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FTR presents; an Historical Hercules
24th April 2012, 15:37 (This post was last modified: 24th April 2012 15:41 by FallentoReason.)
Post: #1
  2k posts! 2 years membership!
FTR presents; an Historical Hercules
Let's begin with a bit of trivia.

The story of Hercules predates that of Jesus by ~2500 years. It should be no surprise then that Jesus is so much like Hercules. Here’s a few similarities:
-Mary was impregnated by God just like Alcmene was impregnated by Zeus.
-Herod wanted to kill Jesus just like Hera wanted to kill Hercules.
-Jesus travelled the land helping mankind by performing miracles just like Hercules did.
-Jesus died and rose to heaven. Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god.

Here's the secular evidence that I have which makes me believe Hercules could have been the Son of Zeus on earth.

Flavius Josephus

Antiquities 1:15 That from Surim was the land of Assyria denominated; and that from the other two (Apher and Japbran) the country of Africa took its name, because these men were auxiliaries to Hercules, when he fought against Libya and Antaeus; and that Hercules married Aphra's daughter, and of her he begat a son, Diodorus; and that Sophon was his son, from whom that barbarous people called Sophacians were denominated."[1]

Antiquities 10:11:1 Megasthenes also, in his fourth book of his Accounts of India, makes mention. of these things, and thereby endeavors to show that this king [Nebuchadnezzar] exceeded Hercules in fortitude, and in the greatness of his actions; for he saith that he conquered a great part of Libya and Iberia.[2]

Cornelius Tacitus

Annals 15:40 Those with the oldest ceremonial, as that dedicated by Servius Tullius to Luna, the great altar and shrine raised by the Arcadian Evander to the visibly appearing Hercules, the temple of Jupiter the Stayer, which was vowed by Romulus, Numa's royal palace, and the sanctuary of Vesta, with the tutelary deities of the Roman people, were burnt.[3]

Annals 2:60 Spartans founded the place because Canopus, pilot of one of their ships, had been buried there, when Menelaus on his return to Greece was driven into a distant sea and to the shores of Libya. Thence he went to the river's nearest mouth, dedicated to a Hercules who, the natives say, was born in the country and was the original hero, others, who afterwards showed like valour, having received his name.[4]

Aesop

Hercules and the Wagoner:

A carter was driving a wagon along a country lane, when the wheels sank down deep into a rut. The rustic driver, stupefied and aghast, stood looking at the wagon, and did nothing but utter loud cries to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules, it is said, appeared and thus addressed him: "Put your shoulders to the wheels, my man. Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."[5]

Plato

Phaedo 89c If I were you and the argument escaped me, I would take an oath, like the Argives, not to let my hair grow until I had renewed the fight and won a victory over the argument of Simmias and Cebes.”
“But,” I replied, “they say that even Heracles is not a match for two.”
“Well,” said he, “call me to help you, as your Iolaus, while there is still light.”
“I call you to help, then,” said I, “not as Heracles calling Iolaus, but as Iolaus calling Heracles.”
“That is all one,” said he. “But first let us guard against a danger.”
“Of what sort?” I asked.[6]

Euthydemus 297d and he brought him effective relief. But if my Iolaus were to come, he would do more harm than good.1
Well, answer this, said Dionysodorus, now you have done your descanting: Was Iolaus more Hercules' nephew than yours?
I see I had best answer you, Dionysodorus, I said. For you will never cease putting questions—I think I may say I am sure of this—in a grudging, obstructing spirit, so that Euthydemus may not teach me that bit of cleverness.
Then answer, he said.
Well, I answer, I said, that Iolaus was Hercules' nephew, but not mine

But wait there's more. A list of a few others and their work where they mention an Historical Hercules:

-Apollodorus Epitome E:1, Library 1:3
-Aristotle Eudemian Ethics 7:1245a
-Diodorus Siculus Library 16:15
-Herodotus The Histories 9:26
-Plato Symposium 177b, Alcibiades 1:120e, Lysis 205c, Gorgias 484b
-Appian Mithridatic Wars 12, Syrian Wars 2, The Civil Wars 2:6
-Epictetus Discourses 1:6
-Strabo Geography 1:1

Some other notable people who wrote about an Historical Hercules:
Aristophanes
Thucydides
Hippocrates
C. Valerius Catullus
M. Tullius Cicero
Q. Horatius Flaccus
Titus Livius (40+ volumes named The History of Rome)
Vergil
P. Ovidius Naso
Maccius Plautus
Phaedrus
Boethius
Sallust
Lucretius

From what I know of alone, there is at least 25 people that produced 63 books mentioning an Historical Hercules. These are sources that are all secular.

Because it seems that there is enough evidence for an Historical Jesus, I can only conclude that Hercules was undeniably a real person based on the same methodology that is used for determining the existence of an Historical Jesus.

Of course, it is you who has to take the last step of faith. Will you accept Hercules, Son of Zeus, as your saviour?


[1] http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-1.htm
[2] http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-10.htm
[3] http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/a15040.htm
[4] http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/a02060.htm
[5] http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/...agoner.htm
[6] http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text...phaedo+89c
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" ~ Aristotle
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24th April 2012, 17:29
Post: #2
Best Member 2012! 20k+ posts! 5 years membership!
RE: FTR presents; an Historical Hercules
Certainly more impressive than the scant data on fucking jesus, huh?
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24th April 2012, 17:30 (This post was last modified: 24th April 2012 17:32 by Tea Earl Grey Hot.)
Post: #3
  3k posts! 2 years membership!
RE: FTR presents; an Historical Hercules
I'm looking forward to Gary Habermas' "minimal facts" approach to proving Hercules' ascension to Mt. Olympus. "Five facts 95 percent of critical scholars agree upon about Hercules." Thinking
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"The lord doesn't work in mysterious ways, but in ways that are indistinguishable from his nonexistence."
-- George Yorgo Veenhuyzen quoted by John W. Loftus in The End of Christianity (p. 103).
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25th April 2012, 13:30
Post: #4
    2 years membership!
RE: FTR presents; an Historical Hercules
(24th April 2012 15:37)FallentoReason Wrote:  Let's begin with a bit of trivia.

The story of Hercules predates that of Jesus by ~2500 years. It should be no surprise then that Jesus is so much like Hercules. Here’s a few similarities:
-Mary was impregnated by God just like Alcmene was impregnated by Zeus.
-Herod wanted to kill Jesus just like Hera wanted to kill Hercules.
-Jesus travelled the land helping mankind by performing miracles just like Hercules did.
-Jesus died and rose to heaven. Hercules died, rose to Mt. Olympus and became a god.

Here's the secular evidence that I have which makes me believe Hercules could have been the Son of Zeus on earth.

Flavius Josephus

Antiquities 1:15 That from Surim was the land of Assyria denominated; and that from the other two (Apher and Japbran) the country of Africa took its name, because these men were auxiliaries to Hercules, when he fought against Libya and Antaeus; and that Hercules married Aphra's daughter, and of her he begat a son, Diodorus; and that Sophon was his son, from whom that barbarous people called Sophacians were denominated."[1]

Antiquities 10:11:1 Megasthenes also, in his fourth book of his Accounts of India, makes mention. of these things, and thereby endeavors to show that this king [Nebuchadnezzar] exceeded Hercules in fortitude, and in the greatness of his actions; for he saith that he conquered a great part of Libya and Iberia.[2]

Cornelius Tacitus

Annals 15:40 Those with the oldest ceremonial, as that dedicated by Servius Tullius to Luna, the great altar and shrine raised by the Arcadian Evander to the visibly appearing Hercules, the temple of Jupiter the Stayer, which was vowed by Romulus, Numa's royal palace, and the sanctuary of Vesta, with the tutelary deities of the Roman people, were burnt.[3]

Annals 2:60 Spartans founded the place because Canopus, pilot of one of their ships, had been buried there, when Menelaus on his return to Greece was driven into a distant sea and to the shores of Libya. Thence he went to the river's nearest mouth, dedicated to a Hercules who, the natives say, was born in the country and was the original hero, others, who afterwards showed like valour, having received his name.[4]

Aesop

Hercules and the Wagoner:

A carter was driving a wagon along a country lane, when the wheels sank down deep into a rut. The rustic driver, stupefied and aghast, stood looking at the wagon, and did nothing but utter loud cries to Hercules to come and help him. Hercules, it is said, appeared and thus addressed him: "Put your shoulders to the wheels, my man. Goad on your bullocks, and never more pray to me for help, until you have done your best to help yourself, or depend upon it you will henceforth pray in vain."[5]

Plato

Phaedo 89c If I were you and the argument escaped me, I would take an oath, like the Argives, not to let my hair grow until I had renewed the fight and won a victory over the argument of Simmias and Cebes.”
“But,” I replied, “they say that even Heracles is not a match for two.”
“Well,” said he, “call me to help you, as your Iolaus, while there is still light.”
“I call you to help, then,” said I, “not as Heracles calling Iolaus, but as Iolaus calling Heracles.”
“That is all one,” said he. “But first let us guard against a danger.”
“Of what sort?” I asked.[6]

Euthydemus 297d and he brought him effective relief. But if my Iolaus were to come, he would do more harm than good.1
Well, answer this, said Dionysodorus, now you have done your descanting: Was Iolaus more Hercules' nephew than yours?
I see I had best answer you, Dionysodorus, I said. For you will never cease putting questions—I think I may say I am sure of this—in a grudging, obstructing spirit, so that Euthydemus may not teach me that bit of cleverness.
Then answer, he said.
Well, I answer, I said, that Iolaus was Hercules' nephew, but not mine

But wait there's more. A list of a few others and their work where they mention an Historical Hercules:

-Apollodorus Epitome E:1, Library 1:3
-Aristotle Eudemian Ethics 7:1245a
-Diodorus Siculus Library 16:15
-Herodotus The Histories 9:26
-Plato Symposium 177b, Alcibiades 1:120e, Lysis 205c, Gorgias 484b
-Appian Mithridatic Wars 12, Syrian Wars 2, The Civil Wars 2:6
-Epictetus Discourses 1:6
-Strabo Geography 1:1

Some other notable people who wrote about an Historical Hercules:
Aristophanes
Thucydides
Hippocrates
C. Valerius Catullus
M. Tullius Cicero
Q. Horatius Flaccus
Titus Livius (40+ volumes named The History of Rome)
Vergil
P. Ovidius Naso
Maccius Plautus
Phaedrus
Boethius
Sallust
Lucretius

From what I know of alone, there is at least 25 people that produced 63 books mentioning an Historical Hercules. These are sources that are all secular.

Because it seems that there is enough evidence for an Historical Jesus, I can only conclude that Hercules was undeniably a real person based on the same methodology that is used for determining the existence of an Historical Jesus.

Of course, it is you who has to take the last step of faith. Will you accept Hercules, Son of Zeus, as your saviour?


[1] http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-1.htm
[2] http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/ant-10.htm
[3] http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/a15040.htm
[4] http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/tac/a02060.htm
[5] http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/...agoner.htm
[6] http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text...phaedo+89c

Excellent post. I might be calling on you to allow me to use some of the sources you have provided here for a future book, if so, you will certainly be referenced. Good stuff!
You can always trust a person in search of the truth, but never the one who has found it. MANLY P. HALL

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25th April 2012, 16:47
Post: #5
  2k posts! 2 years membership!
RE: FTR presents; an Historical Hercules
michaelsherlock Wrote:Excellent post. I might be calling on you to allow me to use some of the sources you have provided here for a future book, if so, you will certainly be referenced. Good stuff!
Wow, thank you so much! That was very humbling to hear. Especially from someone that knows a whole heck of a lot more than me when it comes to history!

By all means, use it in your work =)
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it" ~ Aristotle
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