Last Update: 28 Mar 2021
The First Feat of Heracles
In ancient times there lived in Thebes, Greece, a general. His name was Amphitryon, and he was the nephew of the king of Thebes. The wife of Amphitryon was the beautiful Alcmene.
Amphitryon and Alcmene had two twins, but they were not at all alike. One child, whose name was Iphicles, was whiny and his body was weak. The other was strong, brave, as if he were a child of the gods. His name was Heracles.
Indeed, Heracles was a child of the gods, for one day Zeus, the king of the gods, had taken the form of Amphitryon and slept with Alcmene. When the goddess Hera, Zeus' jealous wife, learned that her husband had a child with a mortal, she became very angry. And because she couldn't mess with Zeus, she decided to kill little Heracles.
One night, when the two boys were sleeping in their room, Hera sent two poisonous snakes to kill Heracles. At this point, Heracles was only eight months old. The snakes entered the room hissing. Iphicles noticed them first and, weak as he was, began to cry. Soon Heracles was awake too, and when he saw the two snakes coming towards his bed, he grabbed them by the neck and held them until he strangled them both.
Everyone in the area learned of Heracles' incredible feat, and everyone said that this child would one day become a great man. And they were right. Heracles, the son of Zeus, would soon enough become a great hero and the strongest man in Ancient Greece.