Alkmene and Amphitryon (page 374)

Chapter 13: Herakles

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Il 14. 323-24 – Homer, Iliad

not when I was seized with love of the wife of Ixion… nor of Alcmene in Thebes, and she brought forth Heracles, her son stout of heart. Greek Text

Il 19.95-125 – Homer, Iliad

Aye, and on a time she blinded Zeus, albeit men say that he is the greatest among men and gods; yet even him Hera, that was but a woman, beguiled in her craftiness on the day when Alcmene in fair-crowned Thebe was to bring forth the mighty Heracles. Zeus verily spake vauntingly among all the gods: ‘Hearken unto me, all ye gods and goddesses, that I may speak what the heart in my breast biddeth me. This day shall Eileithyia, the goddess of childbirth, bring to the light a man that shall be the lord of all them that dwell round about, even one of the race of those men who are of me by blood.’ But with crafty mind the queenly Hera spake unto him: ‘Thou wilt play the cheat, and not bring thy word to fulfillment. Nay, come, Olympian, swear me now a mighty oath that in very truth that man shall be lord of all them that dwell round about, who so this day shall fall between a woman’s feet, even one of those men who are of the blood of thy stock.’ So spake she; howbeit Zeus in no wise marked her craftiness, but sware a great oath, and therewithal was blinded sore. “But Hera darted down and left the peak of Olympus, and swiftly came to Achaean Argos, where she knew was the stately wife of Sthenelus, son of Perseus, that bare a son in her womb, and lo, the seventh month was come. This child Hera brought forth to the light even before the full tale of the months, but stayed Alcmene’s bearing, and held back the Eileithyiae. And herself spake to Zeus, son of Cronos, to bear him word: ‘Father Zeus, lord of the bright lightning, a word will I speak for thy heeding. Lo, even now, is born a valiant man that shall be lord over the Argives, even Eurystheus, son of Sthenelus, the son of Perseus, of thine own lineage; not unmeet is it that he be lord over the Argives.’ Greek Text

Od 11.266-68 – Homer, Odyssey

And after her I saw Alcmene, wife of Amphitryon, who lay in the arms of great Zeus, and bore Heracles, staunch in fight, the lion-hearted. Greek Text

♠ Hes fr 195 MW – Hesiod, Ehoiai (Catalogue of Women) – Fragmenta Hesiodea, pp. 93-96ed. R. Merkelbach and M. L. West. Oxford 1967.

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Edited by Elena Bianchelli, Senior Lecturer of Classical Languages and Culture, Univ. of Georgia, December 2020

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