Friday, November 8, 2013

Some Mythology and Stuff

So while I was looking up apple facts for my UChicago application, I came across why Hercules had to hold up the sky. Hercule's eleventh labor was to retrieve the apple of the Hesperides, who were a triad of nymphs who tended a garden with immortality-granting apples. Because Atlas was the father of these nymphs, Hercules agree to hold the sky for a bit in exchange for Atlas getting an apple for him. After he got the apple,  however, Atlas decided he didn't want to take the sky back. Hercules obviously didn't want to do this, so he asked Atlas to hold the sky for him while he scratched his chin, and Atlas actually did it so Hercules just left with the apple.

1 comment:

Ian Kuehne said...

It seems like ancient Greek heroes always had absurdly stupid opponents. Obviously, Atlas wasn't the brightest; but Polyphemus was fooled by Odysseus with a similarly harebrained trick and it stretches credulity that only Cassandra was at all suspicious of the Trojan Horse. I think all of this probably arose from Greek perceptions of their own cunning and of their barbarian enemies. Combined with the fact that ancient cultures seemed to have a boundless capacity for suspending disbelief (I'm thinking of Beowulf's day-long underwater battle with Grendel's mother), we get some idiotic bad guys.