The Nemean Lion First Labor of Hercules

Hercules and the Nemean Lion

Eurystheus as first labor, ordered Heracles, to bring him the skin of the Nemean Lion, it was an invulnerable animal, born of Typhoon. Hera raised it and set it free in the forests of Nemea, where it caused great destruction to herds and people, with the result that the whole area was deserted because of it.

Heracles, going to kill the lion, came to Kleones (on the road from Argos to Corinth), and there he was hosted by Molorchos, a poor manual worker. And as he was preparing to sacrifice a ram, the only ram and the only good he had, Heracles told him to keep it for thirty days, and if he returned safe, to sacrifice it to Zeus, but if he died, to offer it to him. honoring him as a dead hero.

When he reached Nemea, he looked for the lion first he struck with his arrows, but when he realized that he was invulnerable, he picked up his bat and chased it. Chased by Heracles, he took refuge in a cave that had two openings; then he built one entrance, entered from the other and attacked the beast, put his hand around his neck and squeezed it until he drowned it.

Then, he loaded it on his shoulders and brought it to Cleones, wearing the animal’s skin. There he found Molorchos preparing to sacrifice the ram in his honor, now thinking he was dead, but Heracles sacrificed to Zeus and then transported the lion to Mycenae.


EurystheusSurprised by his courage, Eurystheus then forbade him to enter the city and gave him the order to display the results of his deeds in front of the gates. They even say that he was so frightened that he made a bronze jar for himself, that he threw it under the ground, and that he ordered his deeds by sending Kopreas, son of Pelops from Ilia, as a preacher.

After the duel, Heracles slaughtered the lion and put on his skin, while his head served as a helmet. According to other writers, this was not easy. Theocritus narrates the embarrassment of the hero in front of this skin that, invulnerable to fire and iron, it was impossible to remove from the animal’s body. Until he thought of using the nails of the animal itself as a tool.

At the place where the sacrifice of Aries was made by Molorchos, Heracles established struggles in honor of Zeus, the Nemea, which were later renewed by the Seven Argeian leaders who marched against Thebes.

The gods, wanting to honor the hero and to remind people forever of the gratitude they owe to him, raised the lion in the sky, making it the constellation of Leo. In the constellation of Leo, in his tail, Eratosthenes mentions the existence of dark stars and calls them Plocamon Evergetides.