The Nemean Lion

Ruins in Nemea Nemea, Temple of Zeus and landscape
Overall view from SW
Photograph courtesy of the Department of Archaeology, Boston University,
Saul S. Weinberg Collection

History

Before we get into detail behind the lion itself, it is important to understand why Hercules had to take these duties upon himself. Hercules was born a son of Zeus, and would have been a Greek king, but was instead born too late. So, he made a family for himself. Which he summarily slaughtered in a fit of madness. Overcome with grief, he eventually made his way to the temple of Apollo, where he received what was to be method of his absolution. He was sent to Eurystheus, who was to give him a set of tasks to be completed. Eurystheus's kingdom was located in Mycenae. Upon arriving, Hercules was assigned his first duty: to kill the lion ravaging the Nemean countryside.


Upon arriving in the area, he encountered a small cottage, where he was able to be a guest for an evening. Molorchus, the man who lived there, offered to make a sacrifice on Hercules' behalf. Hercules told him to instead wait XXX days, and if he had not returned, to make a sacrifice to Hercules as a hero, rather than Zeus. Hercules then left to fight the lion. When he encountered it, he first attempted to pierce its hide with an arrow, but this failed due to the lion's extra-tough skin. Hercules eventually managed to kill it with his bare hands! Needless to say, Hercules was able to return to Molorchus and make a sacrifice to Zeus.

The Tour

The first leg of the journey will be made from the staging point in Cornith to Nemea.

  • Distance from start: XIV miles
  • Time from last labor: I day
  • Route: Overland, road from Corinth to Nemea
  • Geographic features: Nemea Valley, grasslands
  • Lodging:
    • Molorchus's home w/ food: CCX d.c.
    • The fun, sleep outside adventure w/food: CL d.c.