Hercules, Roman Hero and God

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Hercules, Roman Hero and God
Science History Images / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: M2HXFK
Entitled: "Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: The Farnese Hercules." Hercules is a Roman hero and god. He was the equivalent of the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Zeus (Roman equivalent Jupiter) and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures, which took him to the far reaches of the Greco-Roman world. One cycle of these adventures became canonical as the "Twelve Labors". In Roman works of art and in Renaissance and post-Renaissance art, Hercules can be identified by his attributes, the lion skin and the gnarled club (his favorite weapon); in mosaic he is shown tanned bronze, a virile aspect. The ancient Roman statue known as the Farnese Hercules had been discovered in the Baths of Caracalla in Rome in 1546, and installed in a courtyard of the Farnese family's palace on the banks of the Tiber, where it was one of the highlights of the Roman tour for visiting scholars, connoisseurs, and artists. Engraving by Giorgio Ghisi, 16th century.