Herakles - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Religion

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Herakles.
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Name

Ancient authors, as well as some modern scholars, connected his name with that of the goddess Hera. His name takes the very common form of Greek personal names that are easily understandable as composite nouns: Hera-kles means "the glory of Hera," as Dio-kles is "the glory of Zeus," or Patro-klos "He who brings glory to his father." In mythology, however, such a positive connection with Hera does not exist. He is, after all, the illegitimate son of her husband and a local queen, and in Homeric poetry this turned Hera into Herakles' most bitter enemy (see, for example, Iliad 15.25–28). Only after his elevation into Olympus did Hera accept Herakles as an adoptive son. The ancient explanation—that it was none other than the constant persecution by Hera that set Herakles on his steady course to glory (see Pindar, Fragment 291)—seems rather farfetched, as is the...

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This section contains 2,061 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Herakles Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Religion
Herakles from Encyclopedia of Religion. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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