E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Hercules (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 Eurystheus 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) To slay the Nemean lion.
(2) To kill the Lernean hydra.
(3) To catch and retain the Arcadian stag.
(4) To destroy the Erymanthian boar.
(5) To cleanse the stables of King Augeas.
(6) To destroy the cannibal birds of the Lake Stymphalis.
(7) To take captive the Cretan bull.
(8) To catch the horses of the Thracian Diomeds.
(9) To get possession of the girdle of Hippolyt, Queen of the Amazons.
(10) To take captive the oxen of the monster Geryn.
(11) To get possession of the apples of the Hesperids.
(12) To bring up from the infernal regions the three-headed dog Cerberos.
The Nemean lion first he killed, then Lerns hydra slew;
Th Arcadian stag and monster boar before Eurystheus drew;
Cleansed Augeas stalls, and made the birds from Lake Stymphalis flee;
The Cretan bull and Thracian marcs, first seized and then set free;
Took prize the Amazonian belt, brought Geryons kine from Gds;
Fetched apples from the Hesperids and Cerberos 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.
The Egyptian Herculs. Sesostris. (Flourished B.C. 1500.)
The Farnes 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 Hesperids. A copy of this famous statue stands in the gardens of the Tuileries, Paris; but Glykons statue is in the Farnese Palace at Rome. A beautiful description of this statue is given by Thomson (Liberty, iv.).