"Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra" by Earl Staley.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy of Mr. Earl Staley.
The Lernaean Hydra
A long time ago, Greek people believed that a long strip of stars
was really an image of a gigantic serpent known as the Hydra. The people of Lerna were terrorized by this serpent--a horrifying beast with many snake-like heads, one of which was immortal.
The heads of the Hydra could grow back even if they were cut off. Anyone approaching the Hydra could also be killed by its venomous breath.
The destruction of the Hydra was one of the many difficult tasks that Heracles, had to perform to show that he was sorry for a terrible crime he committed. Heracles was so brave
and strong that he succeeded in killing the Hydra, with the help of his nephew,
Iolaus. Everytime Heracles would cut off one head of the beast, Iolaus would sear its injured neck, preventing new heads from growing back.
During their fight, an enormous
crab emerged from the swamp to aid the Hydra. Heracles killed the crab by crushing
its shell with his foot. Heracles buried the Hydra's head under a heavy rock.
You might also be interested in:
According to an ancient Greek legend, the figure of a gigantic crab was placed in the nighttime sky by the goddess Hera to form the constellation Cancer. Hera swore to kill Heracles, the most famous Greek...more
Ahsonnutli was the sky father and chief god for the Navajo. He created heaven, Earth, and the sky. Each of the four directions, or cardinal points, are supported by a giant. Each direction is symbolized...more
Amphitrite was one of the sea-nymphs called the Nereids. One day the sea god Poseidon saw her dancing and fell desperately in love with her. He promptly asked her to marry him but unfortunately she refused....more
Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She was known to the Romans as Venus. To the perfection of her figure and the purity of her features she added an innocent grace. On her sweet face she...more
In Greek mythology, Apollo was the son of Jupiter(in Greek Zeus) and Leto (Letona). He was the god of the Sun, logic, and reason, and was also a fine musician and healer. Leto travelled all over Greece...more
In the Northern Hemisphere sky is the constellation Cepheus, king of Ethiopia, and that of his wife Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia claimed that she and her daughter Andromeda were more beautiful than the sea nymphs,...more
According to Navajo mythology, the Milky Way was created by the mischievous behavior of the god, Coyote. When the world was created, the Holy People gathered around Black God to place the stars in the...more