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  • Hi.

  • I'm Mike Rugnetta, this is Crashcourse Mythology and today we're talking about another hero.

  • One who eventually becomes a god.

  • A demi-god.

  • Which is another way of saying semi-god.

  • Kinda.

  • Anyway, it's our old friend Herakles!

  • Who some callHercules”: sometimes a man, sometimes a god, but always a guy who

  • really knows how to rock a lion skin, right Thoth?

  • [[Thoth in lion skin]] OH NO I MEAN - you look really good too!

  • Very heroic.

  • INTRO Herakles has a reputation for being kind of

  • a brute.

  • All brawn, no brain.

  • Butremember when we talked about Herakles in an episode on tricksters?

  • Remember how he tricks Atlas into holding up the sky forever?

  • He may be buff, but Herakles sure ain't dense.

  • Though, he doesn't always makes the best choices.

  • Sometimes Herakles is his own worst enemy.

  • Even worse than the hydra, and that was a pretty bad one!

  • But let's not get aHEAD... of ourselves!

  • Like many heroes, Herakles had a miraculous birth.

  • Zeus, God of lightning bolts but not consent, takes a liking to Alcmene, the queen of Thebes.

  • Zeus transforms himself into the form of the king, Amphitryon, and sleeps with the Queen.

  • Nine months later Alcmene gives birth to two boys, Iphicles and Alceides.

  • One of them is Amphitryon's son, and the other is Zeus'.

  • But oh DIVINE BOYS - which is which?!

  • This is how sitcoms get started.

  • When Hera finds out about this debacleyet another Zeus-ian infidelityshe sends

  • two revenge serpents to Iphicles and Alceides' cribs.

  • When the king and queen rush in, Iphicles is crying and Alceides is holding the two

  • serpents, strangled in each of his tiny baby hands.

  • Mystery solved, I guess!

  • Alceides would later becomeHerakles.

  • Alceides is raised as a prince of Thebes, but he's a bit of a problem child.

  • His godlike strength keeps getting him into trouble.

  • At one point, he gets so mad at his music teacher that he smashes a lyre over his head

  • and kills him.

  • This is the last straw for Amphitryon, and the king sends the dangerous demi-god princeling

  • away to tend sheep.

  • As a shepherd, Herakles gets to put his great strength to use.

  • A monstrous beast named the lion of Citharion had been terrorizing the cattle of Thespios,

  • king of Thespiae.

  • When Herakles catches it and slays it, Thespios is so overjoyed that he allows him to take

  • one of his fifty daughters to bed each night.

  • [PAUSE] Gross..

  • Eventually, Alceides moves back to Thebes and marries princess Megara.

  • They start a family, and things begin to settle down.

  • Despite the earlier adventures, though, THIS is where we get to the turning point in Alceides'

  • life: suddenly, he goes mad.

  • He takes his three children, and two of his nephews, and burns them alive.

  • There is some ambiguity here in the story, whether this madness was Alceides finally

  • giving in to his wild nature, or whether it was caused by a vindictive Hera, who can really

  • hold a grudge.

  • But either way - when Alceides comes to his senses he implores an oracle for help.

  • The oracle tells himappease Hera.

  • Change your name to Herakles.

  • And to atone you must travel to Tiryns, and allow your rival, King Eurystheus, king of

  • Tiryns and Mycenae, to set your punishment for killing your children.

  • This is the beginning of the ten labors of Herakles.

  • Yup, ten.

  • Don't worry.

  • We're gonna get there.

  • When Herakles arrives and tells Eurystheus what he's done, the king of Tiryns gives

  • him a set of impossible tasks.

  • These ten labors will take Herakles far and away, confronting all manner of monster.

  • And if he succeeds, he won't just atone for his family-murdering, he'll also be

  • granted immortality.

  • These are the heroic tasks that made Herakles famous, let's count them off.

  • ONE - THE NEMEAN LION Harkening back to his days as a lion-slaying

  • shepherd, Herakles' first labor is to go to Nemea and kill a monstrous lion.

  • This lion's skin can't be pierced by arrows or spears but Herakles doesn't let this

  • stop himhe puts the beast into a chokehold and strangles him.

  • CHECK!

  • Herakles must then defeat the Lernean Hydra, a swamp dragon with nine heads.

  • Everytime he slices one of the heads off, two grow back in its place and before long

  • Herakles is practically drowning in craniums.

  • Luckily, his nephew Iolas (who somehow managed to avoid the nephew killing-by-fire from earlier),

  • brings Herakles flaming torches.

  • The torches cauterize the dragon-neck-wounds, preventing the hydra from multiplying.

  • Herakles kills the Hydra, dips some arrows into its bile, y'know: just in case, and

  • returns triumphant.

  • But, Eurystheus tells him: this isn't Herakles and Iolas' ten laborsyou can't get

  • outside help.

  • That one doesn't count.

  • Second labor: DISQUALIFIED.

  • For his third labor, Herakles must capture the gold-horned Hind of Ceryneia.

  • ALONE.

  • It's tough, but after some chasing or trapping (depending on which version you prefer), Herakles

  • snags the Hind.

  • CHECK!

  • Next, Herakles must go to Psophis and kill the giant Erymanthian Boar.

  • On the way he stops at the cave of the centaur Pholos and ... accidentally kills him with

  • one of those Hydra-bile soaked just-in-case arrows.

  • After burying the centaur, Herakles traps the Boar and takes it to Mycenae.

  • CHECK! but also rest in power Pholos.

  • So far, all of Herakles' labors have been giant scary beast related.

  • For this fifth labor, Eurystheus tells him he must ... clean out the stables.

  • Of Augeus, King of Elis.

  • Augeus owned 3,000 immortal cattle and hadn't cleaned his stables in 30 years.

  • Thats' about 650,000 pounds of immortal dung.

  • YEAH WE DID THE MATH.

  • Herakles agrees, and says to Augeus ‒ “If I manage to clean all this out in a single

  • day, will you agree to give me a tenth of your immortal cattle?”

  • OOOOOO TRICKY HERAKLES IS BACK Augeus agrees, and instead of grabbing a dung

  • shovel, Herakles goes upstream and diverts two nearby rivers through the stables.

  • The water washes out the years of dung in minutes.

  • Augeus, who thought this labor was impossible, bails on their deal . Herakles takes him before

  • a judge and wins the case.

  • But, Augeus flies into a rage and banishes him before Herakles can claim the cattle.

  • Herakles returns to Eurystheus empty-handed, only to have Eurystheus announce that this

  • labor didn't count because Herakles tried to get paid for it!

  • Fifth labor: DISQUALIFIED!

  • After the immortal-dung-debacle, Herakles is back to wrangling monstrous animals.

  • This time, in Arcadia where he must drive away the Stymphalian birds.

  • Herakles scares 'em off with just a pair of bronze castanets.

  • Sixth labor: CHECK.

  • Easy peasy.

  • Birds hate castanets!

  • [[THOTH SHOWS UP WITH CASTANETS, DRESSED AS A FLAMENCO DANCER]]C'mon Thoth - you're

  • an Ibisnot a FLAMENCO.

  • Herakle's seventh labor is to capture the rampaging Cretan Bull.

  • Which he could do this in his sleep at this point.

  • Seventh labor: no sweat CHECK!.

  • Next , Herakles has to go to Thrace to capture the man-eating mares of Diomedes.

  • There's a lot of different versions of this one, but they all end the same way...

  • Eighth labor: CHECK!

  • Herakles' ninth labor is to fetch the belt of Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons.

  • At first, Hippolyte agrees to just give Herakles the belt.

  • But then Hera starts a rumor that Herakles has come to kidnap Hippolyte, and the Amazons

  • jump him.

  • In the ensuing struggle, Herakles kills Hippolyte and takes her belt.

  • Ninth labor: CHECK!.

  • Hippolyte, we barely knew thee.

  • Just one labor left, but there were two disqualifications!

  • For Herakles' final three labors, let's go to the Thought Bubble:

  • The tenth labor takes Herakles far to the west, to Erytheia, where he must seize the

  • red cattle of Geryon.

  • On the way, Herakles is so angry about how hot the Sun is that he aims his bow and arrow

  • at it.

  • The Sun is so impressed with Herakles' bravery that he gives the hero a golden cup.

  • And not just any cup.

  • A magic cup!

  • That's also a ship.

  • After Herakles kills Geryon and his herdsman and his two-headed guard dog, he uses the

  • cup to transport the cattle back across the sea.

  • But then they escape and he has to chase them all over Europe.

  • When Herakles finally gets them to Eurystheus, the king sacrifices them to Herathats labor

  • ten CHECK!–and tells Heraklesokay, you screwed up twice.

  • Here are your two make up labors.

  • Labor eleven is collecting golden Apples from the nymphs, the Hesperides.

  • This is the one where he tricks Atlas into helping him.

  • He also frees Prometheus.

  • You how this turns out: CH-CH-CH-CHECK!

  • And the twelfth, and final labor is to travel to the Underworld and bring back that damned

  • doggo Cerberos, Hades' three headed guard pup.

  • Herakles travels to the land of the dead, where Hades happens upon Herakles and tells

  • himyou can have Cerberos, but only if you can defeat him without any of the weapons

  • you've brought.

  • Herakles agrees, snags Cerberos around the neck and chokes him into submission.

  • He drags the dog to Eurystheus, gets him to sign off on the final labor––CHECK TO

  • END ALL CHECKS and then returns Cerberos to Hades.

  • Good boy, Cerberos.

  • And nice work Herakles.

  • Thanks Thoughtbubble.

  • After all that adventuring, Herakles manages to complete his ten-turned-twelve labors.

  • While this is Herakles' most famous story, it's far from his last adventure.

  • He gets married again.

  • That's rightno happily ever after with Megara.

  • Disney lied to you.

  • Eventually, he even manages to achieve that elusive immortality.

  • Though, at a great cost.

  • Well after his twelve labors, Herakles is crossing the river Evenus with his new wife

  • Deianeira.

  • The ferryman, a centaur named Nessus, tries to rape Deianeira midstream and Herakles kills

  • him.

  • But with his dying breath, Nessus tricks Deianeira into preparing what he tells her is a love

  • potion that she can use if Herakles ever loses interest in her.

  • Sure enough, Herakles later falls in love with Iole.

  • In order to win him back, Deianeira soaks his shirt in Nessus' “love potionAKA

  • and of course a horrible, horrible poison because what else would it be NESSUS WAS CLEARLY

  • A BAD GUY.

  • Herakles puts on the shirt, and dies an extremely painful death, burning on his own funeral

  • pyre.

  • Finally Zeus tells Hera, hey, enough is enough and sends Athena down to make Herakles immortal

  • and bring him to Mount Olympus.

  • So Herakles becomes a god and gets to live on Olympus.

  • Right near Hera.

  • Yay?

  • So... what makes Herakles, a screw up and a child murderer, such an enduring hero?

  • I mean as demi-gods go, the guy isn't exactly a role model.

  • He sleeps around.

  • He loses his temper and kills people.

  • The ancient world seemed to love him for the variety and excitement of his adventures.

  • But what do we do about Herakles today?

  • Herakles presents a real problem.

  • He's been given power and strength and brains, all courtesy of creepy, absent, irresponsible

  • father, but he still has to struggle to live an ethical life?

  • Maybe we don't have to fight hydras.

  • I hope we don't.

  • Well, I definitely hope I don't.

  • Yet we all have to work to try and live with each other respectfully and responsibly.

  • We can't rock a lion skin, but maybe we can rock that.

  • See you next time for the last in our hero series - about Ma'ui.

  • You're welcome.

Hi.

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ヘラクレスあるいはヘラクレス問題のあるヒーロー:クラッシュコース世界神話#30 (Herakles. Or Hercules. A Problematic Hero: Crash Course World Mythology #30)

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    asd851112 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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