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After this success, Eurystheus was planning to make something tougher for Hercules. He commanded hero, Hercules, to force out an enormous flock of birds, which assembled at a lake near town of Stymphalos. Goddess Athena helped him with a pair of bronze krotala, an item similiar to castanets. The Cretan Bull was an easy task for Hercules. Hercules wrestled bull, and then delivered it back to King Eurystheus. The eighth task was to bring Man-Eating Horses of Diomedes. It was followed by battle against Amazonian female army to get belt of Hippolyte, queen. The tenth labor was an awesome one. Hercules had to go around world, to bring cattle of Monster Geryon. It had three heads and three sets of legs all attached at waist.
The tricky assignment was eleventh one. Eurystheus asked Hercules to get Apples of Hesperides. These were golden apples gifted by Hera to Zeus. These apples were strictly guarded by a hundred-headed dragon, named Ladon, and also by Hesperides, daughters of Atlas. The other obstacle was that Hercules had no idea where these apples of Hesperides were located. Eventually, Hercules found location from Nereus whom he seized until Nereus gave him location of apples of Hesperides.
Then Hercules found out thru Prometheus, whom Hercules had helped, that he would have to have Atlas retrieve apples. Hercules agreed to hold sky and earth while Atlas retrieved apples. When Atlas returned with apples, he told Hercules that if he would hold sky and earth for rest of time, that he would take them to Eurystheus himself. But Hercules fooled Atlas by asking him to hold earth until he padded his shoulders. Atlas took Hercules place holding earth, and Hercules picked up apples and ran.
After making great Hercules do all sorts of unbelievable errands, Eurystheus made sure that he did not succeed last time. So, he ordered Hercules to abduct Cerberus, underworld beast. Did you ever hear a living man visiting Hades? However, Greek mythology tells us Hercules was no ordinary man. He was a hero.
He eventually did complete all tasks, purified his soul and rescued princess of Troy from a ravenous sea-monster. He also facilitated Zeus to beat Giants in a great battle for control of Olympus. He married again, to charming Deianira. She presented him a cloak, which was coated with what she mistakenly thought to be a magic love potion. She was told that balm would make person love her forever.
Ironically, it was poison, which burned Hercules skin. Hercules, not being able to endure pain, asked his friends to kindle a fire. Then Hercules placed himself on fire to be burned up alive. But gods looked down, and Zeus thought that Hercules had suffered enough. So he asked Hera to end her anger toward Hercules, which she did. Then Hercules was brought to Olympus in Athena's chariot by Zeus' request.
This Greek mortal Hercules is undoubtedly greatest hero of Greek Mythology. Hercules is still considered to be perfect mythical character.
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