Mythology

Download Clash of the Titans by Alan Dean Foster PDF

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By Alan Dean Foster

PLAYTHING OF THE GODS

He was once Perseus, son of Zeus and Danae, born in shame, exiled to perish at sea, fated to outlive at heavenly caprice -- till he met his love, defied the Gods and dared to struggle them or die.

She was once Andromeda, enslaved through her personal attractiveness which beggared the heavens and taken a curse upon her urban, her domestic, her heart....until Perseus approved the Devil's personal problem, spoke back the lethal riddle and rode forth on his winged horse Pegasus to assert his love and to stand the final of the Titans, armed simply with a bloody hand, a witche's curse, and a severed head...

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Example text

In order to fetch the apples of the Hesperides Herakles had to return to the distant west, where the three daughters of Hesperos had their garden, its tree of golden apples guarded by the serpent Ladon. In some versions Herakles did not go himself, but held up the sky in Atlas’ place while the latter went on his behalf. The final and most difficult of the labours was the fetching of Kerberos, the three-headed hound of Hades, from the Underworld; Hades allowed Herakles to take Kerberos on condition that he used no weapons, which he succeeded in doing, and he returned the hound to its rightful place once Eurystheus had seen him.

In the late fourth century BC, several of Herakles’ exploits receive this kind of treatment in Palaiphatos’ treatise On Unbelievable Tales (44): It is said about Omphale that Herakles was enslaved to her – a silly story, for he could have been lord over her and her belongings. It happened like this. Omphale was daughter of Iardanos, king of Lydia. This woman, hearing of Herakles’ strength, pretended to be in love with him. Once in her company, Herakles was seized by love for her, and fathered a son from her; because he was delighted by her, he did whatever Omphale asked.

As a young man, Herakles killed the lion of Kithairon, in return for which the king of Thespiai arranged for him to sleep with each of his fifty daughters, in the hope of getting noble grandchildren. Later, Herakles helped his father to defend Thebes against Erginos and the Minyans, a battle in which Amphitryon was killed, but the victorious Herakles was rewarded by Kreon, king of Thebes, with his daughter Megara’s hand in marriage. The couple had three sons, but Hera’s enmity once again intervened, striking Herakles with a fit of madness in which he killed all the children, and Megara too according to some.

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