What were the Twelve Labours of Hercules?

Hercules the greatest of Greek heroes was driven mad by Hera – queen of the Gods and Zeus’ wife – and consequently slew his own six sons.

Hercules finally recovered his sanity but deeply regretted his actions.  So her turned to King Thespius for help, who in turn made him travel to Delphi to inquire how he could atone for his actions.

Pythones advised him to d serve King Eurystheus for twelve years and perform whatever labour might beset him.

These were the tasks/labours set by the king of Tiryans to Hercules:

  • Destroying th many headed Hydra
  • Slaying the Nemean Lion (with his hands)
  • Capturing the Arcadian stag
  • Capturing the Erymanthean Boar
  • Cleaning out the Augean stables
  • Destroying the Stymphalian birds
  • Capturing the mad bull of Minos
  • Capturing the man eating horses of Diomedes
  • Stealing the firdle of Hippolyte the Queen of the Amazons
  • Seizing the oxen of Geryon (a three headed monster)
  • Taking three golden apples from the garden of the Hesperides
  • Fetching the three headed dog Cerberus from its owner Hades in the Underworld

All these labours were completed over the twelve years by Hercules.