Brave Hercules, a demigod son of Jupiter, born with impossible strength and force of will; for whom no task is insurmountable, no heroic deed unachievable. Yet, Like all of Jupiter’s illegitimate children, Hercules once drew the ire of Juno, and though he is now known as a hero, his greatest achievements might never have been done without Juno’s initial tragic involvement.
She struck Hercules mad, and he slew his own children.
Once recovered, grief stricken, Hercules sought penance for his crimes. An oracle of Jupiter advised he should pledge his service to the king Eurystheus, and so Hercules reluctantly did so. Jealous of the demigod, the king set him to twelve impossible tasks, expecting him to fail at the first, to slay the Nemean Lion and return with its hide.
The Nemean Lion captured women and devoured soldiers. Its fur was so thick no weapon could pierce it, and its claws so sharp, no armor could guard against them. Hercules tracked the lion to its mountain caves and drew it out, firing arrows that shattered against the beast’s impenetrable coat. Agilely, he dodged as the lion leapt to maul him. In the end, Hercules aimed a powerful shot straight into the lion’s roaring maw, a place the powerful fur did not protect, and slew it. Then, using the beasts own claws, he skinned the hide, wearing the mantle proudly as his new armor.
Eurystheus was aghast upon the hero’s return. Immediately the legend of Hercules began to grow. Eleven more labours the confounded king set against him, but time after time, year after year, Hercules performed what could not be done, earning fame, glory, and the peace he so desperately sought.