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Forum LockedDid Hercules/Herakles exist?

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Vlad Catrina Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Did Hercules/Herakles exist?
    Posted: 23-Jun-2005 at 08:18
There are both Roman and Greek myths mentioning the hero. Is he real? Was a man in prehistory believed that he was a son of Zeus of this is just a story?  If  you liked the forum about Romulus and Remus, you must post in this one.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GENERAL PARMENION Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jun-2005 at 14:03
Greek mythology was not what someone would call " ferry tales ". Something is always hidden behind every myth. It is very propable that once a man existed that was so physicaly strong and made such a great impresion to all , that a " myth " was created around his name.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23-Jun-2005 at 20:45
Let's see.
There are a couple of theories that "roam" around Herakles.
This is the one I've found to be quite interesting. (hope you do too)

We know that the most common meaning presented for the name Herakles is: "Glory of Hera". Hera + Kleos

We also know that even though Herakles has an equivalent in a number of other cultures/people.
Like th Sumerian (Ningirsu/Ninourta or Giglamesh),
Roman (Hercules),
Phoenician (Melkart note the spelling), 
Only in the Hellinic version is he presented as a traveler, as the founder of many cities and "relationships" and for these is given a number of "titles" that are added to his name (Éäáéïò, Èçâáéïò, Áéãõðôéïò, Éíäïò...)= (Idaios, Thebean, Egyptian, Hindu...)

Now if we are to add these "titles" to Herodotus who mentions that :

"Hellinic people.... the Hellenic has wandered often and far"
(Histories 1.56.2) in contrast to the Pelasgians that has "never yet left its home"
and the imaginary "Dorian invasion" which is nothing more than the "Return of the Herakledes" (Herakledes? return from where? )
The Herakledes have a definite connection to Herakles actually they were his  decendants, so the "return" is most probably from one of their ancestors "journeys".

As I mentioned the name derives from the word Hera + Kleos but what do these words really mean???
"Kleos" = glory, fame
But what does Hera mean? According to Plato "Cratylus 404c":

"perhaps the lawgiver had natural phenomena in mind, and called her Hera (Çñá) as a disguise for aer (áçñ)=(air), putting the beginning at the end. You would understand, if you were to repeat the name Hera over and over. And Pherephatta!"

So we find that Herakles= Hera + Kleos = air + glory,fame

Add to this, the fact that Hera (air) was actually resposible for the "Labors of Herakles" and that with the deciphering of the Rozetta Stone by J.F Champollion, we know that the word "air" was represented by a ship's sail.

All these when added together make it more than a simple possiblity that Herakles was nothing more than the personification of the ancient Hellinic sea voyages and that the titles added to his name were nothing more than his destinations.


Edited by Phallanx
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Post Options Post Options   Quote giani_82 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2005 at 03:22

I'll go with Phallanx on this subject the myth has quite deep roots, and it's reasonable enough to have adopted some distinctive characteristics in the cultures it reached. The fact is human relation to the gods (or becoming a god) has always been an amusing issue amongst the ancient people. Not accidentaly pharaoh was worshipped as a god, and the Greek heroes always carried the adventure beyond the limits of the known world. It's a matter of cultural traits.

Also with the evolution of the idea of human individuality several categories came into function in mythology - strongest, bravest, the most cleaver/slickest. All the myths carry to some extent the sense of the epoch they were popular, but imo most of them are far enough from the truth, may be this one is too.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Richard XIII Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Jun-2005 at 03:30
Originally posted by Phallanx

Let's see.
We know that the most common meaning presented for the name Herakles is: "Glory of Hera". Hera + Kleos
We also know that even though Herakles has an equivalent in a number of other cultures/people.
Like th Sumerian (Ningirsu/Ninourta or Giglamesh),
Roman (Hercules),
Phoenician (Melkart note the spelling), 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2005 at 08:03
Why did nobody mentioned Celtic Cwlluch (whose myth is almost identical to that of one of the Heraklean jobs) nor Goliath, the Philistine hero/leader also of gigantic proportions and strength. All these peoples are somehow connected through the Urn Fields culture (assuming that Herakles is actually a Dorian figure, as the myth says). Not any excessive imagination is necessary to associate Cwlluch, [Hera]Kleos, Goliath and even the Greek term colossus in a single root.

I have the funny hypothesis that such a name means (*kolos) something like Khan for the Mongols: the big boss.

I am also curious about the fact that ancient Iberian culture of El Argar, in its B phase (1500-1300 BCE) has clear Mycenean (or maybe Cretan)  influences, burying their dead in pythoi. I wonder if after all, those Heraklean jobs that talk about far western places (fight against Geriones and stealing of the apples/rams of the Hesperides) aren't in fact somehow more real than we usually dare to admit.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2005 at 12:30
While I didn't know about the Cwlluch you mention, I've only seen Ogmios. I also find it hard to connect Herakles to Goliath since I really don't know much about the myth, other that he was allegedly a giant.

What no one noticed is the Phoenician equivalent MELKART. We know Phoenicians wrote from right to left.

So MELKART (Phoenician) is obviously -> TRAKLEM (in Hellinic written left to right)

Tthe M could easily be a 'Sigma' on it's side, which would give us:

TRAKLES (that's too close for comfort)

I've seen a couple of articles claiming that the Hellines adopted him from the Phoenicians but no one has given an explanation for his name in the Phoenician language.
 It seems more than obvious that he was a Hellinic figure that was adopted by the Phoenicians and definitely not from them.


Edited by Phallanx
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rider Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Jul-2005 at 15:30

Whilst almost all Roman names were adopted from Etruscan, was Herakles in there aswell.. i'm  going not too well now in Etruscan mythology..

Whilst seeing the map, I believe that many islands/clearings could be assosiated with Hercules' deeds.. as Iberian culture as far as I know lived on Balearic islands, so the Hespertodids/Palma??

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2005 at 21:29
Not really sure if he was presented to Romans by the Etruscans but he could have easily been presented by Hellinic colonists. We know that they were there since850BC.

As for the labors of Herakles, I'll have to look up the myths a bit, see the names, areas maybe an analysis will give what you mention.
To the gods we mortals are all ignorant.Those old traditions from our ancestors, the ones we've had as long as time itself, no argument will ever overthrow, in spite of subtleties sharp minds invent.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Jul-2005 at 22:12
Originally posted by rider

... as Iberian culture as far as I know lived on Balearic islands, so the Hespertodids/Palma??


There were two main Iberian (in the geographical sense of the word) civilizations in the early Bronze Age (pan-European chronology, it's surely Late Bronze in the Aegean). None of them was literarian but they built fortified cities/towns, that's why they call them civilizations.

· The culture of El Argar in SE Spain (Almería, Murcia) from 1800 to 1300 BCE. They had Bronze and seemingly it was a centralized state. The second phase (El Argar B), starting c. 1500 BCE, had this curious Aegean characteristic: they started burying their deceased in pythoi.
    Associated with it, are the proto-Iberians (ethnically speaking now) of the Levante Bronze, also with fortified towns but of much smaller size, in Alicante and Valencia mostly.
    Another contemporary Bronze area is that of Southern Portugal but though intersting, it's quite obscure and dificult to describe. The fortified towns of the earlier Chalcolithic period had vanished and not a single town is found: only burials of two types with some bronze.

· The other Iberian civilization of that period is Vila Nova de Sao Pedro (VNSP) around today's Lisbon. It existed since 2600 BCE (ending also around 1300) with many fortified towns, of which the largest is Zambujal. They never used Bronze (so I suspect rivalry with El Argar) but they were intensely connected to the Atlantic region, with Megalithic culture all the time (much before its very existence as civilization) and strong contacts with the Beaker People phenomenon (that we call Bell-shaped Beaker, as the people thing is not likely at all). In fact for two centuries, between 2100 and 1900 BCE, VNSP was the very center of the Beaker phenomenon (trade?!).

Near 1300, coincident with the irruption of the Urn Field culture peoples in NE Iberia (making incursions to other regions too, as isolated tombs denote), both civilizations disapear, leaving only less organized remnants.

Forget about the Balearic Islands: their Megalithic taulas are impressive but there are no remains of civilization. Instead at least one glass bead, maybe from Egypt, has been found inside Levante Bronze contexts.

To me, it seems quite clear that El Argar and other Iberians had rather intense contacts with Crete or Mycenes, at least since 1500. Though the lack of traded objects is a true puzzle.

As with the Phoenicians founding their first offshore colony precisely in Iberia (Gadir), the reason behind those possible transmediterranean relations is quite clear: Iberia had plenty of mineral resources, including scarce tin, organized civilizations to trade with and it was the gate of the Atlantic.

On wether Herakles or some other Greek was actually there, we can only speculate... but I like to do it.
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And here you have a map of the Iberian peninsula at that time:




Edited by Maju
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Phallanx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2005 at 09:34
Maju

I think you'll enjoy this :

Iberian art with Greek influence:
The Funerary Monument of Jumilla (Murcia, Spain)

                              JOSÉ MARÍA BLÁZQUEZ

LINK



Edited by Phallanx
To the gods we mortals are all ignorant.Those old traditions from our ancestors, the ones we've had as long as time itself, no argument will ever overthrow, in spite of subtleties sharp minds invent.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Jul-2005 at 12:27
Thanks, Phallanx. Sadly, I link but the PDF document (so it seems to be) doesn't download - no idea why. Anyhow, don't worry, I have some good stuff on Iberian prehistory. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Togodumnus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22-Jul-2005 at 14:33
Although I love ancient history I am guilty of neglect in the case of Iberia.So please all you nice folks out there"link"me up with the info!Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Quote varma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jul-2006 at 09:36
            In India there is a word "Harikulesh" which translates to "of the clan  HARI"("hari is a god in India). Lord Sri Krishna was often refered to in our epics a "HariKulesh"....
           
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2006 at 08:44
varma, herakles mean " glory to hera"  which would tie him into the Hera cult in some way, he aint some hindu export.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote varma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2006 at 08:54
           I am not telling that he is a Hindu Export.....but I am only drawing the similarities of words. and as u mentioned cults...I would like to let u know in ancient India their were primarily 2 cults the cult of HARI and HARA.
          In India cults meant not the usual menaing that we asscociate in modern times.. They are 2 streams of beleifs existed side by side without any quarrel.
         How close is hera and hari, and their hasnt been much research about the ancient Indic and greek interaction.
        
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2006 at 09:17
the interaction is that they are both I/e, you will find similarities because of that, there is celtic heracules and infact similar archetype hero's can be found in many placesShocked. Hera is a greek goddes probably local and maybe not even IE.

Hindu god for fire is Agni which is similar to the latin word Igni (ignition) that connection is most likely a IE root word not interaction like your suggesting. Otherise maybe Agni could be a latin god?



Edited by Leonidas - 03-Jul-2006 at 09:18
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Post Options Post Options   Quote varma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Jul-2006 at 10:10
           Now I cant take your Hera to be a greek godess as it followed with the word probable local...I cant, you give me source to that about the cult of Hera...
            And a bit more information, I would like to know if any of the speakers of their languages in antiquity claimed that their language is the first or mother language or as claiming that all languages have been derived from their language or as their langugae is the first language.....
           The notion that Sanskrit is the language of the GODS, and first language is existant fromtimes imemorial...
           If in those ancient times no other have claimed that their language as the oldest, then the calim by the Indians that some form of Sanskrit has to be the oldest as the roots of words in most of the languages are in Sanskrit and not in latin or Greek or armaic or Persian...
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Leonidas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Jul-2006 at 06:24
Originally posted by varma

           Now I cant take your Hera to be a greek godess as it followed with the word probable local...I cant, you give me source to that about the cult of Hera...        

Hera may not be IE which would mean that its pre -IE, its not to hard to follow. there is a mixing in greek religion that takes on the prevoius 'pelasgian' or Minion cultures with IE so somethings are either or both.

She is the 'ox eyed' goddess according to Homer.

here is a good link to the cult of Hera (http://www.theoi.com/Cult/HeraCult.html)


Originally posted by varma

  And a bit more information, I would like to know if any of the speakers of their languages in antiquity claimed that their language is the first or mother language or as claiming that all languages have been derived from their language or as their langugae is the first language.....

languages are dynamic living beasts that change over time just like the speakers that use them, they infleunce, compete and replace each other. anyone that claims their language was the first or is the mother tongue does not understand linguistics and lives in a blissful fools paradise of self congratulating nationalist pride.


Originally posted by varma

The notion that Sanskrit is the language of the GODS, and first language is existant fromtimes imemorial...
prime example of such blissful ignorance
          
Originally posted by varma

If in those ancient times no other have claimed that their language as the oldest, then the calim by the Indians that some form of Sanskrit has to be the oldest as the roots of words in most of the languages are in Sanskrit and not in latin or Greek or armaic or Persian...
*sigh*
start another thread on the sanskrit roots of my language if your so confidant.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Arthur-Robin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14-Jul-2006 at 17:17
I am a student of etymology of deity names so I am involved in researching this sort of thing tho I haven't yet got a definate cognates etymology for Hercules other than Grk/Lat/Etruscan.

I don't buy the Hera etymology. Herakles/Hercules may poss come from Erakal/Nergal whom he was actually later (?re-)identified with.

I think Tacitus (or Herodotus) mentions that Hercules and/or Odysseus visited the Germans and is identified with Sigurd?

I discovered a connection with Gilgamesh who some authors do connect with Hercules (and both/either with Nimrod and/or Ningirsu//Ninurta as said above): the 12 pillars of Hercules are the same as the 120 poles of Gilgamesh, plus cp the 12 labours H with the 12 tablets of epic G with the 12 books/volumes of Homer (and Aeneid) which also means Gilgamesh is also identifiable with Odysseus.

Hercules has also been identified with Iranian Rustem and Indian [Krishna? or Indra? (lost notes/source)].

What you said about reversing Melkart ("king" or "messenger/angel" + "     ") I don't think is very convincing, but the m- could be a prefix and -t i often a suffix; tho (pillars of) Hercules & (pillars of) Melkart are indeed said to be snonmous.

Re Hercules and Ogma: In Egyptian Hercules was identified in nature not name with G-m or S-m (and/or Hershef if I remember correctly?)

Gadeira may be Agadir/El Khadir as well as/instead of Gades/Ceuta.
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