Last Update: 28 Mar 2021
10. Labor: The Cattle of Geryon
The cattle of Geryon was the tenth labor of Heracles
As the tenth labor, Eurystheus ordered Heracles to go to the island of Erytheia and bring him the cattle of the monstrous Geryon.
Heracles took many hardships to reach the island, which was located in the far west of the Mediterranean Sea, near the ocean (in modern Spain)... he was threatened by wild animals and overheated by the sun until, out of frustration, he turned his bow on Helios, the sun god. The sun god was so impressed with the hero that he lent him his golden cup to sail safely across the sea.
When he reached the island, it proved difficult to approach the cattle, as they were guarded by the herdsman Eurytion, a son of Ares, and Orthos, a dog with two heads and a serpent's tail.
However, Heracles managed to defeat the dog with his club and also kill the shepherd. While trying to drive the cattle away, he encountered their master Geryon, who engaged him in a fight. With an arrow he also killed Geryon.
Heracles then placed the cattle in the golden cup, crossed the sea, and returned the cup to the sun god. Continuing his journey, Heracles went through more turbulence, which he skillfully managed when he finally reached Mycenae and gave the cattle to Eurystheas. The king sacrificed the cattle to Hera, the Queen of the gods.