Eurystheus, king of Mycenae who commissioned the 12 labors to Hercules

Eurystheus, king of Mycenae who commissioned the 12 labors to Hercules

Eurystheus He was the son of Stenelo and Nicipe, and a descendant like Hercules of Perseus. Was the king of Mycenae who ordered Hercules the famous 12 labors.

Eurystheus, king of Mycenae

Zeus having decreed that the first born would be king, Hera asked Ilithia to delay the birth of hercules, so that Euristeo was the king, thanks to which it became king of Mycenae, Tiryns and Midea.

When Hercules, in a rapture of madness, killed his sons, the Pythia ordered him to place himself under Eurystheus' orders, which he did, ordering him the famous twelve jobs.

The orders were given through Copier, the hero being forbidden to enter Mycenae due to the fear it caused him.

What were the 12 labors of Hercules?

1 - Kill the Nemean Lion
2 - Kill Lerna's Ivy
3 - Capture Cerina's doe
4 - Capture the Erymanthian Boar
5 - Clean the Augean stables in one day
6 - Kill the Stymphalian birds
7 - Capture the Cretan Bull
8 - Take Tiryns to Diomedes' mares
9 - Steal Hippolyta's Belt
10 - The Red Bulls of Gerión
11 - Steal the apples from the Garden of the Hesperides.
12 - Capture Cerberus, take him out of the Underworld and take him to Eurystheus

Once the 12 jobs had been completed, and after seeing that Hercules was capable of anything, he granted him freedom.

The death of Hercules and the persecution of his family

After the death of Hercules, Eristeo remained embittered by the indignity that the hero had caused him, and for this reason, he persecuted his relatives, mainly the sons of Hercules (the Heraclids, led by Hilo), who fled from Mycenae and left. took refuge in Athens.

With the aim of destroying them, he attacked the city but was defeated, Eristeo and his sons being murdered.

Although it is said that it was Hilo who killed Eurystheus, the versions are diverse as well as the fate of the king's body, but the Athenians believed that the burial place was on his soil, and that it served to protect the territory from the descendants of Hercules, which traditionally included the Spartans and the Argus.

Another version explains that was killed by Iolao, taking his head to Alcmena.

After the death of Eurystheus, the brothers Atreo and Tiestes, whom he had left in charge of the city during his absence, took charge of Mycenae.

But the former exiled the latter and assumed the reign, while Tirinto returned to the lordship of Argos.

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Video: The Twelve Labours of Hercules. Part I. Greek Mythological Stories