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Gilded bronze "Hercules of the Forum Boarium", with the apple of the Hesperides, Roman 2nd century BCE; found in the Forum Boarium in the 15th century (Capitoline Museums)

Hercules is the Roman name for the mythical Greek demigod Heracles, son of Jupiter (the Roman equivalent of Zeus, and the mortal Alcmena. Early Roman sources suggest that the imported Greek hero supplanted a mythic Italic shepherd called "Recaranus" or "Garanus", famous for his strength, who dedicated the Ara Maxima that became associated with the earliest Roman cult of Hercules.[1] While adopting much of the Greek Heracles' iconography and mythology as his own, Hercules adopted a number of myths and characteristics that were distinctly Roman. With the spread of Roman hegemony, Hercules was worshiped locally from Spain through Gaul.



Hercules's Latin name is not directly borrowed from Greek Heracles but is a modification of the Etruscan name Hercle, which derives from the Greek name via syncope, Heracles translates to "The Glory of Hera". An oath invoking Hercules (Hercle! or Mehercle!) was a common interjection in Classical Latin.[2]


In Roman works of art and in Renaissance and post-Renaissance art that adapts Roman iconography, Hercules can be identified by his attributes, the lion skin and the club: in mosaic he is shown tanned bronze, a virile aspect.[3] While he was a champion and a great warrior, he was not above cheating and using any unfair trick to his advantage. However, he was renowned as having "made the world safe for mankind" by destroying many dangerous monsters. His self-sacrifice obtained him the ascent to the Olympian realms and he was welcomed by the gods.

Roman cult

Gilded bronze Roman "Hercules of the Theatre of Pompey", found near the Theatre of Pompey in 1864, (Vatican Museums, Rome);[4]

In their popular culture the Romans adopted the Etruscan Hercle, a hero-figure that had already been influenced by Greek culture — especially in the conventions of his representation — but who had experienced an autonomous development. Etruscan Hercle appears in the elaborate illustrative engraved designs on the backs of Etruscan bronze mirrors made during the fourth century BC, which were favoured grave goods. Their specific literary references have been lost, with the loss of all Etruscan literature, but the image of the mature, bearded Hercules suckling at Uni/Juno's breast, engraved on a mirror back from Volterra, is distinctively Etruscan. This Hercle/Hercules — the Hercle of the interjection "Mehercle!" — remained a popular cult figure in the Roman legions.

The literary Greek versions of his exploits were appropriated by literate Romans from the 2nd century BCE onwards, essentially unchanged, but Latin literature of Hercules added anecdotal detail of its own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Western Mediterranean. Details of the Greek cult, which mixed chthonic libations and uneaten holocausts with Olympian services, were adapted to specifically Roman requirements as well, as Hercules became the founding figure of Herculaneum and other places, and his cult became entwined with Imperial cult, as shown in surviving frescoes in the Herculanean collegium. His altar has been dated to the 5th or 6th century BC. It stood near the Temple of Hercules Victor. Hercules became popular with merchants, who customarily paid him a tithe of their profits.

Marcus Antonius identified himself with Hercules, and even invented a son of Hercules, called Anton, from whom Antonius claimed descent. In response, his enemy Octavianus identified with Apollo. Some early emperors took up the attributes of Hercules (e.g. Traianus), and later Roman Emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, went further and often identified or compared themselves with him and supported his cult; Maximianus styled himself "Herculius". The cult of Hercules spread through the Roman world. In their gardens, wealthy Romans would often build altars to Hercules, who was regarded as the benefactor of mankind.[5] In Roman Egypt, what is believed to be the remains of a Temple of Hercules are found in the Bahariya Oasis.

Myths of Hercules

The Romans adopted the myths of Heracles including his twelve labors, essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking Hercules with the geography of the Western Mediterranean.

In Roman mythology, Acca Larentia was Hercules's mistress. She was married to Tarutius, a wealthy merchant. When he died, she gave his money to charity. In another version, she was the wife of Faustulus.

In Aeneid 8.195ff., Vergilius relates a myth about Hercules' defeating the monstrous Cacus, who lived in a cave under the Palatine Hill (one of the eventual Seven Hills of Rome).

Death of Hercules

Hercules was married to Deianeira. Long after their marriage, one day the centaur Nessus offered to ferry them across a wide river that they had to cross. Nessus set off with Deianeira first, but tried to abduct her. When Hercules realized the centaur's real intention, Hercules chased after him and shot him with a poisoned arrow. Before he died Nessus told Deianeira to take some of his blood and treasure it: if she ever thought Hercules was being unfaithful, the centaur told her, the blood would restore his love. Deianeira kept the phial of blood. Many years later after that incident she heard rumours that Hercules has fallen in love with another woman. She smeared some of the blood on a robe and sent it to Hercules. When he put on the robe, the blood still poisoned from the same arrow used by Hercules, burnt into his flesh and when he realized this, he told his friends to build him a pyre out of hardy oak and wild olive. He was burnt to death on the pyre, the fire hurt far less than the poison. His father Jupiter then turned him into a god.

Germanic association

Tacitus records a special affinity of the Germanic peoples for Hercules. In chapter 3 of his Germania, Tacitus states:

... they say that Hercules, too, once visited them; and when going into battle, they sang of him first of all heroes. They have also those songs of theirs, by the recital of this barditus[6] as they call it, they rouse their courage, while from the note they augur the result of the approaching conflict. For, as their line shouts, they inspire or feel alarm.

In the Roman era Hercules' Club amulets appear from the 2nd to 3rd century, distributed over the empire (including Roman Britain, c.f. Cool 1986), mostly made of gold, shaped like wooden apples. A specimen found in Köln-Nippes bears the inscription "DEO HER[culi]", confirming the association with Hercules.

In the 5th to 7th centuries, during the Migration Period, the amulet is theorized to have rapidly spread from the Elbe Germanic area across Europe. These Germanic "Donar's Clubs" were made from deer antler, bone or wood, more rarely also from bronze or precious metals. They are found exclusively in female graves, apparently worn either as a belt pendant, or as an ear pendant. The amulet type is replaced by the Viking Age Thor's hammer pendants in the course of the Christianization of Scandinavia from the 8th to 9th century.


Roman images of Hercules were based upon Hellenistic Greek images and might be contrasted with the images of Hercules that appear in Attic vase-painting (see Heracles). One aspect of Heracles' iconography that did not carry over to that of Hercules was his use of a bow.

Gallery of ancient interpretations

Hercules in popular culture

Since the Renaissance, Heracles has rarely been distinguished from Hercules, the Roman figure overshadowing the Greek. Later interpretations of Hercules' legend cast him as a wise leader and a good friend (many of the movie and TV adaptations cast him in this light, especially the 1995–1999 syndicated TV series). He was the main star in the Disney animated movie of the same name, on which the TV series is based.

The legend of Hercules endures, though often co-opted to suit the political fashion of the day. Hercules has also had an undeniable influence on modern pop culture characters such as Superman and He-Man. The legend of Hercules has been described in many movie and television adaptations, including several comic series featuring the hero. Hercules has been the hero of both Marvel Comics (where the rendition of Hercules was an early member of the Avengers) and DC Comics adventure comic books. In DC, he has often been associated with Wonder Woman. In Marvel, he currently stars in his own ongoing series titled The Incredible Hercules, where he has dealt with Amadeus Cho, the Hulk, the Eternals, and others.

Hercules in numismatics

Hercules has been the main motif of many collector coins and medals, the most recent one is the famous 20 euro Baroque Silver coin issued in September 11, 2002. The obverse side of the coin shows the Grand Staircase in the town palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in Vienna, currently the Austrian Ministry of Finance. Gods and demi-gods hold its flights, while Hercules stands at the turn of the stairs.

Gallery of modern interpretations

See also


  1. ^ Servius, commentary on the Aeneid viii. 203, 275 ; Macrobius, Saturnalia iii. 12.
  2. ^ W. M. Lindsay, "Mehercle and Herc(v)lvs. [Mehercle and Herc(u)lus]" The Classical Quarterly 12.2 (April 1918:58).
  3. ^ The Classical and Hellenistic conventions of frescoes and mosaics is to show women as pale-skinned and men as tanned dark from their outdoor arena of action and exercising in the gymnasium.(See also [1] and [2]).
  4. ^ The sculpture had been carefully buried in Antiquity, having been struck by lightning.
  5. ^ Martial, book VII
  6. ^ or, baritus, there being scribal variants. In the 17th century, the word entered the German language as barditus and was associated with the Celtic bards.

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Hercules (1997 film) article)

From Wikiquote

Hercules is a 1997 film about the adventures of Hercules, the son of Zeus in Greek mythology.

Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Written by Ron Clements, Barry Johnson, Don McEnery, Irene Mecchi, John Musker and Bob Shaw.
A Comedy of Epic Proportions



  • "Wow. What a day. First that restaurant by the bay... And then that, that play, that, that, that Oedipus thing?! Man! I thought I had problems!"
  • "But, Father, I've defeated every single monster I've come up against. I-I'm... I'm the most famous person in all of Greece. I'm... I-I'm an action figure!"
  • "A true hero. Great! Uh, exactly how do you become a true hero?"

The Narrator and the Muses

[First lines]
Narrator: Long ago, in the far away land of ancient Greece, there was a golden age of powerful gods and extraordinary heroes. And the greatest and strongest of all these heroes... was the mighty Hercules. But what is the measure of a true hero? Now that is where our story--
Muse: Would you listen to him?!
Muse 2: He's making the story sound like some Greek tragedy!
Muse 3: Lighten up, dude!
Muse 4: We'll take it from here, darling.
Narrator: You go, girls.


  • [about Hercules] "He comes on with his big, innocent farm boy routine, but I could see through that in a Peloponnesian minute."
  • "You know how men are. They think 'No' means 'Yes' and 'Get lost' means 'Take me, I'm yours'"
  • "Thanks for everything, Herc. It's been a real slice."
  • [while Hercules stutters for an answer] "Are you always this articulate?"
  • "I'm a big tough girl. I tie my own sandals and everything."
  • "Bye-bye, Wonderboy."
  • "Megara. My friends call me Meg. At least they would if I had any friends. So did they give you a name along with all those rippling pectorals?"
  • [getting down from Pegasus] "I'll be fine. Just get me down before I ruin the upholstery."
  • [seeing Hercules hiding from fans behind a curtain] "Let's see. Who could be behind curtain number one?"
  • [after a mob of female fans have left Hercules] "It's all right. The sea of raging hormones has ebbed."
  • "Everyone in Greece thinks you're the greatest thing since they put the pocket in pita."
  • [as she lays dying in Hercules' arms] "People always do crazy things... [groans] when they're in love."
  • "Do you think your nanny goat would go [squeezes a stress-toy replica of Phil] beserk if you played hooky this afternoon?"
  • "Ah Phil Shmill. Just follow me. Out the window, round the dumbbells, you lift up the back wall, and we're gone."
  • [Hades shoots fire at a Hercules vase and it explodes] "Nice shootin' Rex."


  • "How sentimental. You know, I haven't been this choked up since I got a hunk of moussaka caught in my throat! Huh! [No one replies.] So, is this an audience or a mosaic?"
  • "Well, well. It's a small underworld, after all, huh?"
  • "Zeusy, I'm home!"
  • "Memo to me, memo to me: maim you after my meeting."
  • "He's gotta have a weakness, because everybody's got a weakness. I mean, for what? Pandora, it was the box thing. For the Trojans, hey. They bet on the wrong horse, okay?"
  • [Hercules has just given up his godly strength] "You may feel just a little queasy, it's kind of natural. Maybe you should sit DOWN!! [Pins one of Hercules's weights on him. Being fully mortal now, he cannot lift it.] Now you know how it feels to be just like everyone else. Isn't it just peachy?"
  • [to the Titans] "Uh, guys? Olympus would be that way."
  • "I'm about to rearrange the cosmos, and the one schlemiel who can louse it up is WALTZING AROUND IN THE WOODS!!!"
  • [to Hercules] "Alright, so here's the trade-off. You give up your strength for about 24 hours - Okay, say the next 24 hours, [fast] and Meg-here-is-as-free-as-a-bird-and-safe-from-harm, you dance, you kiss, you schmooze, you carry-on, we go home happy... Whaddaya say?"
  • "Meg, Meg, Meg, my sweet, deluded little minion. Aren't we forgetting one teensy-weensy but ever-so-crucial tiny little detail? I OWN YOU!!!"
  • "Baboom. Name's Hades, Lord of the Dead, hi, how ya doin'?"
  • "Guys, get your titanic rears in gear and kick some Olympian butt! [Pegasus blows out the flames on his head] Whoa, is my hair out?"
  • "Gotta blaze. I have a whole cosmos out there waiting for me... with, hey, my name on it."
  • "Game, Set, Match."
  • "My favorite part of the game... Sudden death."
  • "We were so CLOSE!! So close, we tripped at the finish line! Why? Because our little nut Meg has to go all noble."
  • [heard after the credits end] "What d'ya say? It's happy ending time! Everybody's got a little slice of somethin' but me. I got nothin'. I'm - I'm here with nothin'. Is anybody listening?! It's like I'm - What am I, an echo or something? Hello? Hello? Am I talking to, what, hyperspace?! Hello, it's me. Nobody listens."


  • "Two words: I. Am. Retired!" [Hercules finger-counts in confusion]
  • "I trained all those would-be heroes. Odysseus, Perseus, Theseus. A lot of "yusses". And every single one of those bums let me down flatter than a discus. None of them could go the distance. (Looking at a statue of a soldier in armour) And then there was Achilles. Now there was a guy who had it all; the build, the foot-speed. He could jab! He could take a hit! He could keep on comin'! [pause] BUT THAT FORSLUGGINER HEEL OF HIS! He barely gets nicked there once (he flicks the statue´s heel and it shatters into tiny fragments) and kaboom! He's history. Yeah, I had a dream. I dreamed I would train the greatest hero there ever was. So great the gods would hang a picture of him in the stars for everyone to see. And everyone would say, "That's Phil's boy." That's right... Ah, but dreams are for rookies, kid. A guy can only take so much disappointment."
  • "One town, a million troubles. The one and only Thebes. The Big Olive itself. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere."
  • "Keep your toga on, pal."
  • "Rein it in, rookie. You can get away with mistakes like those in the minor decathalons, but this is the big leagues!"
  • "Nymphs, they can't keep their hands off me."
  • [singing] "It takes more than sinew, comes down to what's in you, you'll have to continue to gro-o-ow! Now that's more like it!"
  • "Hold it. Zeus is your father, right? [scoffs incredulously] Zeus! The big guy! [makes cradling motion] He's your daddy! [laughs] Mr. Lightning Bolts! Read me a book, will ya, da-da? [laughs, then puts on a gruff voice] "Once upon a time...""
  • [On Pegasus who is acting like a police helicopter and yelling through a bullhorn] "ALL RIGHT BREAK IT UP! BREAK IT UP! PARTY'S OVER! I'VE BEEN LOOKIN' ALL OVER THIS TOWN!"
  • [singing] "My answer is two words: (Lightning strikes him) ...Okay!"
  • "Like painting a masterpiece, it's a work of heart."
  • "SHE'S A FRAAAUUUD!!! She's been playing you for a sap!"


  • "Fabulous party. Y'know, I haven't seen this much love in a room since Narcissus discovered himself."
  • "Uh, Hephaestus has been captured, my lord. Everyone's been captured. (Pain and Panic grab him) Ah! I've been captured! Hey, watch the glasses."


Atropos (Third Fate): "Indoor plumbing. It's gonna be big."
Calliope: "From that day forward, our boy Hercules could do no wrong. He was so hot, steam looked cool."
Charred Thebian: "All we need now is a plague of locusts."
Boy: "Nice goin', Jerk-ules."
Boy: "Someone call IX-I-I!!!" [Note: Roman numerals for "9-1-1"]


The Fates: In 18 years precisely / The planets will align ever so nicely.
Hades: Ay, verse. Oy.
The Fates: The time to act will be at hand / Unleash the Titans, your monstrous band.
Hades: Mmm-hmm. Good, good.
The Fates: Then the once-proud Zeus will finally fall / And you, Hades, will rule all!
Hades: [punches air] Yes! Hades rules!
The Fates: A word of caution to this tale...
Hades: [stops short] Excuse me?
The Fates: Should Hercules fight, you will fail.
[The Fates laugh, then disappear]
Hades: [goes fiery red with rage] WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?! [calms himself] Okay, fine, fine. I'm cool. I'm fine.

Panic: Hades is gonna kill us when he finds out what happened.
Pain: You mean, if he finds out!
Panic: Of course he's gonna f- If... if is good.

Boy: Sorry, Herc, but we've already got five, and we want to keep it an even number!
Hercules: Hey, five isn't an even-

[Hercules goes to stop Nessus the centaur from manhandling Meg]
Nessus: [looms over him] Step aside, two-legs.
Hercules: [awkwardly] Pardon me, my good, uh... sir, but I suggest you release that young...
Meg: Keep moving, junior.
Hercules: ...lady. But... aren't you... a damsel in distress?
Meg: [struggling in Nessus' grip] I'm a damsel... Ugh! I'm in distress. I can handle this. Have a nice day.

Hercules: "Um, are you all right, Miss-"(gets slapped in the face with Meg's hair)
Meg: Megara. My friends call me "Meg" - at least they would if I had any friends. So, do you have a name along with all those rippling pectorals?
Hercules: "Uh... I... uh... I..."
Meg: "Are you always this articulate?"
Hercules: "Hercules! [clears throat] My name is Hercules."
Meg: "Hercules, huh? I think I prefer "Wonder Boy"."

Meg: "Look, it wasn't my fault, it was this wonder-boy Hercules!"
[Hades freezes in shock; Pain and Panic look nervous]
Panic: "Hercules... why does that name ring a bell?"
Pain: "I don't know- maybe we owe him money?"
Hades: "What... was that name... again?"
Meg: "Hercules. (Hades turns red with fury, Meg continues without noticing) He comes on with this big "innocent farmboy" routine but I could see through that in a Peloponnesian minute!"
Pain: "Wait a minute. Wasn't Hercules the name of that kid we were supposed to-?" (they both spot Hades reaching for them)
Both: "OH, MY GODS!!!"
Pain: "Run for it!"
Hades: (grabbing them) "So you 'took care of him,' huh?! 'Dead as a doornail'. Weren't those your exact words?!"
Pain: "This might be a different Hercules!"
Panic: "Yeah, I mean Hercules is a... [Hades chokes him] very popular name nowadays!"
Pain: "Remember like a few years ago - every other boy was named Jason and the girls were all named Britney?!"
Hades: "I'm about to rearrange the cosmos... and the one schlemiel who can louse it up... is WALTZING AROUND IN THE WOODS!!!" [Hades explodes with rage]

Hercules: "It seems to me that what you folks need is - a hero!"
[None of the Thebians look impressed]
Large Thebian Man: "Yeah? And who are you?"
Hercules: "I happen to be... a hero!"

Hercules: "How am I supposed to be a hero if nobody will give me a chance?"
Phil: "You'll get your chance! You just need some kind of catastrophe or disaster!"
Meg: "Help! Help, somebody!"
Hercules: (brightening) "Meg?"
Phil: "Speaking of disasters..."

Hades: "I can't believe this guy! I've thrown everything I've got at him, and it doesn't even- [hears squeaking, and sees that Pain is wearing "Hercules" sandals] What... Are... Those?"
Pain: "Uh, I don't know. I thought they looked kinda dashing!"
Hades: "I've got 24 hours to get rid of this bozo, or the entire scheme I've been setting up for eighteen years goes up in smoke... and you... are wearing... HIS... MERCHANDISE?!?!"
[Hades is burning up with rage, but his flames turn blue again; he and Pain look left when they hear slurping - Panic is drinking "Herculade"]
Panic: [laughs nervously] "Thirsty?"
[Hades finally snaps, screaming in rage; cut to far away, as Hades blows up an entire mountain, volcano style]

Meg: "Looks like your game's over. Wonder Boy's hitting every curve you throw at him."
Hades: "Oh yeah... [he chuckles and slinks over] I wonder if I've been hitting the right curves at him. [traces the lines of her body] Meg, my sweet?"
Meg: "Don't even go there."
Hades: "See, he's gotta have a weakness, because everybody's got a weakness, I mean, for Pandora it was the box thing, and the Trojans, hey, they bet on the wrong horse! We simply need to find out Wonder Boy's!"
Meg: "I've done my part! Get your little imps to-"
Hades: [interrupting] "They couldn't handle him as a baby! I need someone who can [suggestively] handle him as a man."
Meg: "Hey, I've sworn off manhandling."
Hades: "Well, that's good! Because that's what got you into this whole gig in the first place, isn't it? You sold your soul to me to save your boyfriend's life. And how does this creep thank you? By running off with some babe. He hurt you real bad, Meg, huh?"
Meg: "Look, I learned my lesson, okay?!"
Hades: "Which is exactly why I got a feeling you're gonna leap at my new offer. You give me the key to bringing down "Wonder Breath" and I give you the thing that you crave most in the entire cosmos! [whispers in her ear] Your freedom."

Hercules: "Phil, what's THE POINT?!"
Phil: "Whaddya mean, "what the point"? You wanna go to Olympus, don'tcha?"
Hercules: "Yeah, but... this stuff doesn't seem to be getting me anywhere."
Phil: "You can't give up now, I'm counting on ya!"
Hercules: "I gave this everything I had."
Phil: "Listen, kid. I have seen 'em all, and I am telling you - and this is the honest-to-Zeus truth - [puts a hand on his shoulder] you got something I never seen before!"
Hercules: "Really?"
Phil: "I can feel it right down here in these stubby bow legs of mine! There is nothing you can't do, kid!"

Hercules: "You know, wh-when I was a kid, I-I would have given anything to be exactly like everybody else."
Meg: "Pft... You wanted to be petty and dishonest?"
Hercules: "Everybody's not like that."
Meg: [sadly, mostly to her reflection] "Yes they are."
Hercules: "You're not like that."
Meg: "How do you know what I'm like?"

Hercules: "Meg, when I'm with you, I-I don't feel so alone."
Meg: "Sometimes it's better to be alone."
Hercules: "What do you mean?"
Meg: "Nobody can hurt you."

Hades: You work for me! If I say "Sing", you say "Hey, name that tune!" If I say "I want Wonder-Boy's head on a platter", you say...
Meg: "Medium or well done?"

[Phil is trying to warn Hercules about Meg's hidden intentions.]
Phil: Kid, listen to me! She's...
Hercules: A dream come true?
Phil: Not exactly.
Hercules: More beautiful than Aphrodite?
Phil: Aside from that.
Hercules: The most wonderful...
Hercules: Stop kidding around, Phil.
Phil: I'm not kidding around!
Hercules: Look, I know you're upset about today, but that's no reason to...
Phil: Kid, you're missin' the point!
Hercules: The point is, I love her!
Phil: She don't love you!
Hercules: You're crazy.
Phil: She's nothing but a two-timin'...
Hercules: Stop it!
Phil: Low-down, lyin', schemin'...
Hercules: SHUT UP!!! [hits Phil]

Hades: [in a dramatic tone] Brothers! Titans! Look at you in your squalid prison! Who put you down there?!
Titans: Zeuuuuuuuus...
Hades: [opening the Titans' prison] And now that I set you free, what's the first thing you're going to do?!
Titans: [fists break through the earth] DESTROY HIM!!!
Hades: [smirking] Good answer.

[Phil is getting ready to leave Thebes. Meg, riding Pegasus, comes flying in.]
Meg: Phil! Phil, Hercules needs your help.
Phil: [angrily] What does he need me for when he's got friends like you?!
Meg: He won't listen to me.
Phil: Good! He's finally learned something!
[He starts to leave again but is stopped when Pegasus and Meg fly in front of him.]
Meg: Look, I know what I did was wrong, but this isn't about me, it's about him. If you don't help him now, Phil, he'll die.

[After Hercules regains his godhood]
Zeus: Fine work, my boy! You've done it! You're a true hero.
Hera: You were willing to give your life to rescue this young woman. [indicates Meg]
Zeus: For a true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

There is more than one meaning of Hercules discussed in the 1911 Encyclopedia. We are planning to let all links go to the correct meaning directly, but for now you will have to search it out from the list below by yourself. If you want to change the link that led you here yourself, it would be appreciated.


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





From Latin Herculēs < Ancient Greek Ἡρακλῆς (Heraklēs), apparently from Ἥρα (Hēra), Hera) + κλέος (kleos), glory).


  • (RP) IPA: /ˈhɜːkjəliːz/, /ˈhɜːkjʊliːz/
  • (US) IPA: /ˈhɝːkjəliːz/, /ˈhɝːkjʊliːz/
  •  Audio (UK)help, file

Proper noun




  1. (Greek mythology) Son of Jupiter and Alcmene, a celebrated hero who possessed exceptional strength. Most famous for his 12 labors performed to redeem himself after killing his family.
  2. (astronomy) A summer constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble the mythical hero. It lies between the constellations Lyra and Corona Borealis.
  3. (astronomy) A crater in the first quadrant on the moon.

Derived terms


Related terms



From Ancient Greek Ἡρακλῆς (Heraklēs), apparently from Ἥρα (Hēra), Hera) + κλέος (kleos), glory).

Proper noun

Herculēs m.

  1. (Greek mythology) Hercules, heroic son of Zeus.
    Ne Hercules quidem adversus duos.
    Not even Hercules fights against two.

Simple English

, a painting by Antonio del Pollaiolo. Now it is in the Uffizi in Florence]]

Hercules is a hero in Roman mythology. He is a mortal son of Jupiter. Hercules is known for his great strength. In Greek mythology he is named Herakles, but he has some different stories.

The twelve tasks

In one of the more well known stories of Hercules, he had to complete twelve tasks. These tasks were:

  • Kill the Nemean Lion and bring back its fur.
  • Kill the Lernaean Hydra.
  • Capture the Ceryneian Hind.
  • Capture the Erymanthian Boar.
  • Clean the Augean stables in a single day.
  • Kill the Stymphalian Birds.
  • Capture the Cretan Bull.
  • Steal the Mares of Diomedes.
  • Get the Girdle of Hippolyte.
  • Get the Cows of Geryon.
  • Steal the Apples of the Hesperides.
  • Capture Cerberus, the guardian dog of The Underworld and bring him back.

Other versions

Hercules is also a character in Marvel Comics. He was an ally of the mighty Thor. He is the leader and a founding member of the super team the Champions. He was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1962.

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