The ancient Greeks were an active and energetic people, not afraid to learn the real world. The boundless thirst for knowledge overwhelmed their fear of an unknown danger. The creation of myths was the first step of man to creativity and self-knowledge. Gradually from different stories originated in various areas of the Greek land, there were whole cycles about the fate of the heroes and the gods who patronized them. The Ancient Greek gods were like people in all: kind, generous and merciful, but at the same time cruel, vindictive and insidious. Why, then, did the Greek myths form the basis of universal culture and deeply penetrated the ideas and way of thinking of modern man? Artists, poets and sculptors were primarily attracted by the depth and artistry of mythical images. But, apparently, not only in this it is necessary to search for an explanation of that force of influence on people which the Greek mythology carried in itself. It originated as an attempt by the ancients to explain
the appearance of life on Earth, the causes of natural phenomena of nature, before which man was powerless, to determine his place in the surrounding world.
Apples of the Hesperides. Twelfth feat of HerculesThe most difficult feat of Hercules in the service of Eurystheus was his last, twelfth feat. Hercules was to go to the great titan Atlas, who holds the firmament on his shoulders, and get three golden apples from his gardens, which the daughters of Atlas Hesperides looked at. Apples grew on a golden tree, cultivated by the goddess of the Earth, Gaia. But no one knew the way to the Hesperides and Atlas. Hercules wandered around the countries of Asia and Europe for a long time and asked everyone about the way to the gardens of the Hesperides. Finally, he was given advice on how to find out this way: Hercules was to attack the naval prophetic elder, Nereus, and find out from him. Many months Hercules was looking for the elder Nereus. But here he managed to find him and grab him in an iron embrace. Learning the secret of the path to the gardens of the Hesperides, Hercules dismissed the
sea elders and set off on a long journey. Again he had to go through Libya, Egypt and many other countries. Many more had to meet Hercules in the way of his dangers, until he reached the edge of the land where the great titan Atlas stood. The hero watched in amazement at the titan, who held on his mighty shoulders the whole heavenly vault. Hercules explained the purpose of his arrival. And the Atlas replied: “I will give you three apples, the son of Zeus.” You, while I’m going after them, should stand in my place and hold my heavenly arches on my shoulders. Hercules agreed. He stood in the place of Atlas. Incredible weight fell on the shoulders of the son of Zeus. He strained all his strength and kept the firmament. Returning, Atlas told the hero: Here are three apples. If you want, I’ll take them to Mycenae. And you hold the firmament until I return. Hercules understood Atlas and applied cunning to cunning. Well, Atlas, I agree! he answered. “Only let me make a pillow for myself, I’ll put it on my shoulders, so that I will not be pressed so terribly by the heavenly vault.” The satin again took its place and lifted the heaviness of the sky on his shoulders. Hercules took the golden apples and said: Farewell, Atlas! With these words, Hercules left the titan, and again it was necessary for Atlas to keep, as before, the mighty shoulders of the firmament. Hercules returned to Eurystheus and gave him golden apples. After his twelfth feat, Hercules freed himself from the service of Eurystheus.
A comment. Hercules, son of Zeus – one of the most beloved heroes of Greece. He fought against all the dark and evil. He is a very strong person (like Atlas, he held the firmament on his shoulders). In addition, he has a mind, wit and cunning. He performed feats (you already read about one of them) and suffered a lot. Poets of all times used myths about Hercules in their works.