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"Hercules combatant Achelous." Louvre, Paris, France. The statue above depicts Hercules fighting against the monster Achelous.
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courtesy of Corel Corporation.

Heracles (Hercules)

More than two thousand years ago, Greek people believed that a particular group of stars represented the figure of Heracles, the most famous Greek hero. The ancient Romans called him Hercules. Heracles was a courageous and strong man.

Unfortunately, Heracles had a terrible enemy: the goddess Hera. Hera was so annoyed by Heracles' strength and fame that she cast a spell over him. As a result, he committed a terrible crime. Seeking forgiveness, Heracles was told to perform twelve very difficult tasks for the king, Eurystheus.

Hercules completed the twelve tasks, using his great strength. He has been famous for this ever since.

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