Did Hercules Exist?

2459 Words Oct 13th, 2011 10 Pages
Hercules is one of the most famous Greek heros of the ancient times, well known for his heroic achievements and his unbelievable strength. He was someone very special who at the same time was extremely ordinary, in the concept that he faced everyday problems that he had to overcome himself. Although his courageous personal traits make him famous, he was not perfect in all aspects. Hercules was born to a mortal woman by the name of Alcmene and fathered by the greatest God in Greek mythology, Zeus, making Hercules a Demi God.This idea meant that Hercules had some features that were very godly, some divine powers, but at the same time he was a mortal, meaning he could die. It is suspected, that the Greeks invented this idea because they …show more content…
There are striking parallels between the challenges Hercules faced in his labors and those of the games. Both were feats of strength and endurance that only the most disciplined athlete could achieve. The connection between Hercules and the Olympics runs deeper. Hercules reportedly founded the Olympic games after one of his labors. It is suggested that he is directly connected with the original foundation of the games. Remains of the tracks at Olympia are 600 feet and according to the Ancient Greeks, thats 600 of Hercules own feet. According to legend Hercules paced out the stadium which was 600 steps and is 192.27 meters. Historians have deduced that Hercules feet were actually 12.6 inches long, a size thirteen shoe. More traces of Hercules can also be seen in the main temple. Relieves salvaged from the exterior walls depict his 12 labors. He was revered by all athletes and measured one self up against Hercules. It was very important to the Greeks never to surrender, so many athletes died rather than give up.

While still a young man, Hercules went to fight the Minyans, an indigenous group inhabiting the Aegean region, that were forcing the Thebans to pay tribute. As a reward for conquering the Minyans, The king of Thebes gave Hercules the hand of his daughter, Megara. Hercules was devoted to her and the three children she bore him. One night while Hercules was sleeping, Hera struck him with a fit of madness during