Myths of Greece and Rome Narrated with Special Reference to Literature and Art

Page: 97

On another occasion, Boreas, having changed himself into a horse and united himself to the mares of Dardanus, King of Troy, became the father of twelve steeds so swift that none could overtake them.




“Unto this thy son it shall be given,
With his broad heart to win his way to heaven;
Twelve labors shall he work; and all accurst
And brutal things o’erthrow, brute men the worst;
And in Trachinia shall the funeral pyre
Purge his mortalities away with fire;
And he shall mount amid the stars, and be
Acknowledg’d kin to those who envied thee,
And sent these den-born shapes to crush his destiny.”
Theocritus (Hunt’s tr.).

The ancients were not content to worship the gods only, but also offered up sacrifices to a few mortals, who, by their heroic deeds and virtuous lives, had won both admiration and respect. Foremost among these heroes—generally designated by the title of demigods—is Hercules (Heracles, Alcides), son of Jupiter and Alcmene, a mortal princess.

Juno persecutes Hercules.

As soon as the tidings of