The successful completion of these tasks and his many other adventures made Heracles the greatest of all heroes. He was eventually brought undone by his second wife Deianira who foolishly believed the dying words of a centaur killed by Heracles.
‘My blood, mixed with a little olive oil and smeared on your husband’s clothing, will keep him faithful.’
Well, it was true – sort of. Deianira means ‘man destroyer’ in Greek so her name gives away the ending.
One of the most intriguing female characters in Greek mythology, Medea left a trail of death in her wake wherever she went, starting with her brother whom she cut in pieces to force her father to slow down in pursuit and pick up the bits. Thus the Argonauts (and Medea) escaped Colchis.
Unlike all other characters, male or female, in Greek mythology, Medea was never punished for her murders by the gods. Indeed, she retained their favour throughout her life, as demonstrated by their aid and support of her.
Next time, I intend to review how a Greek or Roman believed that he or she could live a good life and how this changed over time.