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Greek Heroes» Heracles» Myths about Heracles » 1. Labor: The Nemean Lion

Last Update: 28 Mar 2021

1. Labor: The Nemean Lion

The first labor of Heracles: Killing the Nemean Lion

As his first labor, Heracles was asked to kill a huge lion that dwelt in Nemea, southwest of Corinth, mauling men and animals and terrorizing the population of the region. The lion was trained by goddess Hera and had a skin that was impervious even to iron weapons.

 Marco Marchetti from Faenza - Hercules kills the Nemean LionWhen Heracles encountered the lion, he tried to use his bow, but the arrows were unable to kill the lion, so Heracles had to use his club and followed it into a cave with two entrances.

Heracles covered one entrance with stones and entered through the other to find the lion. Without using his club, he grabbed the lion by the neck, spun him around, and strangled him to death with the immense strength of his hands.

Heracles then handed the lion over to Eurystheas and fashioned armor from its skin. To remember his work, Heracles opened the Nemeian Games, to praise Zeus, king of the gods.

The dead body of the lion was transferred to the sky by the gods and formed the constellation of the Leo.
2. Labor: The Lernaean Hydra

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