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Special feature: Who Was Hercules?
Birth||Just before Amphitryon returned to his wife, Alcmene, Zeus (disguised
as Amphitryon) visited her. As a result of that night,
Alcmene gave birth to two sons, Herakles and Iphikles
When Alcmene discovered the truth about Herakles' father, she so feared Hera's
wrath that she abandoned Herakles on what is called
"The Plains of Herakles."
Athena, Herakles' lifelong protector, then tricked
Hera into taking a walk on which they encountered the
Athena prevailed upon mother/marriage/childbirth goddess, Hera, to suckle the infant,
but Herakles sucked too hard.
When his foster mother hurled him off, a spurt of milk flew out
to become the Milky Way.
Ironically, considering his subsequent relationship with Hera,
Herakles had already had enough divine milk to become immortal.
Another story of the infancy of Herakles is that when he and his
brother were sleeping, Hera sent two serpents to kill
him, but instead he strangled the snakes.
||Last snake||The hydra was also a snaky monster and protege
of Hera's. Ultimately, it was hydra's poison that killed
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© 1997 N.S. Gill