Friday, August 7, 2015

Hercules Research - Labors of Love

I've been working on writing my next book - Labors of Love - a series of stories following the turbulent affairs of Hercules. And, while doing some research, I found along the way some very interesting insights into who and what Hercules was into. My highlights are outlined below. Read on and enjoy!

1. Did you know there is a band called "Hercules & Love Affair"? I didn't. But try googling about Hercules, the man of myth, and any of his many love affairs. This group shows up first and foremost every time. Not really related to the original topic, but I felt it was a cool insight into the topic of my next book.

Here is the link to their website: http://herculesandloveaffair.net/
And a video from YouTube:


2. Hercules was originally married to Megara - though it appears she was more of a prize than a willing bride. And as to the number of his and her children, well, there may have been three or eight or any number in between. Oh, and apparently, though not certainly, he killed her and their children in a fit of drunken rage which may or may not have just been Hera having some fun with her husband's newest illegitimate son.

3. His other "wives" - both of which count as legally as Megara in whatever sense she counts as a willing choice - were Omphale and Deianira. He was beholden to Omphale because she won his service in an auction. Why was he auctioned? Well, he killed Iphitus, the son of Eurytus, from whom he "stole" Iole, another young girl he may have had sex with or whom he was going to give to his son (maybe Deianira's child, but the timeline is all wrong) as a bride. Either way, the death of the young man lead to Hercules consulting an Oracle which told him to auction himself as slave for three years. Omphale, a queen, won.

It is my sincere opinion Hercules wasn't so much her household slave as "sex" slave. A situation, I cover quite in depth in my book.

4. Now as to Deianira, well, he won her, too. So much for finding willing, true love brides.

Then again, perhaps these wifely situations explain why he has many more interactions of a sexual nature with young men - related and not.

5. Iolaus was Hercules' nephew, charioteer, and travelling companion. He was also popularly, to the ancient Greeks, viewed as one of Hercules' lovers. Perhaps, his lognest running relationship. There were numerous temples built in his name. The most famous one was in Thebes, a mecca for male couples to express their love and leave vows.

6. Hylas was a young man Hercules met after all his other famous labors, even taking him along on the Argo as one of the Argonauts. He eventually dies because of some naughty nymphs.

Now, I can't say for sure, but if you notice the close spellings of Hylas and Hyllus (Hercules' son), I'm a little curious as to whether or not Hyllus was named after Hercules' lover. That's a twist, huh? Deianira would be so proud.

What about after death?

7. Hebe, his Zeus given wife, after he died and went to Olympus may have been the closest he came to finding true love. I'd like to think he finally find the right one with her, but Ganymede was, of course, just down the hall...

So, what say you all. Boy oh boy, did Disney get Hercules all wrong. However, I have to admit I would have loved for Hercules to be the first bisexual Disney "princess." Now, that would have been awesome!