Hercules

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Hercules

  1. 1. Steal the Apples of the Hesperides, which were stricly guarded by a 100-headed dragon called Ladon
  2. 2. After Heracles completed his first ten Labours, Eurystheus gave him two more claiming that neither the Hydra counted (because lolaus helped Heracles) nor the Augean stables (either because he received payment for the job or because the rivers did the work). The first of these two additional Labours was to steal the apples from the garden of the Hesperides. Heracles first caught Nereus , the shape-shifting sea god, to learn where the Garden of the Hesperides was located.
  3. 3. In some variations, Heracles, either at the start or at the end of his task, meets Antaeus, who was invincible as long as he touched his mother, Gaia, the earth. Heracles killed Antaeus by holding him aloft and crushing him in a bearhug. Herodotus claims that Heracles stopped in Egypt, where King Busiris decided to make him the yearly sacrifice, but Hercules burst out of his chains. Finally making his way to the Garden of the Hesperides, Heracles tricked Atlas into retrieving some of the golden apples for him, by offering to hold up the heavens for a little while (Atlas was able to take them as, in this version, he was the father or otherwise related to the Hesperides). Upon his return, Atlas decided that he did not want to take the heavens back, and instead offered to deliver the apples himself, but Heracles tricked him again by agreeing to take his place on condition that Atlas relieve him temporarily so that Heracles could make his cloak more comfortable. Atlas agreed, but Heracles reneged and walked away, carrying the apples. According to an alternative version, Heracles slew Ladon instead.
  4. 4. There is another variation to the story where Heracles was the only person to steal the apples, other than Perseus, although Athena later returned the apples to their rightful place in the garden. They are considered by some to be the same "apples of joy" that tempted Atalanta, as opposed to the "apple of discord" used by Eris to start a beauty contest on Olympus. On Attic pottery, especially from the late fifth century, Heracles is depicted sitting in bliss in the Gardens of the Hesperides, attended by the maidens.

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