC, the harbour at Ostia became a key naval base, it became Rome's most important port, where wheat, olive oil, wine were imported from Rome's colonies around the Mediterranean. Wharves were built along the riverside in Rome itself, lining the riverbanks around the Campus Martius area; the Romans connected the river with a sewer system and with an underground network of tunnels and other channels, to bring its water into the middle of the city. Wealthy Romans had garden-parks or "horti" on the banks of the river in Rome up through the first century BC; these may have been developed about a century later. The heavy sedimentation of the river made it difficult to maintain Ostia, prompting the emperors Claudius and Trajan to establish a new port on the Fiumicino in the 1st century AD.
They built a new road, the via Portuensis, to connect Rome with Fiumicino, leaving the city by Porta Portese. Both ports were abandoned due to silting. Several popes attempted to improve navigation on the Tiber in the 17th and 18th century, with extensive dredging continuing into the 19th century. Trade was boosted for a while but by the 20th century silting had resulted in the river only being navigable as far as Rome itself; the Tiber was once known for its floods — the Campus Martius is a flood plain and would flood to a depth of 2 metres. The river is now confined between high stone embankments which were begun in 1876. Within the city, the riverbanks are lined by boulevards known as lungoteveri, streets "along the Tiber"; because the river is identified with Rome, the terms "swimming the Ti
In Greek mythology, Achelous was the god of all water and the rivers of the world were viewed by many as his sinews. In Hellenistic times, he was relegated to the Achelous River, the largest river of Greece, thus the chief of all river deities, every river having its own river spirit. Achelous was an important deity in Etruscan mythology, intimately related to water as in the Greek tradition but carrying significant chthonic associations. Man-faced bull iconography was first adapted to represent Achelous by the Etruscans in the 8th century BC, the Greeks adopted this same tradition; the name Ἀχελώїoς is pre-Greek, its meaning not certain. Recent arguments suggest it is Semitic in origin, with the initial Aχ- stemming from the Akkadian aḫu "bank of the river", or aḫû "seashore"; the Greek ending -ελώἴος stems from the Akkadian illu "watercourse" or "water of the river invading land", elu and ilu, which mean "deity". Homer placed Achelous above all, the origin of all the world's fresh water and all water.
By Roman times, Homer's reference was interpreted as making Achelous "prince of rivers". According to Alcaeus he was the son of Gaia and Oceanus, whereas Hesiod in his canonical Theogony presented Tethys and Oceanus as the parents of all three thousand river gods. In the Renaissance, the improvisatory mythographer Natalis Comes made for his parents Gaia and Helios; some derived the legends about Achelous from Egypt, describe him as a second Nilus. Herodotus compared the two rivers in their power to amass new land: "There are other rivers as well which, though not as large as the Nile, have had substantial results. In particular, there is the Achelous, which flows through Acarnania into the sea and has turned half the Echinades islands into mainland." Achelous was considered to be an important divinity throughout Greece from the earliest times, was invoked in prayers, sacrifices, on taking oaths, etc.. The widespread worship of Achelous points to a more generic meaning of the god himself accounting for an interpretation of Achelous as the representative of sweet water in general, as the source of all nourishment.
A recent study has tried to show that both the form and substance of Achelous, as a god of water depicted as a man-faced bull, have roots in Old Europe in the Bronze Age. After the disappearance of many Old European cultures, the traditions traveled to the Near East at the beginning of 4th millennium BC, migrated to Greece, Italy and Sardinia with itinerant sea-folk during the Late Bronze Age through the Orientalizing period. Although no single cult of Achelous persisted throughout all of these generations, the iconography and general mythos spread from one culture to another, all examples of man-faced bulls are found around the area of the Mediterraneanan, suggesting some intercultural continuity; the leading exponents into the Greek and Etruscan worlds were seer-healers and mercenaries during the Iron Age, Achelous as a man-faced bull becomes an emblem employed by mercenaries in the Greek world for centuries. These earlier figures adapted the mythological and iconographic traditions of Asallúhi, the "princely bison" of Near Eastern traditions that "rises to the surface of the earth in springs and marshes flowing as rivers."
Achelous was a suitor for Deianeira, daughter of Oeneus king of Calydon, but was defeated by Heracles, who wed her himself. The contest of Achelous with Heracles was represented on the throne of Amyclae, in the treasury of the Megarans at Olympia there was a statue of him made by Dontas of cedarwood and gold. Achelous was sometimes depicted as a gray-haired old man or a vigorous bearded man in his prime, with a horned head and a serpent-like body. On several coins of Acarnania the god is represented as a bull with the head of an old man; the most common depiction of Achelous in Archaic and Classical times was this man-faced bull. A city would feature a man-faced bull on its coinage to represent a local variant of Achelous, such as Achelous Gelas of Gela, Sicily, or Achelous Sebethos of Neapolis, Campania; when he battled Heracles over the river nymph Deianeira, Achelous turned himself into a serpent and a bull, which may both be seen as symbols of the chthonic realm. Heracles forced the god to surrender.
Achelous had to trade the goat horn of Amalthea to get it back. Heracles gave it to the Naiads. Achelous relates the bitter episode afterwards to Theseus in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Sophocles makes Deianeira relate these occurrences in a somewhat different manner, picturing a mortal woman's terror at being courted by a chthonic river god: My suitor was the river Achelóüs, who took three forms to ask me of my father: a rambling bull once a writhing snake of gleaming colors again a man with ox-like face: and from his beard's dark shadows stream upon stream of water tumbled down; such was my suitor. According to Homer, Niobe's tears – in her great mourning about her husband and children – contributed to the Achelous which she had found close to Mount Sipylus in what was to be Lydia. Achelous was sometimes the father of the Sirens by Melpomene, or in a version, they are from the blood he shed where Heracles broke off his horn; the mouth of the Achelous river was the spot where Alcmaeon found peace from the Erinyes.
Achelous offered him Callirhoe, his daughter, in marriage if Alcmaeon would retrieve the c
The Titans and Titanesses are a race of deities worshiped as part of Ancient Greek religion. They were considered to be the second generation of divine beings, succeeding the primordial deities and preceding the Olympians, but included certain descendants of the second generation; the Titans include the first twelve children of Gaia and Uranus, who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, comprised the first pantheon of Greek deities. Beekes connects the word "Titan" with τιτώ. Other scholars connect the word to the Greek verb τείνω, through an epic variation τιταίνω and τίσις. Hesiod appears to share that view when he narrates:But their father, great Ouranos, called them Titans by surname, rebuking his sons, whom he had begotten himself. Robert Graves suggested that Titans means'lords'. According to Greek mythology, the highest Titan, overthrew his father Uranus. In turn, the Titans were overthrown in an event known as the Titanomachy; the Greeks may have borrowed this mytheme from the Ancient Near East.
Greeks of the classical age knew several poems about the war between the Titans. The dominant one, the only one that has survived, was in the Theogony attributed to Hesiod. A lost epic, Titanomachia was mentioned in passing in an essay On Music, once attributed to Plutarch; the Titans played a prominent role in the poems attributed to Orpheus. Although only scraps of the Orphic narratives survive, they show interesting differences with the Hesiodic tradition; the classical Greek myths of the Titanomachy fall into a class of similar myths throughout Europe and the Near East concerning a war in heaven, where one generation or group of gods opposes the dominant one. Sometimes the elders are supplanted, sometimes the rebels lose and are either cast out of power or incorporated into the pantheon. Other examples might include the wars of the Æsir with the Vanir in Scandinavian mythology, the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish, the Hittite "Kingship in Heaven" narrative, the obscure generational conflict in Ugaritic fragments, Virabhadra's conquest of the early Vedic Gods, the rebellion of Lucifer in Christianity.
The Titanomachy lasted for ten years. The Titans were imprisoned in Tartarus. Tartarus is said to be the deepest part of the Underworld and the place where the evilest beings are tortured for all eternity. According to Hesiod, the first twelve Titans were the females Mnemosyne, Theia, Phoebe and Themis and the males Oceanus, Coeus, Cronus and Iapetus, they begat more Titans: Hyperion's children Helios and Eos. Surviving fragments of poetry ascribed to Orpheus preserve variations on the mythology of the Titans. In one such text, Zeus does not set upon his father violently. Instead, Rhea spreads out a banquet for Cronus. Rather than being consigned to Tartarus, Cronus is dragged – still drunk – to the cave of Nyx, where he continues to dream throughout eternity. Another myth concerning the Titans revolves around Dionysus. At some point in his reign, Zeus decides to give up the throne in favor of his infant son Dionysus, like the infant Zeus, is guarded by the Kouretes; the Titans decide to claim the throne for themselves.
Zeus, slays the Titans with his thunderbolt. This story is told by the poets Callimachus and Nonnus, who call this Dionysus "Zagreus", in a number of Orphic texts, which do not. Several sources from Late Antique concern the role of the Titans in the creation of the human race; the Neoplatonist philosopher Olympiodorus recounted in his commentary of Plato's Phaedo, affirms that humanity sprang up out of the fatty smoke of the burning Titan corpses. Pindar and Oppian refer offhandedly to the "Titanic nature" of humans. According to them, the body is the titanic part. Other early writers imply that humanity was born out of the malevolent blood shed by the Titans in their war against Zeus; some scholars consider that Olympiodorus' report, the only surviving explicit expression of this mythic connection, embodied a tradition that dated to the Bronze Age, while Radcliffe Edmonds has suggested an element of innovative allegorized improvisation to suit Olympiodorus' purpose. Some 19th- and 20th-century scholars, including Jane Ellen Harrison, have argued that an initiatory or shamanic ritual underlies the myth of the dismemberment and cannibalism of Dionysus by the Titans.
She asserts that the word "Titan" comes from the Greek τίτανος, signifying white "earth, clay, or gypsum," and that the Titans were "white clay men", or men covered by white clay or gypsum dust in their rituals. Martin Litchfield West asserts this in relation to shamanistic initiatory rites of early Greek religious practices; the planet Saturn is named for the Roman equiv
Potamides were a type of water nymphs of Greco-Roman mythology. They were assigned as a class of nymphs of fresh water known as naiads, as such belonged to a category that presided over rivers and streams. Potamides were identified by the names associated with the rivers of their origin such as the Anigrides, Amnisiades, the Pactolides from the Pactolus river, the Acheloides from the Achelous river; however they had their individual names and sometimes could be distinguished by the name of the country in which they inhabited. The rivers were the domains of potamides as well as of the nymphs Fluviales; every creek had its potamide, who as local divinities, like all the naiads, were daughters of the gods of rivers called Potamoi deities. The rivers of the marshy regions are described as having their nymphs, and many of these hellish potamides, the Avernales, were believed to be owners of prophetic ability, to express that gift to their chosen men. Like any nymph, potamides were considered subject to mortality but with a long life.
For the Greek historian Plutarch their term of life reached about 9720 years, according to Greek poet Hesiod there were about three thousand nymphs wandering on the world, their lives lasted several thousand years. Potamides showed themselves favorably inclined to young girls, removed the freckles from all who bathed in their streams. On the other hand, they had an aggressive behavior directed at young men coming near their watery territories, whom they dragged down to their abodes, it was believed by the ancients that they carried water for their river parents, as was quoted: "In the lonely hour of noon the naiads sat with their water-pitcher at the spring-sending forth from it the warbling brook."Regarded as a profuse class of minor female divinities, they were believed to inspire those that drank of their waters. Thus potamides, nymphs in general, were conceived to be endowed with oracular power, to inspire men with the same prophetic gift, to bestow upon them the natural talent of poetry.
Hence, as water is a necessity to all the creation, the water nymphs, along with the gods Dionysus and Demeter, were worshipped as providing life and blessings to all existing beings, this attribute is manifested by a diversity of epithets. Accordingly, in many parts of Greece, offerings of honey, milk, but never of wine, sometimes sacrifices of a lamb or goat were presented to these divinities. In Sicily was commemorated an annual celebration in their honor. Although they had no temples, the most beautiful spots in forests, gardens and so forth, were regarded as the favorite places of nymphs and invisible spirits, thus esteemed with special veneration. Smith, William. Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology. Boston, C. C. Little and J. Brown. OCLC 405334. Black, Charles; the Encyclopædia Britannica, or Dictionary of Arts and General Literature XVI. Edinburgh Ad. and Charles Black. OCLC 162676989. Falck-Lebahn, Carl. Selections from the German Poets, with interlinear translations and complete vocabularies, a dissertation on mythology by F. B.
OCLC 559397945. Heck, Johann Georg. Iconographic encyclopaedia of science and art, Volume 4. New York, Garrigue, 1851-52. OCLC 2418489. Making of America Project. American Whig review, Volume 14. Nabu Press. ISBN 1-146-89198-9. Smith, Agnes. Olympus and its inhabitants: a narrative sketch of the classical mythology, with an appendix containing a survey of the Egyptian mythology in its relation to the classical. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd. OCLC 456645462. Carr, Thomas Swinburne. A manual of classical mythology. London, S. Marshall, Co. OCLC 26920856. Crabb, George. Universal historical dictionary. London, Printed for Baldwin and Cradock, J. Dowding. OCLC 2831336. Lemprière, John. Bibliotheca classica: or, A dictionary of all the principal names and terms relating to the geography, history and mythology of the ancients. New York, W. E. Dean. OCLC 4151908. Rose, Herbert J.. Gods and heroes of the Greeks. London, Methuen. OCLC 1135331. Murray, J.. A Commentary, mythological and geographical on Pope's Homer, Dryden's Aeneid of Virgil.
London, J. Murray. OCLC 4819523
Pegasides were nymphs of Greek mythology connected with wells and springs those that the mythical horse Pegasus created by striking the ground with his hooves. According to Greek mythological tradition the winged horse Pegasus was the son of Poseidon and river god of the Greeks, equivalent to the Roman Neptune; the hero Bellerophon needed the untamed Pegasus to help him defeat the monster Chimera. Hence, while Pegasus was drinking at the spring Pirene in Corinth, Bellerophon caught him. Pegasus, struck a rock with his hoof, creating the spring Hippocrene on Mount Helicon; the name Pegasides means "originating from or linked with Pegasus". Hence, in poetry, the waters of Hippocrene and other springs that arose from the hoofprints of Pegasus are called Pegasides; the Muses are called Pegasides because the spring Hippocrene was sacred to them. Nymphs in general, if associated with springs and brooks, may be called Pegasides: thus Pegasis, the singular form, is applied by the Roman poet Ovid as a by-name or adjective to the nymph Oenone, daughter of the river-god Cebrenus.
Pegasis is used by the Greek author Quintus Smyrnaeus as the name of a nymph who had sex with the Trojan prince Emathion and gave birth beside the river Granicus to Atymnius. The latter was killed by Odysseus in the Trojan War. Adam, Alexander. A Summary of Geography and History, both Ancient and Modern: with an Abridgment of the Fabulous History of Mythology of the Greeks. London, printed for T. Cadell And W. Davies. OCLC 751291898. Anthon, Charles. A classical dictionary: containing an account of the principal proper names mentioned in ancient authors and intended to elucidate all the important points connected with geography, biography and fine arts of the Greeks and Romans. New York, Harper & Bros. OCLC 1395800. Erasmus, Desiderius. Poems: Volume 85-86. University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division. P. 438. ISBN 0-8020-2867-5. Gardner, James; the faiths of the world. Edinburgh, London, A. Fullarton & Co. OCLC 4914490. Lemprière, John. A classical dictionary. New York, E. Duyckinck, G. Long.
OCLC 5897265. Parada, Carlos. Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology. 107. Coronet Books. ISBN 978-9170810626. Smith, William. A classical dictionary of biography and geography: based on the larger dictionaries. London: John Murray. OCLC 316433650. Walford, Edward; the Antiquary. Cambridge: ProQuest LLC, 2008. OCLC 663459113
Labours of Hercules
The Twelve Labours of Heracles or Hercules are a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, whose name was romanised as Hercules. They were accomplished over 12 years at the service of King Eurystheus; the episodes were connected by a continuous narrative. The establishment of a fixed cycle of twelve labours was attributed by the Greeks to an epic poem, now lost, written by Peisander, dated about 600 BC. After Hercules killed his wife and children, he went to the oracle at Delphi, he prayed to the god Apollo for guidance. Hercules was told to serve the king of Mycenae, for 12 years. During these 12 years, Hercules is sent to perform twelve difficult feats, called labours. Driven mad by Hera, Hercules slew his son and wife Megara. After recovering his sanity, Hercules regretted his actions. Pythia, the Oracle of Delphi, advised him to go to Tiryns and serve his cousin King Eurystheus for twelve years, performing whatever labors Eurystheus might set him.
Hercules despaired at this, loathing to serve a man whom he knew to be far inferior to himself, yet fearing to oppose his father Zeus. He placed himself at Eurystheus's disposal. Eurystheus ordered Hercules to perform ten labours. Hercules accomplished these tasks, but Eurystheus refused to recognize two: the slaying of the Lernaean Hydra, as Hercules' nephew and charioteer Iolaus had helped him. Eurystheus set two more tasks, which Hercules performed, bringing the total number of tasks to twelve; as they survive, the labours of Hercules are not recounted in any single place, but must be reassembled from many sources. Ruck and Staples assert that there is no one way to interpret the labours, but that six were located in the Peloponnese, culminating with the rededication of Olympia. Six others took the hero farther afield, to places that were, per Ruck, "all strongholds of Hera or the'Goddess' and were Entrances to the Netherworld". In each case, the pattern was the same: Hercules was sent to kill or subdue, or to fetch back for Eurystheus a magical animal or plant.
A famous depiction of the labours in Greek sculpture is found on the metopes of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, which date to the 450s BC. In his labours, Hercules was sometimes accompanied by a male companion, according to Licymnius and others, such as Iolaus, his nephew. Although he was supposed to perform only ten labours, this assistance led to two labours being disqualified: Eurystheus refused to recognize slaying the Hydra, because Iolaus helped him, the cleansing of the Augean stables, because Hercules was paid for his services and because the rivers did the work. Several of the labours involved the offspring of Typhon and his mate Echidna, all overcome by Hercules. A traditional order of the labours found in the Bibliotheca is: Slay the Nemean lion. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra. Capture the Ceryneian Hind. Capture the Erymanthian Boar. Clean the Augean stables in a single day. Slay the Stymphalian birds. Capture the Cretan Bull. Steal the Mares of Diomedes. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta.
Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon. Steal the apples of the Hesperides. Capture and bring back Cerberus; the first labour was to slay the Nemean lion. According to one version of the myth, the Nemean lion took women as hostages to its lair in a cave near Nemea, luring warriors from nearby towns to save the damsel in distress. After entering the cave, the warrior would rush to her side. Once he was close, the woman would turn into a lion and kill the warrior, devouring his remains and giving the bones to Hades. Hercules wandered the area. There he met a boy who said that if Hercules slew the Nemean lion and returned alive within thirty days, the town would sacrifice a lion to Zeus, but if he did not return within thirty days or he died, the boy would sacrifice himself to Zeus. Another version claims that he met Molorchos, a shepherd who had lost his son to the lion, saying that if he came back within thirty days, a ram would be sacrificed to Zeus. If he did not return within thirty days, it would be sacrificed to the dead Hercules as a mourning offering.
While searching for the lion, Hercules fletched some arrows to use against it, not knowing that its golden fur was impenetrable. When he found and shot the lion, firing at it with his bow, he discovered the fur's protective property as the arrow bounced harmlessly off the creature's thigh. After some time, Hercules made the lion return to his cave; the cave had two entrances. In those dark and close quarters, Hercules stunned the beast with his club and, using his immense strength, strangled it to death. During the fight the lion bit off one of his fingers. Others say that he shot arrows at it shooting it in the unarmored mouth. After slaying the lion, he failed, he tried sharpening the knife with a stone and tried with the stone itself. Athena, noticing the hero's plight, told Hercules to use one of the lion's own claws to skin the pelt. Others say; when he returned on the thirtieth day carrying the carcass of the lion on his shoulders, King Eurystheus was amazed and terri