Herakles

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The 11th Labor: The Apples of the Hesperides

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Wed May 18, 2005 8:19 am

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After eight years and one month, after performing ten superhuman labors, he was still not off the hook. Eurystheus demanded two more labors from the hero, since he did not count the hydra or the Augean stables as properly done. However some do mention that those 8 years count as one great year, similar to the great year Apollon once was banished from Olympos.
Eurystheus commanded Hercules to bring him golden apples which belonged to Zeus, king of the gods. Hera had given these apples to Zeus as a wedding gift, so surely this task was impossible. Hera, who didn't want to see Hercules succeed, would never permit him to steal one of her prize possessions.
These apples were kept in a garden at the northern edge of the world, and they were guarded not only by a hundred-headed dragon, named Ladon, but also by the Hesperides, nymphs who were daughters of Atlas, the titan who held the sky and the earth upon his shoulders.
So journeying he came to the river Echedorus. And Cycnus, son of Ares and Pyrene, challenged him to single combat. Ares championed the cause of Cycnus and marshalled the combat, but a thunderbolt was hurled between the two and parted the combatants. And going on foot through Illyria and hastening to the river Eridanus he came to the nymphs, the daughters of Zeus and Themis. They revealed Nereus to him, and Hercules seized him while he slept, and though the god turned himself into all kinds of shapes, the hero bound him and did not release him till he had learned from him where were the apples and the Hesperides. Being informed, he traversed Libya. That country was then ruled by Antaeus, son of Poseidon, who used to kill strangers by forcing them to wrestle. Being forced to wrestle with him, Hercules hugged him, lifted him aloft, broke and killed him; for when he touched earth so it was that he waxed stronger, wherefore some said that he was a son of Earth.
After Libya he traversed Egypt. That country was then ruled by Busiris, a son of Poseidon by Lysianassa, daughter of Epaphus. This Busiris used to sacrifice strangers on an altar of Zeus in accordance with a certain oracle. For Egypt was visited with dearth for nine years, and Phrasius, a learned seer who had come from Cyprus, said that the dearth would cease if they slaughtered a stranger man in honor of Zeus every year. Busiris began by slaughtering the seer himself and continued to slaughter the strangers who landed. So Hercules also was seized and haled to the altars, but he burst his bonds and slew both Busiris and his son Amphidamas.
And traversing Asia he put in to Thermydrae, the harbor of the Lindians. And having loosed one of the bullocks from the cart of a cowherd, he sacrificed it and feasted. But the cowherd, unable to protect himself, stood on a certain mountain and cursed. Wherefore to this day, when they sacrifice to Hercules, they do it with curses. And passing by Arabia he slew Emathion, son of Tithonus, and journeying through Libya to the outer sea he received the goblet from the Sun. And having crossed to the opposite mainland he shot on the Caucasus the eagle, offspring of Echidna and Typhon, that was devouring the liver of Prometheus, and he released Prometheus, after choosing for himself the bond of olive, and to Zeus he presented Chiron, who, though immortal, consented to die in his stead.
Now Prometheus had told Hercules not to go himself after the apples but to send Atlas, first relieving him of the burden of the sphere; so when he was come to Atlas in the land of the Hyperboreans, he took the advice and relieved Atlas. But when Atlas had received three apples from the Hesperides, he came to Hercules, and not wishing to support the sphere< he said that he would himself carry the apples to Eurystheus, and bade Hercules hold up the sky in his stead. Hercules promised to do so, but succeeded by craft in putting it on Atlas instead. For at the advice of Prometheus he begged Atlas to hold up the sky till he should> put a pad on his head. When Atlas heard that, he laid the apples down on the ground and took the sphere from Hercules. And so Hercules picked up the apples and departed. But some say that he did not get them from Atlas, but that he plucked the apples himself after killing the guardian snake. And having brought the apples he gave them to Eurystheus. But he, on receiving them, bestowed them on Hercules, from whom Athena got them and conveyed them back again; for it was not lawful that they should be laid down anywhere.
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The 12th Labor: the Hound of Hades

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Fri May 20, 2005 8:54 am

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12) The Hound of Hades

A twelfth labor imposed on Hercules was to bring Cerberus from Hades. Now this Cerberus had three heads of dogs, the tail of a dragon, and on his back the heads of all sorts of snakes. When Hercules was about to depart to fetch him, he went to Eumolpus at Eleusis, wishing to be initiated. However it was not then lawful for foreigners to be initiated: since he proposed to be initiated as the adoptive son of Pylius. But not being able to see the mysteries because he had not been cleansed of the slaughter of the centaurs, he was cleansed by Eumolpus and then initiated.
Cerberus was a vicious beast that guarded the entrance to Hades and kept the living from entering the world of the dead. According to Apollodorus, Cerberus was a strange mixture of creatures: he had three heads of wild dogs, a dragon or serpent for a tail, and heads of snakes all over his back. Hesiod, though, says that Cerberus had fifty heads and devoured raw flesh.
. . A monster not to be overcome and that may not be described, Cerberus who eats raw flesh, the brazen-voiced hound of Hades, fifty-headed, relentless and strong.
Hesiod, Theogony 310
Cerberus' parents were the monster Ekhidna (half-woman, half-serpent) and Typhon (a fire-breathing giant covered with dragons and serpents). Even the gods of Olympus were afraid of Typhon. Among the children attributed to this awful couple were Orthus (or Othros), the Hydra of Lerna, and the Chimaera. Orthus was a two-headed hound which guarded the cattle of Geryon. With the Chimaera, Orthus fathered the Nemean Lion and the Sphinx. The Chimaera was a three-headed fire-breathing monster, part lion, part snake, and part goat. Hercules seemed to have a lot of experience dealing with this family: he killed Orthus, when he stole the cattle of Geryon, and strangled the Nemean Lion. Compared to these unfortunate family members, Cerberus was actually rather lucky.
And having come to Taenarum in Laconia, where is the mouth of the descent to Hades, he descended through it. But when the souls saw him, they fled, save Meleager and the Gorgon Medusa. And Hercules drew his sword against the Gorgon, as if she were alive, but he learned from Hermes that she was an empty phantom. And being come near to the gates of Hades he found Theseus and Pirithous, him who wooed Persephone in wedlock and was therefore bound fast. And when they beheld Hercules, they stretched out their hands as if they should be raised from the dead by his might. And Theseus, indeed, he took by the hand and rose up, but when he would have brought up.
Pirithous, the earth quaked and he let go. And he rolled away also the stone of Ascalaphus. And wishing to provide the souls with blood, he slaughtered one of the kine of Hades. But Menoetes, son of Ceuthonymus, who tended the king, challenged Hercules to wrestle, and, being seized round the middle, had his ribs broken; howbeit, he was let off at the request of Persephone. When Hercules asked Pluto for Cerberus, Pluto ordered him to take the animal provided he mastered him without the use of the weapons which he carried. Hercules found him at the gates of Acheron, and, cased in his cuirass and covered by the lion's skin, he flung his arms round the head of the brute, and though the dragon in its tail bit him, he never relaxed his grip and pressure till it yielded. So he carried it off and ascended through Troezen. But Demeter turned Ascalaphus into a short-eared owl, and Hercules, after showing Cerberus to Eurystheus, carried him back to Hades. After his labors Hercules went to Thebes and gave Megara to Iolaus, and, wishing himself to wed, he ascertained that Eurytus, prince of Oechalia, had proposed the hand of his daughter Iole as a prize to him who should vanquish himself and his sons in archery. So he came to Oechalia, and though he proved himself better than them at archery, yet he did not get the bride; for while Iphitus, the elder of Eurytus's sons, said that Iole should be given to Hercules, Eurytus and the others refused, and said they feared that, if he got children, he would again kill his offspring.
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Death of Iphitus

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun May 22, 2005 8:57 am

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Death of Iphitus
Not long after, some cattle were stolen from Euboea by Autolycus, and Eurytus supposed that it was done by Hercules; but Iphitus did not believe it and went to Hercules. And meeting him, as he came from Pherae after saving the dead Alcestis for Admetus, he invited him to seek the kine with him. Hercules promised to do so and entertained him; but going mad again he threw him from the walls of Tiryns. Wishing to be purified of the murder he repaired to Neleus, who was prince of the Pylians. And when Neleus rejected his request on the score of his friendship with Eurytus, he went to Amyclae and was purified by Deiphobus, son of Hippolytus. But being afflicted with a dire disease on account of the murder of Iphitus he went to Delphi and inquired how he might be rid of the disease. As the Pythian priestess answered him not by oracles, he was fain to plunder the temple, and, carrying off the tripod, to institute an oracle of his own. But Apollo fought him, and Zeus threw a thunderbolt between them. When they had thus been parted, Hercules received an oracle, which declared that the remedy for his disease was for him to be sold, and to serve for three years, and to pay compensation for the murder to Eurytus. The reason why Herakles went insane this time was not mentioned by Apollodorus. However Homeros does tell a different story about the murder of Iphitus. He states that Iphitus had 12 mares, not oxen and came to Herakles when he lost them. Herakles reputedly had killed him and kept the mares. Sophocles mentions that Herakles stole the animals out of spite at Eurytus. Apollodorus is apparently the only one who mentions cattle instead of horses. The Athenian playwright Sophocles imagined Hercules feeling deep dishonor at being forced into slavery, "so stung was he by the shame of it." Slaves in Greek society often came from non-Greek regions, so the enslavement of the great Hercules by a barbarian queen from Lydia would have seemed an especially outrageous reversal to the Greeks. During this time of servitude, the hero continued his amazing feats, ridding yet another part of the world of monsters.
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With Omphale

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Sun May 22, 2005 8:57 am

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With Omphale
Lydia was an ancient kingdom in south-western Asia Minor, in what is modern-day Turkey. The Lydians were not a Greek-speaking people, so they were considered barbarians by the Greeks. Lydia's capital, the city of Sardis, was described as "rich in gold." Sardis was built along the Pactolus River, which flowed from Mount Tmolus carrying deposits of gold. The Lydians built a gold refining operation on the banks of the Pactolus, and they became quite wealthy. One Lydian king, Croesus, made a lavish display of his riches at the Greek sanctuary of Delphi, hoping to win Apollo's favor (and show his neighbors how rich he was). Croesus sacrificed three thousand beasts, and burned enormous couches covered with gold and silver, golden goblets, and purple cloaks and tunics. The king's sacrifices were so valuable that his name became synonymous with wealth; even today, we use the phrase, "rich as Croesus."
The ancient historian Herodotus claims that the Lydians were the first people to use coinage, which they made from the gold they refined. Many Lydian coins were made of an alloy of gold and silver called electrum.
After the delivery of the oracle, Hermes sold Hercules, and he was bought by Omphale, daughter of Iardanes, queen of Lydia, to whom at his death her husband Tmolus had bequeathed the government. Eurytus did not accept the compensation when it was presented to him, but Hercules served Omphale as a slave, and in the course of his servitude he seized and bound the Cercopes at Ephesus, and as for Syleus in Aulis, who compelled [p. 243] passing strangers to dig, Hercules killed him with his daughter Xenodoce, after burning the vines with the roots. And having put in to the island of Doliche, he saw the body of Icarus washed ashore and buried it, and he called the island Icaria instead of Doliche. In return Daedalus made a portrait statue of Hercules at Pisa, which Hercules mistook at night for living and threw a stone and hit it. And during the time of his servitude with Omphale it is said that the voyage to Colchis and the hunt of the Calydonian boar took place, and that Theseus on his way from Troezen cleared the Isthmus of malefactors. According to Pherecydes, cited by the Scholiast on Homeros, Hermes sold Herakles to Omphale for three talents. The sum obtained by his sale was to be paid as compensation to the sons of the murdered Iphitus, according to Diodorus. The period of his servitude, according to Sophocles, was only one year; but Herodorus, cited by the Scholiast on Sophocles, says that it was three years, which agrees with the statement of Apollodorus.
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Against Troy

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Mon May 23, 2005 11:18 am

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Against Troy

After his servitude, being rid of his disease he mustered an army of noble volunteers and sailed for Ilium with eighteen ships of fifty oars each. However, Homeros and Tzetzes agree with Homeros, that Hercules only went with 6 ships, not 18. Diodorus as Apollodorus draw on the same source as they mention the same number of ships used in the war with Troy. And having come to port at Ilium, he left the guard of the ships to Oicles and himself with the rest of the champions set out to attack the city. Pausanias states that the tomb of Oikles was found at Megalopolis in Arkadia. However Laomedon marched against the ships with the multitude and slew Oicles in battle, but being repulsed by the troops of Hercules, he was besieged. The siege once laid, Telamon was the first to breach the wall and enter the city, and after him Hercules. But when he saw that Telamon had entered it first, he drew his sword and rushed at him, loath that anybody should be reputed a better man than himself. Perceiving that, Telamon collected stones that lay to hand, and when Hercules asked him what he did, he said he was building an altar to Hercules the Glorious Victor. Tzetzes records the same incident, but mentions that Telamon had build an altar to Herakles Alexikakos (Averter of Evil/ ills) and not Kallinikos (Glorious Victor). Hercules thanked him, and when he had taken the city and shot down Laomedon and his sons, except Podarces, he assigned Laomedon's daughter Hesione as a prize to Telamon and allowed her to take with her whomsoever of the captives she would. When she chose her brother Podarces, Hercules said that he must first be a slave and then be ransomed by her. So when he was being sold she took the veil from her head and gave it as a ransom; hence Podarces was called Priam.
When Hercules was sailing from Troy, Hera sent grievous storms, which so vexed Zeus that he hung her from Olympus. Hercules sailed to Cos, and the Coans, thinking he was leading a piratical squadron, endeavored to prevent his approach by a shower of stones. But he forced his way in and took the city by night, and slew the king, Eurypylus, son of Poseidon by Astypalaea. And Hercules was wounded in the battle by Chalcedon; but Zeus snatched him away, so that he took no harm. And having lain waste Cos, he came through Athena's agency to Phlegra, and sided with the gods in their victorious war on the giants.
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The Gigantomachy

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:52 am

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The Gigantomachy

But Earth (Gaia), vexed on account of the Titans, brought forth the giants, whom she had by Sky. According to Hesiodos, Earth was impregnated by the blood which dropped from heaven when Cronus mutilated his father Sky (Uranus), and in due time she gave birth to the giants. As to the battle of the gods and giants, see Tzetzes, These were matchless in the bulk of their bodies and invincible in their might; terrible of aspect did they appear, with long locks drooping from their head and chin, and with the scales of dragons for feet. They were born, as some say, in Phlegrae, but according to others in Pallene. And they darted rocks and burning oaks at the sky. Surpassing all the rest were Porphyrion and Alcyoneus, who was even immortal so long as he fought in the land of his birth. He also drove away the cows of the Sun from Erythia. Now the gods had an oracle that none of the giants could perish at the hand of gods, but that with the help of a mortal they would be made an end of. Learning of this, Earth sought for a simple to prevent the giants from being destroyed even by a mortal. But Zeus forbade the Dawn and the Moon and the Sun to shine, and then, before anybody else could get it, he culled the simple himself, and by means of Athena summoned Hercules to his help. Hercules first shot Alcyoneus with an arrow, but when the giant fell on the ground he somewhat revived. However, at Athena's advice Hercules dragged him outside Pallene, and so the giant died. The battle of the gods and the giants was sculptured on the outside of the temple of Apollo at Delphi, as we learn from the description of Euripides. On similar stories see Frazer's Appendix to Apollodorus, “War of Earth on Heaven.” Regarding the appearances of the Giants, its often suggested that they were serpent-footed, but Pausanias denies this. Phlegra is said to have been the old name for Pallene, where the battle took place. The scene of the battle of the gods and giants was laid in various places. See Diodorus, Pausanias and Strabo for their accounts on this story. Tzetzes, Pindar and Apollodorus mention that that Alcyoneus had driven away the oxen of the Sun. The reason why Herakles dragged the wounded giant from Pallene before dispatching him was that, as Apollodorus has explained above, the giant was immortal so long as he fought on the land where he had been born. That, too, is why the giant revived when in falling he touched his native earth.
But in the battle Porphyrion attacked Hercules and Hera. Nevertheless Zeus inspired him with lust for Hera, and when he tore her robes and would have forced her, she called for help, and Zeus smote him with a thunderbolt, and Hercules shot him dead with an arrow. Pindar on the other hand mentions that Apollo shot down Porphyrion and not Hercules. Tzetzes however agrees with Apollodorus on this account. As for the other giants, Ephialtes was shot by Apollo with an arrow in his left eye and by Hercules in his right; Eurytus was killed by Dionysus with a thyrsus and Clytius by Hekate with torches and Mimas by Hephaestus with missiles of red-hot metal. According to Euripides, Zeus struck down Mimas with lightning bolts. Enceladus fled, but Athena threw on him in his flight the island of Sicily; and she flayed Pallas and used his skin to shield her own body in the fight. The fight between Athena and Pallas is depicted on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Another account says that Pallas was the father of Athena, who sought to rape her. Polybotes was chased through the sea by Poseidon and came to Cos; and Poseidon, breaking off that piece of the island which is called Nisyrum, threw it on him. And Hermes, wearing the helmet of Hades, slew Hippolytus in the fight, and Artemis slew Gration. And the Fates, fighting with brazer clubs, killed Agrius and Thoas. The other giants Zeus smote and destroyed with thunderbolts and all of them Hercules shot with arrows as they were dying.
When the gods had overcome the giants, Earth, still more enraged, had intercourse with Tartarus and brought forth Typhon in Cilicia, a hybrid between man and beast. In size and strength he surpassed all the offspring of Earth. As far as the thighs he was of human shape and of such prodigious bulk that he out-topped all the mountains, and his head often brushed the stars. One of his hands reached out to the west and the other to the east, and from [p. 49] them projected a hundred dragons' heads. From the thighs downward he had huge coils of vipers, which when drawn out, reached to his very head and emitted a loud hissing. His body was all winged: unkempt hair streamed on the wind from his head and cheeks; and fire flashed from his eyes. Such and so great was Typhon when, hurling kindled rocks, he made for the very heaven with hissings and shouts, spouting a great jet of fire from his mouth. But when the gods saw him rushing at heaven, they made for Egypt in flight, and being pursued they changed their forms into those of animals. However Zeus pelted Typhon at a distance with thunderbolts and at close quarters struck him down with an adamantine sickle, and as he fled pursued him closely as far as Mount Casius, which overhangs Syria. There, seeing the monster sore wounded, he grappled with him. But Typhon twined about him and gripped him in his coils, and wresting the sickle from him severed the sinews of his hands and feet, and lifting him on his shoulders carried him through the sea to Cilicia and deposited him on arrival in the Corycian cave. Likewise he put away the sinews there also, hidden in a bearskin, and he set to guard them the she-dragon Delphyne, who was a half-bestial maiden. But Hermes and Aegipan stole the sinews and fitted them unobserved to Zeus. And having recovered his strength Zeus suddenly from heaven, riding in a chariot of winged horses, pelted Typhon with thunderbolts and pursued him to the mountain called Nysa, where the Fates beguiled the fugitive; for he tasted of the ephemeral fruits in the persuasion that he would be strengthened thereby. So being again pursued he came to Thrace, and in fighting at Mount Haemus he heaved whole mountains. But when these recoiled on him through the force of the thunderbolt, a stream of blood gushed out on the mountain, and they say that from that circumstance the mountain was called Haemus. And when he started to flee through the Sicilian sea, Zeus cast Mount Etna in Sicily upon him. That is a huge mountain, from which down to this day they say that blasts of fire issue from the thunderbolts that were thrown. So much for that subject. Typhon, or Typhoeus, as he is also called, who was especially associated with the famous Corycian cave in Cilicia, see the Theogony of Hesiodos where Typhoeus was the youngest child of Earth.
The story of the transformation of the gods into beasts in Egypt was probably invented by the Greeks to explain the Egyptian worship of animals, as Lucian shrewdly perceived (Lucian, De sacrificiis). Hesiodos makes no record of the Gods transforming into animals in Egypt in the Theogony. So it is a latter addition to the story. According to Nonnos, Dionysiaca, it was Kadmos who, disguised as a shepherd, wheedled the severed sinews of Zeus out of Typhon by pretending that he wanted them for the strings of a lyre, on which he would play ravishing music to the monster. The barbarous and evidently very ancient story seems to be alluded to by no other Greek writers. The story of the deception practiced by the Fates on Typhon seems to be otherwise unknown to other authors. Haemus means blood from “haima”. It is the name for the mountain region in Hellas called Haemus meaning “Bloody Mountain”. It was also the name of a Egyptian city for the same reason.
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War with Augeas

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Thu Jun 02, 2005 8:48 pm

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War with Augeas


Not long afterwards he collected an Arcadian army, and being joined by volunteers from the first men in Greece he marched against Augeas. But Augeas, hearing of the war that Hercules was levying, appointed Eurytus and Cteatus generals of the Eleans. As to Eurytus and Cteatus, who were called Actoriones after their father Actor, and Moliones or Molionides, after their mother Molione, as mentioned by both Homeros and later on by Pausanias? According to some, they had two bodies joined in one (Scholiast on Homeros.). According to others, they had each two heads four hands, and four feet but only one body (Scholiast on Homeros). The poet Ibycus spoke of them as twins, born of a silver egg and “with equal heads in one body” Their story was told by Pherecydes (Scholiast on Homeros), whom Apollodorus may have followed in the present passage. They were two men joined in one, who surpassed all of that generation in strength and were sons of Actor by Molione, though their father was said to be Poseidon; now Actor was a brother of Augeas. Passing by Tegea, Hercules debauched Auge, not knowing her to be a daughter of Aleus. And she brought forth her babe secretly and deposited it in the precinct of Athena. But the country being wasted by a pestilence, Aleus entered the precinct and on investigation discovered his daughter's motherhood. So he exposed the babe on Mount Parthenius, and by the providence of the gods it was preserved: for a doe that had just cast her fawn gave it suck, and shepherds took up the babe and called it Telephus. And her father gave Auge to Nauplius, son of Poseidon, to sell far away in a foreign land; and Nauplius gave her to Teuthras, the prince of Teuthrania, who made her his wife. But it came to pass that on the expedition Hercules fell sick; hence he concluded a truce with the Molionides. But afterwards, being apprized of his illness, they attacked the army and slew many. On that occasion, therefore, Hercules beat a retreat; but afterwards at the celebration of the third Isthmian festival, when the Eleans sent the Molionides to take part in the sacrifices, Hercules waylaid and killed them at Cleonae, and marching on Elis took the city. The same Isthmian festival was instituted by Sisyphus in honor of Melikertes (Apollodorus, Pausanias). This festival was celebrated by exiles of Corinth and continued even after the destruction of Corinth but Eleans were not allowed to participate in the festivities. And having killed Augeas and his sons, he restored Phyleus and bestowed on him the kingdom. He also celebrated the Olympian Games and founded an altar of Pelops, and built six altars of the twelve gods. Herakles is said to have marked out the sacred precinct at Olympia, instituted the quadrennial Olympic festival, and celebrated the Olympic Games for the first time. As to the six double altars built by Herakles, each dedicated to a pair of deities, see Pindar; Scholiast on Pindar, who cites Herodorus on the foundation of the altars by Herakles. Apollodorus is probably mistaken in speaking of an altar of Pelops at Olympia. The more accurate Pausanias describes a precinct of Pelops founded by Herakles at Olympia and containing a pit, in which the magistrates annually sacrificed a black ram to the hero: he does not mention an altar. As a hero, that is, a worshipful dead man, Pelops was not entitled to an altar; he had only a right to a sacrificial pit.
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war with Pylos and Lacedaimon

Postby Quintus Aurelius Orcus on Mon Jun 06, 2005 11:09 am

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Against Pylos

After the capture of Elis he marched against Pylus, and having taken the city he slew Periclymenus, the most valiant of the sons of Neleus, who used to change his shape in battle. And he slew Neleus and his sons, except Nestor; for he was a youth and was being brought up among the Gerenians. In the fight he also wounded Hades, who was siding with the Pylians because Pylos was the city that honored Hades above all other Gods. He was the patron deity of Pylos.

Against Lacedaemon

Having taken Pylus he marched against Lacedaemon, wishing to punish the sons of Hippocoon, for he was angry with them, both because they fought for Neleus, and still angrier because they had killed Oeonus, the son of Licymnius. The reason why Herakles was angry at them was because Licymnius was a friend of him and half-brother to his mother Alkmene. He was the son of Electryon and the Phrygian slave Midea. He married to Perimedé, by whom he became the father of Oeonus, Argeus, and Melas. He was a friend of Heracles, whose son Tlepolemus slew him, according to some unintentionally, and according to others in a fit of anger. For when he was looking at the palace of Hippocoon, a hound of the Molossian breed ran out and rushed at him, and he threw a stone and hit the dog, whereupon the Hippocoontids darted out and dispatched him with blows of their cudgels. It was to avenge his death that Hercules mustered an army against the Lacedaemonians. And having come to Arcadia he begged Cepheus to join him with his sons, of whom he had twenty. But fearing lest, if he quitted Tegea, the Argives would march against it, Cepheus refused to join the expedition. But Hercules had received from Athena a lock of the Gorgon's hair in a bronze jar and gave it to Sterope, daughter of Cepheus, saying that if an army advanced against the city, she was to hold up the lock of hair thrice from the walls, and that, provided she did not look before her, the enemy would be turned to flight. That being so, Cepheus and his sons took the field, and in the battle he and his sons perished, and besides them Iphicles, the brother of Hercules. Having killed Hippocoon and his sons and subjugated the city, Hercules restored Tyndareus and entrusted the kingdom to him.
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