Deianira, The Forgotten Hero's Wife Tells Us an Inspiring Story: We all grew up with stories of great heros, remember Homer's story of the lost crew from the Trojan War? Deianira has her husband's story, Hercules. This odyssey begins with, the angered goddess Hera forces Hercules to murder his family. When he arose from his insanity, he prayed to Apollo for help. What happened next is the beginning to the "Forgotten Warrior's" Odyssey.
The god's oracle than commanded Hercules to serve Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns and Mycenae for twelve years. Hercules struggles would some become into fame. Eurystheus first task to Hercules was the easiest among the others, now known as, The Nemean Lion. Among the regions of Nemea, roamed an invulnerable lion who terrorized the hills. His impossible task, was to bring the skin of this lion.
Deianira explains, how Hercules stayed at a town called Cleonae, where he stayed with a workman-for-hire, Molorchus.
Hercules followed the trail of this lion, until he encountered. death himself, The Nemean Lion. Hercules fired a series of arrows at the lion, all doing nothing. He soon picked up his club and ran after the lion. While grasping tightly to his club, he slowly entered the realm of the lion, a cave. He soon tackled the lion in his fearsome arms of strength, and choked it to death.
Eurystheus second task was to kill the Lernean Hydra. This fearsome creature was said to live in the deep murky waters of Lerna. The Lernean Hydra, swam through these waters with nine heads while carrying it's deadly venom. Not only was this task difficult, but one of the nine heads was immortal. Along with him, he brought a nephew, Iolaus, who would soon accompany him in many later of his labors. Hercules and Iolaus traveled to Lerna, and entered the springs of Amymone. Entering the realm of the nine-headed hydra. Hercules soon derived a plan. He began by shooting flaming arrows towards the hydra. This baited the hydra out of it's lair. As Hercules slowly walked toward the beast with his club, he was lifted into the air. A tentacle had grabbed him by the ankle, now having him in a death trap. Hercules swung at it's heads with his mighty club, decapitating the beast's head with each swing. However, every swing he threw, two more heads would come in the previous head's place. Hercules called upon Iolaus for help. Iolaus held a torch to the decapitated necks of the beast, preventing the growth of furthermore heads. Hercules soon decapitated the last, immortal head. He buried this head head in between Lerna and Elaeus. While it was buried, he also carried a heavy rock to go on top of the hole. Making it impossible for the hydra to escape. Eurytheus not impressed by Hercules' success, did not let this task count as one of the ten.
For the third task, Eurystheus told Hercules to collect the Hind of Ceryneia Diana's Pet Deer. This deer was not an ordinary dear, it was sacred to the goddess of hunting and the moon, Diana. Not only that, but it also wielded golden horns and hoofs of bronze. Hercules followed the deer for a whole year. Until finally the deer was overtaken by fatigue. The deer looked for it's rest at the Artemisius Mountain. The deer made her way to the river Ladon. Hercules knew the deer was about to get away, knowing this Hercules shot the deer. Hercules had finally caught the deer. However, on his journey back, Diana confronted Hercules in anger. She was getting ready to take the deer away from Hercules, until Hercules told her the truth. How Apollo told him to serve to Eurystheus and this was one of his tasks. Diana healed the wounds of the deer, and Hercules brought it alive to Eurystheus.
Eurystheus then told Hercules to bring him the Erymanthian boar, alive.
This boar lived in the mountain of Erymanthus. Everyday the boar would come out of it's shelter and destroy everything in it's site. Hercules soon set out, and on his way he visited his friend, Pholus. Pholus was the Centaur of Mount Erymanthus. Hercules now overcome with fatigue, Pholus gave Hercules meat. When
Hercules asked for wine, Pholus refused to open the wine jar, in fear of the other centaurs would be angered. Hercules opened it up himself. The angry centaurs came in wielding rocks and fir trees. Hercules speared burning sticks at the centaurs, and chased them away with his club. Pholus pulled out an arrow from his fellow centaur. But when pulling out the arrow, it slipped and fell onto his foot. The arrow's poison killed him instantly. Hercules followed the sounds of the boar's snorting and stomping. Hercules frightened the boar and chased into a thick patch of snow. By now it was exhausted. He then trapped the boar in the net, and carried it back to Eurystheus. Eurystheus was amazed by his courage and strength.
His fifth task was to clean the Augean Stables. King Augeas owned the most cattle in greece. Hercules told King Augeas that he would clean out the stables in one day, only if he would receive a tenth of the cattle as a reward. He began by tearing a hole in the wall of the cattle-yard. He made another opening in the opposite side as well. He next dug holes into the ground near two rivers. This forced the river into the stables, cleaning them out, and the filthy water came out through the other side. However, King Augeas learned that Eurystheus was the one who told Hercules to do this task, King Augeas did not give Hercules the reward. In a reaction to this, Hercules took the matter to a judge to decide. The son of Augeas testified, and told the judge of the deal. The judge said for Augeas to give the reward to Hercules. When Hercules returned to Eurystheus, he told Hercules that this task did not count, because he was payed to do it.
Eurystheus tired of Hercules success thought up a new and more difficult task. The six task was to drive away an enormous flock of birds which gather at a lake near Stymphalos. Hercules had no thought on how to do this task. Athena came to his aid and gave Hercules a pair of clappers. Hercules clashed the clappers loudly scaring the birds. He then took a slingshot and shot at them as they took flight.
His seventh task was to bring back the Cretan bull. When Hercules arrived at Crete he wrestled the bull to the ground with ease. He then drove it back to King Eurystheus. Eurystheus let the bull go free, letting it terrorizing people, and the bull finally ended up in Marathon.
Hercules next task was to get the man-eating mares of King Diomedes of the Thracian tribe, Bistones. He Sailed to Bistonia, and he and his men overpowered the mares and drove them to sea. The Bistones realized what happened, and they sent soldiers to recapture the animals. To be able to fight, Hercules left the animals to a man named Abderos. However, the mares killed Abderos. Hercules fought the Bistones, and even killed Diomedes. Eurystheus set the mares free, they wondered until they got to Mount Olympos. There they have disappeared but some claim they were eaten by wild beasts.
For the ninth task, Eurystheus ordered Hercules t bring him the belt of Hippolyte. This belt was from the warrior Hippolyte of the Amazons. This belt given to Hippolyte was from Ares, the war god. Eurystheus wanted the belt as a gift to his daughter. Hercules got a crew to fight the Amazon army. The woman charged at the army of Hercules. Hercules knew they were attacking, so he pulled out his sword and killed Hippolyte. He stripped her belt from her and they finished the battle. Hercules sailed away and gave the belt to Eurystheus.
The Tenth task was to go to the end of the world, and retrieve the cattle of monster Geryon. Geryon had three heads and three sets of legs. The cattle was guarded by Orthus, the two headed hound. Hercules set off to Erythia and killing many beasts that he encountered. When he arrived at Libya he built two massive mountains. These became the Pillars of Hercules. Hercules soon arrived at Erythia and encountered Orthus, the two headed dog. The vicious dog attacked Hercules so in self defense he smashed the dog with his club. Just as Hercules was fleeing with the cattle, Geryon attacked him. Hercules shot him dead with his arrows. He then brought the cattle to Eurystheus who sacrificed the cattle to Hera.
It has now been a total of eight years, and it is the eleventh task. Eurysthus commanded Hercules to bring him the golden apples of Zeus. Hercules began by traveling through Libya, Egypt, Arabia, and Asia. He was stopped by Kyknos, son of the war god. The god demanded Hercules to fight him. The fight was broken up by a thunderbolt. Hercules then traveled to Illyria and seized the sea-god Nereus, who knew where e apples were. Now having the location he continued his journey, on the way he was stopped by Antaeus, the son of Poseidon. He challenged Hercules to a fight swell. Hercules defeated him, by lifting him off the ground and crushing him . Because when he touched the ground he became stronger. Busiris, another one 0 Poseidon's son, captured hercules and was led to be a human sacrifice. But Hercules escaped and killed Busiris. Hercules soon arrived at a rock on Mount Caucasus where Prometheus, an immortal trickster, was chained. And everyday an eagle would peck at his liver, and when it grew back, the eagle would come again. This happpened for thirty years until Hercules killed the eagle. Prometheus told Hercules how to get the apple in return. Hercules told Atlas that he would hold the sky and earth if he would get him the apples. Atlas got the apples and said that he would return them to Eurystheus himself. However, Hercules agreed but said that he would first need padding. So Atlas waited until Hercules put on the padding. But instead of holding the Sky and the Earth again, he ran off with the apples to Eurystheus.
This is the final and most difficult task which Hercules was told to do.
He had to go to the Underworld and kidnap a creature called Cerberus. Cerberus was a vicious beast that guarded the entrance to Hades. He had three heads of a wild dog, a dragon for a tail, and heads of a snake on his back. Hercules made his way to the Underworld through Taenarum in Laconia. Hercules encountered Cerberus, Hercules wrapped his arms around the beast grasping all three heads at once. But the dragon on it's behind bit Hercules. Cerberu finally gave up, when Hercules ignored the pain from his dragon for a tail. Hercules brought Cerberus to Eurystheus. However, the monster was returned back to Hades, guarding the underworld once again.
That is the story of the Forgotten Warrior, Hercules. Deianira also tells the death of Hercules. As Deianira was attacked by Nessus, a centaur, Hercules shot the centaur with a poison arrow. As the centaur was dying, he convinced Deianira to store some of his blood as it would act as a love potion. One day Deianira heard rumors and put the potion on his shirt. When he gave the shirt to Hercules he began to die. Unfortunately, the centaur lied, his blood contained the poison from the arrows that killed him. This same poison killed Hercules to die.