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Hercules and the Serpents

Amphitrionas was an honest and hardworking man born to a rich family in ancient Thebes.  He was the nephew of the king of Thebes and had as a wife the beautiful Alkemene.

Amphitrionas and Alkemene had two children they were Hercules and Iphicles.  Their two children were very different from one and other, and did not appear like brothers in any way. Hercules was a strong boy without fear that never cried, in every way resembling the son of a god.  Iphicles on the other hand was a weak and timid boy that always cried.

Hercules was in fact the son of a god, the king of the gods Zeus.  Hera who was the wife of Zeus upon learning of Hercules became enraged that her husband had slept with a mortal and had a child with her.  Hera could do nothing to her husband as he was the king of the gods, but she could do something to the child.  Hera then decided that she would put this child "Hercules" who she so hated to death.

On one dark night when everyone was sleeping Hera sent two vicious serpents to kill the child Hercules by strangulation.  Hercules and his brother were both sleeping as the two poisonous snakes entered the room to kill him.  Hera's hatred of Hercules was so great that she overlooked the fact that Hercules was only eight months old.  

As the snakes entered the room hissing Iphicles woke up and began to cry uncontrollably.  Hercules then woke up and seeing the serpents he awaited them.  When the serpents came by his crib and coiled to attack he grabbed them both by their necks and strangled them.

Alkemene heard the crying of her son Iphicles and ran to see what was happening.  Upon seeing Hercules with the two serpents in his hands Alkemene became frightened and yelled louder then Iphicles was crying.  All the yelling and crying woke her husband who fearing that somebody entered their house jumped up and grabbed his sword entering the children's room.  Seeing the serpents he ran towards them with his sword to slay them.  Hercules only eight months old thought all that occurred was amusing and he giggled and laughed as he threw the dead snakes at his fathers feet.

All of Greece then learned of this child that slew the snakes of Hera, and would one day become a great hero.  Amphitrionas his father was filled with pride as he was sure his son would become a hero.  His son Hercules was blessed not only with a good upbringing but by the grace of the gods.  As the son of the god Zeus he was in fact a demi-god and would clearly become one of the greatest heroes of Greece and the world.


Other Ancient Heroes' Myths:


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