In “Theogony and Works and Days” who are Hercules parents?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Hercules' parents are Zeus, the king of the gods, and a mortal woman named Alcmene. This famous Greek demigod was born to complete his twelve labors and achieve immortality. His story has been retold in many different versions throughout history, including in Hesiod's "Theogony and Works and Days."
Detailed answer:

In "Theogony and Works and Days," Hercules (Heracles in Greek) is the son of Zeus, the king of the gods, and a mortal woman named Alcmene. The story of Hercules' conception is quite complex and involves a deception by Zeus to gain access to Alcmene while she was married to Amphitryon, a Theban general.

According to the story, Zeus visited Alcmene while her husband was away and disguised himself as Amphitryon, so Alcmene would not know the difference. As a result of this union, Alcmene became pregnant with twins, one fathered by Zeus and the other by Amphitryon.

The birth of Hercules was also significant because he was destined to be a hero and play an important role in Greek mythology. Hesiod writes in "Theogony" that "Zeus sired yet another son, the far-famed strong Heracles" and that "Alkmene gave birth to the might of Heracles."

Hercules' divine heritage and his incredible strength made him a formidable figure in Greek mythology, and he is often depicted in art and literature as a symbol of heroism and endurance.

In summary, "Theogony and Works and Days" tells us that Hercules is the son of Zeus and Alcmene, a mortal woman. The complex story of his conception adds to his mythological significance, and his strength and heroism make him an enduring figure in Greek mythology.

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