The ancient Greeks worshiped a complex group of deities, weaving their characters into timeless tales of love, heroism, and intrigue. Plays, poems, paintings, and sculptures commemorating these tales have survived for centuries. Even as world religions and scientific knowledge have evolved, bringing with them new beliefs and understanding of the world, the ancient Greek tales continue to provide a basic foundation for Western thought and sharp insight to the human psyche. Hercules was the son of a mortal woman and Zeus, the chief god of the ancient Greeks. His tremendous strength landed him in trouble. In a mad fit, he killed his wife and sons. For his punishment, he had to serve King Eurystheus, who ordered Hercules to do twelve labors. Though these labors would have vanquished any mere mortal, Hercules heroically accomplished them all. When his mortal side finally met its match, he joined the other gods and goddesses on Mt. Olympus. Throughout the ages, Hercules has survived as a symbol of strength and courage. His story instills hope that danger, and even death, can be conquered. Book jacket.