Brain Bush’s Blog

Hercules!

  • By : Brian Bush
  • August 26, 2011
  • 2:26 pm

Hi Everyone!

Lets take a break from the news of the Middle East and talk about a discovery of a rare statue made soon after the time of Christ.

The marble cutting was exposed in the Jezreel Valley which is below Galilee and tword the coast.

Archeologists are excited about it because it is actually thought to be a statue of Hercules.

The hero Hercules, is found in both Greek and Roman mythology. The story goes that Hercules was born in Thebes. He is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal Alcmene, a woman from Electryon.

Hercules is considered the strongest man in the world, a symbol of power, courage and superhuman strength. He is also one of the most famous legendary heroes of ancient Greece who battled the forces of the netherworld on behalf of the Olympian gods.

Hercules is described as hot tempered, and he often times acted impetuously and with uncontrollable rage.

Greek mythology has it that Zeus' wife, Hera, expressed her jealousy and fierce hatred of Hercules from the day he was born because he was the product of her husband's infidelity.

While he was just a baby Hera placed two poisonous snakes in his bed, but he managed to overpower them.

Later, in a fit of madness brought on by Hera, Hercules killed his three sons and his wife Megara, whilst she attempted to protect the smallest of them.

In order to atone for his terrible sin, the Oracle of Delphi ordered Hercules to go to Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, and perform whatever the king commanded him to do. Among the king's commands were twelve superhuman feats known as the 'Labors of Hercules'.

Depictions of the labors of Hercules are among the most common themes in ancient art and the statue that was discovered portrays Hercules' first task.

This discovery is indeed rare in this part of the Middle East. The statue probably stood in a niche as part of the decoration to a bathhouse pool.

It is about a foot and a half tall and is made of smoothed white marble and is of exceptional artistic quality.

Hercules is depicted as a naked figure standing on a base. His big bulging muscles stand out, and he is leaning on a club to his left. On the upper part hangs the skin of the Nemean lion, which according to Greek mythology Hercules slew as the first of his twelve labors.

The Israel National Roads Authority is preparing new train tracks in the area and ran across a Roman or perhaps Byzantine pool. But after the pool was no longer being used it was filled in with a layer of earth that contained numerous potsherds, an abundance of broken glass vessels and the marble fragment of the statue of Hercules.

There's always something to report from this land – and it's a pleasure to be here bringing you all the latest.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Brian Bush
Middle East Correspondent
LeSEA Broadcasting

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