Discover more from Resavager
The Adventures and Brutality of Young Hercules
Another title of this might be Alceides Rising. Most don’t know that Hercules wasn’t born Hercules. His birth name was Alceides. He only took on the name by request of the oracle—to stave off the rage of Hera.
It was by Hera’s will that Alceides was sent into a wild madness that killed his wife and children. By modern morality, we wouldn’t hold Alceides responsible his tragedy as they say about parents who leave their kids in a car on a hot summer day, he suffered enough. This wasn’t enough for the Ancient Greeks and the Gods. The Oracle at Delphi said that to atone himself for this tragedy, he had to serve King Eurystheus for ten years and complete ten labors.
Hercules wasn’t the goody-two-shoes hero we get from Hollywood. He was a man like any one of us, culpable to making mistakes. The difference would be that he chose the life of virtue. There’s an old tale about Alceides, before he became Hercules, where as a young man he wandered into the forest and was confronted by two women who represented the crossroads of his life.
The first woman was vice. She offered the life of comfort and pleasure. The second woman was virtue and she offered the life of hardship and honor. After thinking on it for sometime, he chose virtue.
Before he was Hercules, he was Alceides, but make no mistake he still had the blood of Zeus surging through his veins. The beginning of Hercules didn’t start with the violent killing of his family. By then, he was already a famous warrior.
Being the step son of a king, Alceides was taught chariot driving, wrestling, archery, fencing, and lyre-playing. The latter however, didn’t end well. The man teaching Alceides struck him and an angry Alceides killed him with the lyre. They tried to charge Alceides with murder, but Alceides stated a law which we would be familiar with. He had not initiated the violence, he was only defending himself.
His step dad—fearing something like this happening again—sent him to manage his herds. This is where he grew up to be the strong and massive hero we remember him as. It was said just looking at him was enough to know he was the son of Zeus.
Sometime later he went on a hunt to kill a lion that was attacking both his and Thespios(the king of Thespiae) herds. The hunt lasted fifty days. He was given one of Thespios’ fifty daughters to be entertained by. Little did he know, the old king wanted each of his daughters to get the seed of Alceides so he had a different daughter lay with him each night.
But wait, there’s more!
The step father of Alceides was the king of Thebes. Some years before Alceides, the Minyan King was mortally wounded by a member of the Theban royal family. His son came to Thebes to avenge his death and after defeating the Thebans, made a treaty with them. The Thebans were made to give the Minyans a hundred cattle every year for twenty years.
Alceides didn’t think much of the arrangement however, for when the heralds came to collect the cattle, he subjected them to shameful mutilation. He cut from them their ears, noses, and hands of which he fastened to cords that he put him around their necks. Alceides told them to take those back as tribute to the Minyan king Erginos. This of course, led to an epic showdown between the Thebans and Minyans.
Alceides took command of the Thebans, wearing armor from Athena and killed Erginos, sending the Minyans in flight. In the aftermath, a new treaty was made. This time it would be the Minyans paying tribute, but at a rate of two hundred cattle a year for forty years. It was this battle where Alceides would be awarded the woman who would become his wife and bear him three sons.
It’s worth mentioning that the Greeks knew these stories and still celebrated Hercules as their most famous hero. How does this make the leftists feel? The Ancient Greeks and all ancient peoples understood nature for what it was: brutal. No goody-two-shoes would survive in the natural world. If you think you can get on the list of great men in history and not kill somebody, you’ve got another thing coming.
I encourage you to take another look at Hercules. This time from what the Greeks actually wrote about him. What I talked about here comes from Apollodorus.
Reading the Ancient Greeks will show you how men in nature really acted. They cared about honor and shame on a level modern leftists couldn’t comprehend. Justice also had a different meaning. I’m certain almost all Greeks would have celebrated the Minyans punishment for losing to Hercules.
The great men of history are almost always bad men as Lord Acton said. We don’t remember good guys. We remember conquerors.