According to Roman mythology, Hercules is the god of strength and heroes, the Divine protector of humans. He is the equivalent of the Greek’s Heracles, son of Jupiter and the mortal Alcmena. One of Hercules’s greatest features was his strength. He was believed to be so energetic that he could carry two building columns. The god fought ferocious animals and monsters; he wore or carried the skin of a lion he once killed. Join us as we delve into more intriguing facts about Hercules.

1. Ancient Romans Believed the Milky Way was Created When Hercules was Breastfeeding

As Hera, Zeus’s wife, was breastfeeding Hercules, she recoiled because Hercules was feeding on her too strongly. Ancient Romans believed the milk sprayed from her breast turned into stars, creating the Milky Way.

2. Hercules is Also Called Heracles

In Greek mythology, the god of strength goes by Heracles. However, the ancient Romans refer to him as Hercules. Hercules, however, is more popular in modern folk-lore.

3. Hercules Had a Twin Brother

Because of Hercules’s strength and power, Hercules shadowed his twin brother, Iphicles. Even though the two were born a night apart, Greek mythology recognizes them as twins. What makes it more confusing is that the two had different fathers: Zeus for Hercules and Amphitryon (he was mortal) for Iphicles. Moreover, the two “twins” were like day and night: Hercules was a god, while Iphicles was an ordinary mortal.

4. Hercules was Bisexual

In most modern discussions about Hercules, people only touch on his strength and masculinity. However, according to Greek-Roman mythology, Hercules was bisexual. When King Thespios invited Hercules for a lion hunt, he conceived 49 kids in 9 months. Hercules later had male lovers like the famous Philoctetes, whom he inherited his arrows and bows after his demise. Others included Nestor, King Neleus’s youngest son, and Lolaos of Thebes.

5. Hercules Killed His Family

After coming of age, Hercules married Megara and had two sons. After many years of living a peaceful life, Hera, Zeus’ first wife, drove Hercules mad, forcing him to kill his entire family.

6. Hercules Tricked Atlas

When King Eurystheus gave Hercules 12 labors, he was asked to retrieve golden apples guarded by sea nymphs and a hundred-headed dragon. Because he didn’t know how to steal these apples, he sought help from Atlas. Hercules proposed holding the earth for Atlas as he went about his endeavors. After Atlas completed his mission, Hercules tricked him by asking him to hold the earth so that he could put a soft padding on his shoulder. Hercules took the apples and ran.

7. Roman Emperor Commodus Believed He was the Reincarnated Version of Hercules

Caesar Commodus, the son of the famous philosopher Marcus Aurelius, believed he was the reincarnated version of Hercules. His love for Hercules was so significant that he would attend arena fights dressed as the demigod. This wasn’t well received by the Senate.

8. Hercules Killed Two Snakes When He was Just a Child

Even when he was a kid, Hercules was very strong. When Hera found out about Zeus’s infidelity, he sent two snakes to kill the child that had been born out of that affair (Hercules). Fortunately for Hercules, he was already strong enough to strangle two snakes to death, which he did.

9. A Local Sculptor Had to Shorten Hercules’s Manhood Because It was Too Big

In the town of Arcachon, a local sculptor known as Claude Bouscau, was forced to shorten Hercules’s manhood because it was too big. Before that, vandals would steal and place the part in their home. They believed having an imitation of Hercules’s manhood was a massive honor.

10. Hercules Had to Complete 12 Tasks to Be Exonerated from His Crimes

After going mad and killing his family, Hercules was assigned 12 tasks to redeem himself. These tasks included killing a Nemean Lion, a nine-headed Lernean Hydra, and Stymphalian Birds, as well as obtaining a wide range of things ranging from cattle to apples. One of the strangest tasks was cleaning the Augean stables, a pretty odd task for a demigod.

11. Hercules Finally Reconciled with Hera

Hera did not make Hercules’s life on earth easy. She tried to kill him several times, and she was the reason why Hercules killed his family. However, according to Greek mythology, his spirit went to Olympus when Hercules died in the pyre. He reconciled with Hera, and she gave him his daughter Hebe. Hercules married Hebe as his fourth wife, and they gave birth to two sons.

12. He Inspired the Hercules Hold

Because of his strength, Hercules inspired the creation of a strongman event known as the Hercules Hold. In the sport, competitors hold onto two weighted pillars for as long as possible. Mark Felix and Eddie Hall are the most famous athletes to win this competition.

13. Some Documents Claim Hercules was the Son of Jupiter

According to some historical documents, Hercules was the son of Jupiter. Apparently, Zeus and Jupiter are the same; it’s just like Hercules and Heracles. The Greeks know Hercules’s father as Zeus, while the Romans call him Jupiter.

14. Hercules’s Preferred Weapons were a Bow and a Mace

Hercules preferred using a bow and a mace in most battles. This explains why there are statues of Hercules holding a bow. He also frequently used a sword and a spear.

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Last Update: April 15, 2024