Earl Staley, "Hercules and the Nemean Lion." Acrylic canvas 120 x 160 cm (1983). Private collection.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Mr. Earl Staley.

The Nemean Lion

More than two thousand years ago, Greeks believed the god Zeus placed the figure of a gigantic lion in the sky with the rest of the stars. This lion lived in the city of Nemea. The people who lived in that region were terrorized by the Nemean Lion. Several times they tried to destroy the beast.

Heracles, the most famous Greek hero, was ordered by the king, Euryshtheus, to kill the Nemean lion. Heracles was an incredibly strong man. The Romans called him Hercules.

When Heracles reached the cave where the beast was living, he realized all his weapons were useless against the lion. Heracles killed the lion by strangling it with his bare hands. When the beast was dead, Heracles used its pelt as a coat and the head as a helmet.

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