Eurystheus

Eurystheus

Eurystheus

In Greek mythology, Eurystheus was the king of Tiryns, a stronghold near Mycenae. He was the son of Sthenelus and Nicippe, grandson of Perseus.

Hera and Zeus quarreled at who would be the hero that would destroy all the monsters of the previous era, in order to establish the new age of the Twelve Olympians. Hera's favourite was Eurystheus, while Zeus picked Heracles as his champion. To find out who would be the one, it was decided that Eurystheus would ask Heracles to complete Twelve Labours; in this way, Heracles would be able to redeem himself after slaying his family, temporarily maddened by Hera.

The Twelve Labours that Eurystheus commanded Heracles to complete were:

- to slay the Nemean Lion and bring the skin back,

- to slay the Lernaean Hydra,

- to capture alive the Cerynian Hind,

- to capture alive the Erymanthian Boar,

- to clean the stables of Augeias,

- to kill the Stymphalian Birds,

- to capture the Cretan Bull,

- to capture the Mares of Diomedes,

- to get the belt of Hippolyte,

- to get the Apples of the Hesperides

- to capture Cerberus.

Heracles managed to complete all twelve labours, and Eurystheus was left ashamed. He tried to kill the hero's children, named the Heracleidae, but he was defeated and ultimately died. He was succeeded in the throne by the brothers Atreus and Thyestes.

See Also: Heracles, Twelve Labours, Zeus, Hera, Atreus, Thyestes

Eurystheus Q&A

Who was Eurystheus?

In Greek mythology, Eurystheus was the king of Tiryns, a stronghold near Mycenae. He was the son of Sthenelus and Nicippe, grandson of Perseus.

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