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  • Hercules, son of Zeus and champion of humankind,

  • gazed in horror as he realized

  • he had just committed the most unspeakable crime imaginable.

  • The goddess Hera, who hated Hercules for being born of her husband’s adultery,

  • had stricken him with a temporary curse of madness.

  • And his own family were the casualties.

  • Consumed by grief, Hercules sought out the Oracle of Delphi,

  • who told him the path to atonement lay with his cousin,

  • King Eurystheus of Tiryns, a favorite of Hera’s.

  • Eurystheus hoped to humiliate Hercules with ten impossible tasks

  • that pitted him against invincible monsters

  • and unfathomable forces.

  • Instead, the king set the stage for an epic series of adventures

  • that would come to be known as the Labors of Hercules.

  • The first labor was to slay the Nemean Lion,

  • who kidnapped women and devoured warriors.

  • Its golden fur was impervious to arrows,

  • but Hercules cornered the lion in its dark cave,

  • stunned it with a club,

  • and strangled it with his bare hands.

  • He found no tool sharp enough to skin the beast,

  • until the goddess Athena suggested using one of its own claws.

  • Hercules returned to Tiryns wearing the lion’s hide,

  • frightening King Eurystheus so much that he hid in a wine jar.

  • From then on, Hercules was ordered

  • to present his trophies at a safe distance.

  • The second target was the Lernaean Hydra, a giant serpent with many heads.

  • Hercules fought fiercely,

  • but every time he cut one head off, two more grew in its place.

  • The battle was hopeless

  • until his nephew Iolaus thought to cauterize the necks with fire,

  • keeping the heads from regrowing.

  • The dead serpent’s remains became the Hydra constellation.

  • Instead of slaying a beast, Hercules next had to catch one, alive.

  • The Ceryneian Hind was a female deer so fast it could outrun an arrow.

  • Hercules tracked it for a year,

  • finally trapping it in the northern land of Hyperborea.

  • The animal turned out to be sacred to Artemis, goddess of the hunt,

  • and Hercules swore to return it.

  • When Eurystheus saw the hind, he demanded to keep it instead,

  • but as soon as Hercules let go, the animal ran to its mistress.

  • Thus, Hercules completed his task without breaking his promise.

  • The fourth mission was to capture the Erymanthian boar,

  • which had ravaged many fields.

  • Advised by the wise centaur Chiron,

  • Hercules trapped it by chasing it into thick snow.

  • For the fifth task, there were no animals, just their leftovers.

  • The stables where King Augeas kept his hundreds of divine cattle

  • had not been maintained in ages.

  • Hercules promised to clean them in one day

  • if he could keep one-tenth of the livestock.

  • Augeas expected the hero to fail.

  • Instead, Hercules dug massive trenches,

  • rerouting two nearby rivers to flow through the stables

  • until they were spotless.

  • Next came three more beastly foes,

  • each requiring a clever strategy to defeat.

  • The carnivorous Stymphalian birds nested in an impenetrable swamp,

  • but Hercules used Athena’s special rattle to frighten them into the air,

  • at which point he shot them down.

  • No mortal could stand before the Cretan bull’s mad rampage,

  • but a chokehold from behind did the trick.

  • And the mad King Diomedes,

  • who had trained his horses to devour his guests,

  • got a taste of his own medicine

  • when Hercules wrestled him into his own stables.

  • The ensuing feast calmed the beasts enough for Hercules to bind their mouths.

  • But the ninth labor involved someone more dangerous than any beast,

  • Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons.

  • Hercules was to retrieve the belt given to her by her father Ares, the god of war.

  • He sailed to the Amazon land of Themyscira prepared for battle,

  • but the queen was so impressed with the hero and his exploits

  • that she gave the belt willingly.

  • For his tenth labor,

  • Hercules had to steal a herd of magical red cattle from Geryon,

  • a giant with three heads and three bodies.

  • On his way, Hercules was so annoyed by the Libyan desert heat

  • that he shot an arrow at the Sun.

  • The sun god Helios admired the hero’s strength

  • and lent his chariot for the journey to the island of Erytheia.

  • There, Hercules fought off Geryon’s herdsman

  • and his two-headed dog, before killing the giant himself.

  • That should have been the end.

  • But Eurystheus announced that two labors hadn’t counted:

  • the Hydra, because Iolaus had helped Hercules kill it,

  • and the stables, because he’d accepted payment.

  • And so, the hero set about his eleventh task,

  • obtaining golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides nymphs.

  • Hercules began by catching the Old Man of the Sea

  • and holding the shape-shifting water-god until he revealed the garden’s location.

  • Once there, the hero found the titan Atlas holding up the heavens.

  • Hercules offered to take his place if Atlas would retrieve the apples.

  • Atlas eagerly complied, but Hercules then tricked him into trading places again,

  • escaping with apples in hand.

  • The twelfth and final task was to bring back Cerberus,

  • the three-headed hound guarding the underworld.

  • Helped by Hermes and Athena, Hercules descended and met Hades himself.

  • The lord of the dead allowed Hercules to take the beast

  • if he could do it without weapons,

  • which he achieved by grabbing all three of its heads at once.

  • When he presented the hound to a horrified Eurystheus,

  • the king finally declared the hero’s service complete.

  • After 12 years of toil,

  • Hercules had redeemed the tragic deaths of his family

  • and earned a place in the divine pantheon.

  • But his victory held an even deeper importance.

  • In overcoming the chaotic and monstrous forces of the world,

  • the hero swept away what remained of the Titansprimordial order,

  • reshaping it into one where humanity could thrive.

  • Through his labors,

  • Hercules tamed the world’s madness by atoning for his own.

Hercules, son of Zeus and champion of humankind,

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ヘラクレスの神話。8ビットで12の労働 - アレックス・ゲンドラー (The myth of Hercules: 12 labors in 8-bits - Alex Gendler)

  • 25 3
    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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