The labors of Hercules

Labor 1

Killing the Nemean Lion

Eurystheus first sent Hercules to kill a monster lion whose skin was unable to be peirced by weapons. Hercules strangled it to death with his bare hands. He then skinned it wit its own claws and took to wearing its pelt as a cloak

Hercules fighting the Nemean Lion. Credit
Hercules fighting the Hydra. Credit

Labor 2

Slaying the Lernean Hydra

Hercules was then sent to kill the hydra, a snakelike swamp monster that regrew two heads every time one was injured. He cut off each head, and his charioteer (Iolaus) sealed the stumps with a torch. Hercules pinned the last, immortal head under a rock and dipped his arrows in the hydra's poisonous blood.

Labor 3

Capturing the Cerynian Hind

Hercules' next task was to capture a deer sacred to the goddes Artemis, which had golden horns. As such, he could not hurt it. He followed it for an entire year, and was eventually able to carry it away.

Hercules' capture of the Cerynitian Hind. Credit
Hercules bringing the boar to Eurystheus. Credit

Labor 4

Seizing the Erymanthian Boar

Eurystheus' next task for Hercules was to rid Mt. Erymanthus of a boar that had been terrorizing it. He chased the boar into a snowdrift and captured it. When he brought it back to Eurystheus, the king is said to have hid in a massive bronze jar.

Labor 5

Cleaning the Augean Stables

King Augeas owned thousands of cows, and their stables had not been cleaned in 30 years. Hercules was told to clean their stables in a day. He diverted two rivers to sweep away the muck.

Hercules cleaning the stables. Credit
Hercules killing the birds. Credit

Labor 6

Killing the Stymphalian Birds

These birds had razor-sharp beaks and shot their feathers like arrows. Hercules fightened them out of their trees using a rattle and killed them with his hydra-poison arrows.

Labor 7

Capturing the Cretan Bull

This bull, owned by the Cretan King Minos, breathed fire. Hercules wrestled it to the ground and took it to Eurystheus. Eurystheus, however, set it free, where it roamed throughout Greece, causing terror.

Hercules and the bull. Credit
Mosiac of the 12 labors of Hercules. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Labor 8

Seizing the Horses of Diomedes

King Diomedes, the owner of these horses, always fed them on human flesh. Hercules fought and killed the king, and fed him to his own horses. This tamed them, and Hercules was able to simply lead them to Eurystheus.

Labor 9

Take the Belt of the Amazon Queen

Hercules' next task was to take the belt of Queen Hippolyte of the Amazons. He came under freindly terms, and the queen agreed to give up her belt if Eurystheus' daughter would join her country. However, Hera spread a rumer that Hercules came as an enemy, and the Amazons attacked him. Hercules conqoured them, and took the queen's belt.

Hercules and the queen. Credit
Hercules fighting Geryon. Credit

Labor 10

Capture the Cattle of Geryon

Geryon was a humanoid monster made of three huan bodies. He owned a herd of cattle and guarded them with the help of his vicious two-headed dog. Hercules killed him, the dog, and brought the cattle to Eurystheus.

Labor 11

Steal the Golden Apples of the Hesperides

These apples grew in the garden of the Hesperides, a group of nymphs. The apples were guarded by the dragon Ladon, which had hundres of heads. Hercules struck up a bargin with Atlas to relieve him of holding up the world if he were to get the apples. The titan refused to take his buredon again, but Hercules tricked him and escaped.

Hercules and the apples. Credid
Hercules and Cerberus. Credit

Labor 12

Capture Cerberus

Cerberus was the three-headed dog who guarded the underworld. Hercules was ordered to capture him without weapons. Hercules wrestled the dog, and eventually was able to capture him. The dog was later returned to the underworld.