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Herakles, also known by Hercules in Roman mythology, was a legendary Greek hero. The demi-god son of Zeus, Herakles was born to Alcmene and was the half-brother of Perseus, as well as his great-grandson.

He is renowned in Greek mythology for the completion of his Twelve labours.


Early life

The goddess Hera resented Herakles due to him being another illegitimate child of Zeus, as a result, she set out to make Herakles' life as miserable as possible. She once sent two snakes to kill him when he was a baby, but he squeezed them to death. [citation needed]

Herakles' most famous weapon was his club, a branch of a wild olive tree in Argolis.[1] This was taken and hidden from him by the cercopes, mischievous wood spirits, and the club was said to have sprouted roots and leaves when it hit the ground.[2]

Labours of Herakles

Among his many adventures, the most famous were the Twelve Labours. When Herakles married and had children, Hera drove him mad and made him attack his family. His archenemy, Eurystheus who had replaced Herakles as king, forced him to complete Ten Labours as a form of repentance. However after completing ten Herakles was cheated by Eurystheus who made him complete two more raising the number to twelve. [citation needed] In some of these, most notably with the Hydra, Herakles was aided by his nephew Iolaos.[3]

His labours were the following:

1. Slay the Nemean Lion
The hide of the Nemean Lion was said to be impervious to fire or weapons. Herakles cunningly trapped it in its den and strangled it with his own two hands. After succeeding he wore its hide as a cloak for the remainder of his journeys.[4]
2. Slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra
Herakles killed the hydra by cutting off each of its heads and cauterizing its necks to prevent them from growing back.[5]
3. Capture the Golden Hind of Artemis
After chasing the Hind for a year, Herakles succeeded in capturing it and presented it to Eurystheus.
4. Capture the Erymanthian Boar
Herakles tracked the Erymanthian Boar near a forest in Elis where he also met and killed the centaur Pholos. He was eventually also successful in capturing the boar.[6][7]
5. Clean the Augeian stables in a single day
the Augeian stables were the home of 3,000 cattle with poisoned feces which Augeias had been given by his father Helios. He accomplished the near-impossible task by digging ditches and diverting the filth into the nearby rivers.[8][3]
6. Slay the Stymphalian birds
After the man-eating bird of Stymphalos had terrorized civilians, Herakles was sent to slay the fearsome birds, ending their plight.[9]
7. Capture the Kretan Bull
After subduing the father of the Minotaur, Herakles captured the legendary bull. After delivering it to Eurystheus, the king set the beast free and it rampaged again until it was killed by Theseus.[10]
8. Steal the Mares of Diomedes
The man-eating mares of King Diomedes were retrieved by Herakles who fed them their owner.[3]
9. Obtain the girdle of Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons
Hippolyta was an Amazon queen and she had a girdle given to her by her father. Heracles had to retrieve the girdle and return it to Eurystheus. The Amazonians were ordered by Hera to kill Herakles, but he returned miraculously unscathed.[3]
10. Obtain the cattle of the monster Geryon
The next challenge was to capture the herd guarded by a two-headed dog called Orthrus, the herdsman Erytion and the owner, Geryon; a giant with three heads and six arms. He killed the first two with his club and the third with a poisoned arrow. Heracles then herded the cattle and, with difficulty, took them to Eurytheus.[8]
11. Steal the golden apples of the Hesperides
Aided by Prometheus and Atlas, Herakles succeed in stealing the apples from the garden of the Hesperides. After being tricked by Atlas, Herakles pushed the blame to the god to which he was punished.[11]
12. Capture and bring back Cerberos
His final and most difficult labour was to capture the Underworld's guard-dog Cerberos. To accomplish this, Herakles used Tainaros, the supposed gateway to the Underworld guarded by Cerberos and captured it. HeraKles succeeded and took the creature back to Mycenae, causing Eurystheus to be fearful of the power and strength of this hero.[12]


On one occasion, Herakles became poisoned by one of his own arrows which eroded his own flesh. As such, he tore the tallest trees from their roots that he could find and built his funeral pyre before dying from the poison.[13]


"Respect, young one! You fight like an Argonaut!"
―Herakles while fighting Kassandra, c. 422 BCE.[src]-[m]
ACOD FoA ToH Herakles Kassandra

Herakles recruited by Kassandra

In a simulation created by the Isu Aletheia, Herakles's soul resided in a vault inside the prison fort of Tartaros within the Underworld. During the Peloponnesian War, he met the Spartan misthios Kassandra, who was sent by Hades to recruit him as a guardian of the Underworld. After being defeated by Kassandra in combat, Herakles agreed and traveled to the Gate of the Strong to defend it.[14]

Legacy and influence

In some of the stories of his adventures, Herakles is counted among the Argonauts. [citation needed]

In classical antiquity the Kretan town of Heraklion[3] and the Egyptian city of Herakleion were named after him.[15]

In 5th century BCE Herakles was widely celebrated all over Greece, whether by word of mouth or as statues and in murals. A tradition held that the island of Mykonos was built from the petrified corpses of Giants slain by Herakles,[16] [17] and in Elis, a statue of him watched over the Sacred Way.[18] In Argolis, not only was the olive tree his club had come from revered, but the southern region, full of sinkholes, was regarded as his.[3]

Of special note is the island of Thasos, wherein Herakles was considered the most important of the Greek pantheon, and called Soter, the savior. He was celebrated as the protector of the city, and his image was minted on Thasian coins.[19]

In 48 BCE, a gladius named Hercules' Gladius was marketed as the very sword he used to kill the Hydra although Roman swords did not exist in his lifetime.[15]

During the Italian Renaissance, Ercole Massimo's family was said to have originated from the union of Hercules and an unnamed nymph. [20]

In 2018, one of Layla Hassan's Animus modifications enabled an avatar based on the mythical hero to become a lieutenant aboard Kassandra's ship, the Adrestia.

Personality and characteristics

Herakles was considered the strongest man to have ever lived, he was also incredibly intelligent being able to outwit many of his opponents. Having a considerable amount of willpower, Herakles was able to move enough to build his own funeral pyre even with dead Hydra poison in his veins.[13]

In the simulation of the Underworld, Herakles was eagerly waiting to fight a worthy opponent.[14]

Equipment and skills

In the simulation of the Underworld, Herakles was armed with his trusty club torn from an Argolian olive tree and was capable of delivering many powerful blows with it. He also wore a variant of the Arena Fighter's Helmet and wore the pelt of the Nemean Lion across his shoulders.[14] A bow and mace are also allegedly attributed to the legendary Greek hero.[3]

Behind the scenes

  • Herakles (Ἡρακλῆς) is an Ancient Greek name meaning "Glory of Hera" combining Ἥρᾱ (Hērā) "Hera" and κλεος (kleos) "glory". Herakles took the name in an attempt to appease the goddess. His birth name is recorded as Alcaeus (Ἀλκαῖος) or alternatively Alcides (Ἀλκείδης), derived from Ἀλκα (alka) "strength" and appended by a patronymic.




  1. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArgolis: Olive Tree of Herakles
  2. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArgolis: Club of Herakles
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Assassin's Creed: Odyssey
  4. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArgolis: Nemean Lion
  5. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArgolis: Learna Swamp
  6. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyElis: Forest of Pholos
  7. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Erymanthian Boar
  8. 8.0 8.1 Wikipedia Heracles on Wikipedia
  9. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyArkadia: Stymphalos
  10. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Kretan Bull
  11. Assassin's Creed IIGlyph 1: "In the Beginning"
  12. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyLakonia: Tainaros
  13. 13.0 13.1 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Fate of Atlantis: Torment of Hades – The Fallen: Herakles the Legendary
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThe Fate of Atlantis: Torment of HadesThe Underworld's Fallen Guardians
  15. 15.0 15.1 Assassin's Creed: Origins
  16. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyMykonos: Mykonos City
  17. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyTrouble in Paradise
  18. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyElis: Statue of Herakles
  19. Assassin's Creed: OdysseyThasos: Temple of Herakles
  20. Assassin's Creed: BrotherhoodThe Da Vinci DisappearanceDatabase: Ercole Massimo

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