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What are the 12 Labors of Hercules?


Hercules and the Cretan Bull. Attic Black-figure mastos. C. 500-475 B.C. at the Louvre.

Hercules and the Cretan Bull

Marie-Lan Nguyen/Wikimedia Commons.
Question: What are the 12 Labors of Hercules?
Hercules had lots of adventures and a couple of marriages. Among the heroic myths about him, it's told that Hercules went to the Underworld and traveled with the Argonauts on their voyage to collect the Golden Fleece. Were these included in the 12 labors of Hercules? If not, which exactly were the 12 Labors?

Answer: Yes and no. The labors include the fetching of the Hellhound Cerberus, but the stories of Hercules' adventures with the other great Greek heroes are neither part of the 12 labors nor among the most familiar stories about Hercules. For more on them, see: More You Should Know About Hercules and People in the Life of Hercules.

12 Labors Table of Contents contains a numbered list of Hercules' 12 labors with descriptions and pictures. Hercules had to perform them to make amends for murdering his family. The names of the 12 labors are: the Nemean Lion, Lernean Hydra, Cerynitian Hind, Erymanthian Boar, Stables of Augeas, Stymphalian Birds, Cretan Bulls, Mares of Diomedes, Belt of Hippolyte, Cattle of Geryon, Apples of Hesperides, and the Hound of Hades.

Background on Hercules' Labors

Labor 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

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