Hercules, Seemeth to be a generall name, giuen to men excelling in strength all other of their time. Cicero de natura deorum, writeth, that amongf auncient writers were foÛd sixe Hercules. Varro affirmeth there were three and fortie. Finally, there is no notable mention made but of two, the one called Hercules Aegiptius, or Lbycus, which is supposed to be Osyris, of whome is written hereafter. The other (long after him) was sonne of Iupiter and Alcmena, called Alcides by his proper name. And for his incomparable strength and labours (taken for the common prosite of mankinde) he was named also Hercules. Albeit Berosus affyrmeth Hercnles to be the sunne of Osyris, & king of Aegipte, and was called Hercules Lybicus, because he conquered Libya. Sainte Hierome on the tenth Chapter of Genests writeth, that this Hercules perfourmed the twelue notable labours, which poets write of, and not Alcides, sonne of Alcmena. The sirst labour, (as Diodorus writeth) was the sleaing of a Lyon in the wood Nemea, that farre exceeded all other Lious in greatnesse, which mought not be slayn by mettall, nor stone: wheresore hee was coustrained to stea him with his handes. The second labour was the killing of Hydra the monster, in the fennes of Lerna, which hadde an hundred neckes with serpentine heads, and when one was striken of, there did arise efesoones two other heades. The thirde labour was the taking of the great wild Bore of Erymanthus, which wasted the countrey of Arcadie, and all people drad hun. But finally Hercules tooke him aliue, and bearing him on his shoulders, broughte him vnto king Euristheus. The fourth labor was the battaile which he had alone with the great nÛber of men called Centanri, that were of great strength, and swift as horses: all them he skie, whÊ they assaulted him. The fifte was the taking of the greate Hart in running, which for his swiftnesse had his hornes gilted. The stcte was the destruction of the byrdes Stymphalides, which consumed the fruites and grayue of % countreys adioyning. The seueuth was the making clean of the Oxe stall of Augea king of Elis, whiche woulde receine 3000 oxen at once, and had not bene clensed or rid in thirrye yeares, so that it mighte seeme vnpossible to haue it clensed: the which notwithstanding Hercules perfourmed by wisedome conueying into it the riuer of Alpheus, whiche by the swift course of the streame, in one day caried awaye the dung, without any reproche vnto Hercules. The eyghte was the bringing of a Bull from Creta into Greece, drawing him along the sea. The ninth was the taking of Diomedes king of Thracia, and casting him to his harses, who feeding them with mans flesh, was himselfe of them deuoured. And after Hercules breaking thole wilde horses, and making them gentle, brought them to Euristheus. Thetenth labour was his voyage into Spayne, and sleaing of Gerion and his sonnes, and taking the great kyne, which he gaue to a king in that countrey, who continually afterward did yerely offer in Sacrisice, to the honour of Hercules one of the bulles that came of those kyne. The eleuenth was his going into hell, and fetching thence Theseus and Pirithons, and bringing with him in a chaine Cerberns the dogge of hell, hauing three heads. The twelfth and last labor was the taking of the golden Apples, out of the Gardaines Hesperides, and sleaing the terrible Dragon, which continually watching, kept those apples, which were called golden, for the beautie of them. Some say they were sheepe, whose fleeces were of the colour of golde, and the dragon signifieth the diligence and strength of the sheapheard, which kepte them. These were the twelne labours of Hercules, whereof grew this prouerbe,*Herculei labores, where the labours doe seeme impossible to bee atchiened.*Herculis cothurnos, Was vsed for a prouerbe, wherein a thing of little importaunce was set foorth with greate eloquence or other thing solemne, more apte for a greater matter, as one shoulde put Hercules hosen on a childes legges. Wherewith accorded the saying of the wife king Agesilaus, when one commended to him a Rhetorician, whiche by his craftie eloquence, made trifles and smal things to seeme great. The king aunswered: that sowter deserueth no praise, which putteth a great shooe on a very little foote, meaning thereby, that the words should as well accord with the matter, as the garment with the person. This is so common a vice nowe adayes among students of eloquence, that in wryting and speaking, they seeme to prepare the hose before they know the measure of the legge, whereon they will put it.Hercules gallus, As Lucianus writeth, was in the olde tyme in Fraunce, an Image made like an olde man, with a balde heade, and vnkempte, his heare verye white, the skin of his face ryuelled, and as it were burned with the sunne, wearing on him a Lyons skin, and bearing in his right hand a great clubbe, in his left hande a bowe, a quiuer at his back, drawing after him a multitude of people, tied by their eares with a little chayne wrought with Amber and golde, but they were so easily tied, that laughing and with good cheare they willinglye followed, and as it seemed, would not be losed: and the other ende of the chayne was tied at Hercules tongue, who looked towardes them with a laughing countenaunce. This image signisied eloquence, which for the puissance thereof, resembled rather Hercules than Mercurie. And his age betokened, that for the most part eloquence is substantial and vehement. That Hercules or rather eloquÊce draweth men by the eares tyed to his tongue, signifieth the affinitie betweene the tongue and the ears: and their glad and voluntarie following, signifieth with what delectation eloquence draweth men vnto hir perswasions and exhortations.Herculis Portus, A citie of the Massilians, called nowe Villa Franca. Herculis turris, A citie of Cyrene called Ziuayra.
Lewis and Short: Latin dictionary
Hercŭles, is and i (the latter in Cic. Ac. 2, 34, 108 Goer.; cf. Plin. ap. Charis. p. 107 P.: Herculei, Cat. 55, 13), m., = *(hraklh=s, Etrusc. HERCLE (whence, by the insertion of a connecting vowel, the Latin form arose; cf. Alcumena for *)alkmh/nh; v. also under B. the voc. hercle), son of Jupiter and Alcmena, husband of Dejanira, and, after his deification, of Hebe, the god of strength, and the guardian of riches, to whom, therefore, tithes were offered; he was also the guide of the Muses (Musagetes); the poplar was sacred to him, Cic. N. D. 3, 16, 42; Varr. ap. Serv. Verg. A. 8, 564; Varr. L. L. 6, 54 Müll.; Plaut. Stich. 1, 3, 80; 2, 2, 62; Ov. M. 8, 364; 9, 13 sq.; Hor. C. 3, 14, 1; 4, 5, 36; Suet. Aug. 29; cf. with Ov. F. 6, 797 sq.: neque Herculi quisquam decumam vovit umquam, si sapiens factus esset, Cic. N. D. 3, 36, 88: superavit aerumnis suis aerumnas Herculis, Plaut. Pers. 1, 1, 2: Herculis Columnae, the Pillars of Hercules, i. e. the promontories between which is the Strait of Gibraltar, Plin. 2, 67, 67, 167; Curt. 10, 1, 8 et saep.—In gen. plur.: et Herculum et Mercuriorum disciplinae, Tert. Spect. 11 fin. —Prov.: Herculi quaestum conterere, i. e. to squander everything (even the tithes of Hercules), Plaut. Most. 4, 2, 68: personam Herculis et cothurnos aptare infantibus, Quint. 6, 1, 36.—B.Transf., analog. with the Greek *(hra/kleis and *(/hrakles, in voc. hercŭles, and more freq. hercŭle or hercle; also with a prefixed me: mĕ-hercŭles, mehercŭle (also separately: me hercule), and mĕhercle, as an oath or asseveration, by Hercules!(a). Hercules and mehercules: et, hercules, hae quidem exstant, Cic. Brut. 16, 61; cf. Cael. ap. Cic. Fam. 8, 4, 1; Poll. ib. 10, 33, 7: licet, hercules, undique omnes in me terrores impendeant, Cic. Rosc. Am. 11, 31; Vell. 2, 52, 2: neque, mehercules, hoc indigne fero, Cic. Rosc. Am. 48, 141: cui, mehercules, hic multum tribuit, id. Fam. 6, 5, 3; Planc. ap. Cic. Fam. 10, 18, 3: at, mehercules, narrabit quod quis voluerit, Phaedr. 3, 17, 8.—(b). Hercule and mehercule, by Hercules! (in class. prose most freq.; cf. also: impetratum est a consuetudine, ut peccare suavitatis causa liceret: et pomeridianas quadrigas quam postmeridianas libentius dixerim, et mehercule quam mehercules, Cic. Or. 47, 157): et hercule ita fecit, id. Lael. 11, 37: et hercule, id. Fam. 2, 18, 2; Quint. 2, 5, 4; 2, 16, 12; 10, 2, 3; 12, 6, 4 al.: ac me quidem, ut hercule etiam te ipsum, Laeli, cognitio ipsa rerum delectat, Cic. Rep. 1, 13: non hercule, Scipio, dubito quin, etc., id. ib. 1, 23; id. Quint. 3, 13; id. Att. 2, 7, 3: sed hercule facile patior datum tempus, in quo, etc., id. ib. 16, 16, C, 10; Quint. 1, 4, 7; 12, 1, 7: atqui nactus es, sed me hercule otiosiorem opera quam animo, Cic. Rep. 1, 9: dicam me hercule, id. ib. 1, 19: non me hercule, inquit, id. ib. 1, 38: non mehercule, Quint. 6, 1, 43; 6, 3, 74: cognoscere me hercule, inquit, etc., Cic. Rep. 1, 48 Mai. N. cr.: ita mehercule attendi, nec satis intellexi, etc., id. Leg. 3, 14, 33 Mos. N. cr.;id. Verr. 2, 3, 62, 144: vere mehercule hoc dicam, id. Planc. 26, 64: et mehercule ego antea mirari solebam, etc., id. Verr. 2, 4, 14, 33; id. Att. 5, 16, 3: mihi mehercule magnae curae est aedilitas tua, id. Fam. 2, 11, 2: servi mehercule mei, si me isto pacto metuerent, etc., id. Cat. 1, 7, 17.—(g). Hercle and mehercle (the former esp. freq. in Plaut. and Ter.; the latter very rare): malo hercle magno suo convivat, Enn. ap. Non. 474, 22 (Sat. v. 1 Vahl.): obsecro hercle, quantus et quam validus est, Plaut. Am. 1, 1, 143; id. ib. 173: tanto hercle melior, id. Bacch. 2, 2, 33: mihi quidem hercle non fit verisimile, Ter. And. 1, 3, 20: nescio hercle, id. Eun. 2, 3, 13; id. Phorm. 1, 2, 87: perii hercle, id. Eun. 5, 2, 66; 5, 6, 14; id. Heaut. 4, 4, 14: non hercle, id. Phorm. 5, 7, 76: per hercle rem mirandam (i. e. permirandam) Aristoteles dicit, Gell. 3, 6, 1.—With intensive particles: heu hercle, Plaut. Rud. 3, 5, 41: scite hercle sane, id. Trin. 3, 3, 53; cf.: sane quidem hercle, Cic. Leg. 2, 4, 8: minime, minime hercle vero!Plaut. Trin. 3, 3, 23; cf.: minime hercle, Cic. Lael. 9, 30: haudquaquam hercle, Crasse, mirandum est, etc., id. de Or. 3, 22, 82: pulchre mehercle dictum et sapienter, Ter. Eun. 3, 1, 26; 1, 1, 22.II. Derivv. A. Hercŭlĕus, a, um, adj., of or belonging to Hercules, Herculean: domiti Herculea manu Telluris juvenes, Hor. C. 2, 12, 6: labor, id. ib. 1, 3, 36: coronae arbos, i. e.
, Verg. G. 2, 66; cf.: umbra populi, id. A. 8, 276: leo,
the lion's skin worn by Hercules
, Val. Fl. 1, 263: Oete,
on which Hercules burned himself
, Luc. 3, 178: hospes, i. e.
by whom Hercules was hospitably entertained
, Ov. M. 15, 8: ternox,
in which Hercules was begotten
, Stat. Th. 12, 301: hostis, i. e.
son of Hercules
, Ov. R. Am. 47: gens, i. e.
the family of the Fabians sprung from Hercules
, id. F. 2, 237; so, penates, Sil. 7, 44: sacrum,
instituted by Evander in honor of Hercules
, Verg. A. 8, 270: Trachin,
built by Hercules
, Ov. M. 11, 627: urbs,
the city of Herculaneum
built by Hercules
, id. ib. 15, 711.—Hence also: litora,
, Prop. 1, 11, 2: Tibur, i. e.
where Hercules was worshipped
, Mart. 1, 13, 1; 4, 62: astrum, i. e.
the constellation of the Lion
, id. 8, 55, 15: fretum, i. e. the Pillars of Hercules, (Strait of Gibraltar), Sil. 1, 199; also: metae, Luc. 3, 278.—B. Hercŭlā-nĕus, a, um, adj., the same: pars, i. e. the tithes (dedicated to Hercules), the tenth part, Plaut. Truc. 2, 7, 11.—Also to denote things large of their kind: formicae, Plin. 30. 4, 10, 29: urtica, id. 21, 15, 55, 92: nodus, Sen. Ep. 87, 33: nymphaea, App. Herb. 67: sideritis, id. ib. 72: machaera, Capitol. Pertin. 8.—C. Hercŭlānus, a, um, adj., the same: pes, i. e. long, large (cf. in the preced.), Gell. 1, 1, 3.—D. Acc. to the Gr. form Hēraclēus or Hēra-clĭus, a, um, adj., = *(hra/kleios or *(hra/klios, the same: fabulae, Juv. 1, 52 (al. acc. to the MSS. Herculeias).—E. Hēraclī-des, ae, m., = *(hraklei/dhs, a male descendant of Hercules, Heraclid: exclusi ab Heraclīdis Orestis liberi, Vell. 1, 2 fin.—F. Hercŭlĭus, i, m., a surname of the emperor Maximinianus, and hence, Her-cŭlĭāni, ōrum, m., his guards, Amm. 22, 3, 2; 25, 6, 2.