Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Her’cules (3 syl.).

 Hercules (3 syl.),Hercules’ Choice. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Her’cules (3 syl.).
A Grecian hero, possessed of the utmost amount of physical strength and vigour that the human frame is capable of. He is represented as brawny, muscular, shortnecked, and of huge proportions. The Pythan told him if he would serve Eurys’theus for twelve years he should become immortal; accordingly he bound himself to the Argive king, who imposed upon him twelve tasks of great difficulty and danger:   1
   (1) To slay the Nem’ean lion.   2
   (2) To kill the Ler’nean hydra.   3
   (3) To catch and retain the Arca’dian stag.   4
   (4) To destroy the Eryman’thian boar.   5
   (5) To cleanse the stables of King Au’geas.   6
   (6) To destroy the cannibal birds of the Lake Stympha’lis.   7
   (7) To take captive the Cretan bull.   8
   (8) To catch the horses of the Thracian Diome’ds.   9
   (9) To get possession of the girdle of Hippol’yt, Queen of the Am’azons.   10
   (10) To take captive the oxen of the monster Ger’yn.   11
   (11) To get possession of the apples of the Hesper’ids.   12
   (12) To bring up from the infernal regions the three-headed dog Cer’beros.   13
The Nem’ean lion first he killed, then Lerns hydra slew;
Th’ Arca’dian stag and monster boar before Eurys’theus drew;
Cleansed Au’geas’ stalls, and made the birds from Lake Stympha’lis flee;
The Cretan bull and Thracian marcs, first seized and then set free;
Took prize the Amazo’nian belt, brought Ger’yon’s kine from Gds;
Fetched apples from the Hesperids and Cer’beros from Hds.
E. C. B.
   The Attic Herculs. Theseus (2 syl.), who went about like Herculs, his great contemporary, destroying robbers and achieving wondrous exploits.   14
   The Egyptian Herculs. Sesostris. (Flourished B.C. 1500.)   15
   The Farne’s Herculs. A celebrated work of art, copied by Glykon from an original by Lysippos. It exhibits the hero, exhausted by toil, leaning upon his club; his left hand rests upon his back, and grasps one of the apples of the Hesperi’ds. A copy of this famous statue stands in the gardens of the Tuileries, Paris; but Glykon’s statue is in the Farnese Palace at Rome. A beautiful description of this statue is given by Thomson (Liberty, iv.).   16
   The Jewish Herculs. Samson. (Died B.C. 1113.)   17

 Hercules (3 syl.),Hercules’ Choice. 


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