Nemean Lion
The story of the Nemean Lion was the first of the twelve labors of Hercules. King Eurystheus chose this as the first labor. Hercules was supposed to bring the king the skin of the lion that lived around Nemea, near the scared grove of Zeus. The lion happened to be a monster that no weapons could kill. With him he took a bow that only he could bend and from an olive tree he took a club. Before Hercules got to Nemea he went to a town called Cleonae where he stay at the house of Molorchus. Arrows didnít work when shot at the lion Hercules soon discovered. Hercules ended up trapping the lion in a cave with two entrances, one entrance he blocked and then other he stood in. He first hit him with the club and the lion became dazed. Then Hercules jumped on the lion and wrapped his arms around its neck. He squeezed the lion to tightly that it was strangled and it died. Hercules returned to Molorchus and they sacrificed together to Zeus. He skinned the lion and wore the skin as a cape and the head as a hat or mask. When he returned to Mycenae, the king Eurystheus was startled that the hero survived against the fierce lion. Hercules was forbidden to enter the city from then on because the king was so afraid of him. The king even had a large jay hidden away in the earth where he could hide Hercules if needed. He also refused to see the hero face to face so they communicated through a herald.


Hercules was the most famous hero of ancient times. He was so important that when he died Hercules was able to go live with the gods in Mount Olympus. Both Romans and Greeks worshiped him in many temples. Hercules was married to Megara and had two children. Hercules got extremely angry with Hera and he ended up killing his wife and children. Apollo told the hero that he must do certain tasks to rid himself of the wrongs he had done. Apollo told him that he had to do ten labors, which later became twelve.


Hercules was from a Greek origin. There are many things in the story of the lion that people arenít sure about since there are different views on the subject. When Hercules returned some say he was wearing the skin of the lion that he had just slain but some say it was from a different lion he had killed when he was eighteen. There are also differences in where the killing of the lion took place. Some say it was in a clearing and some say it was in a cave. There are also many different reasons of why Hercules had to even do the twelve labors and who his parents were.

Works Cited Coolidge, Olivia e. Hercules and Other Tales from Greek Myths ©1949 TAB Books, Scholastic Book Services, New York, NY.
Crane, Gregory R. (ed.) The Perseus Project, http://www.perseus.tufts.edu, April 2003. The site is updated daily.


Hamilton, Edith Mythology © 1940 A Mentor Book, The Penguin Group, New York, NY.