Hercules

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See also: hercules, Hércules, and Hèrcules

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin Herculēs, from Etruscan 𐌇𐌄𐌓𐌂𐌋𐌄 (hercle), from Ancient Greek Ἡρακλῆς (Hēraklês), apparently cognate of Ἥρα (Hḗra, Hera) and, according to Haudry, from Proto-Indo-European *yóh₁r̥ (year, season) + κλέος (kléos, glory).

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈhɜːkjəliːz/, /ˈhɜːkjʊliːz/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈhɝːkjəliːz/, /ˈhɝːkjʊliːz/
  • (file)

Proper noun[edit]

Hercules (plural Herculeses or Hercules or (obsolete) Herculesses or (obsolete) Hercules's)

  1. (Roman mythology) The Roman name for the Greek divine hero Heracles, who was the son of Jupiter and Alcmene, a celebrated hero who possessed exceptional strength. Most famous for his 12 labours performed to redeem himself after killing his family.
    Coordinate terms: Heracles, Melqart
    • 1698, The Pantheon, Representing the Fabulous Histories of the Heathen Gods and Most Illustrious Heroes, in a Short, Plain and Familiar Method by Way of Dialogue, 2nd edition, London: [] Charles Harper, [], page 332:
      THere were many Hercules’s, but (as Tully ſays, de Nat. Deor. lib. 3.) the famous Actions of them all are aſcrib’d to him who was the Son of Jupiter, by Alcmena, the Wife of Amphitryo King of Thebes.
    • 1705, The Antient Religion of the Gentiles, and Causes of Their Errors Consider’d: [], London: [] John Nutt, [], page 166:
      THere were many Hercules’s amongſt the Antients; Varro enumerates Forty four. The moſt famous were, Hercules Marguſanus, Hercules Ogmius, who was the Symbol of Eloquence amongſt the Gauls; Hercules Pollens, Hercules Thebanus, firſt called Alcides, Hercules Tyrius, or Egyptian; and there were two of them; the Elder called Melicarthus, or Eſau, the Founder of the City of Tyre; and the Younger, who Subdu’d Geryon, and was Worſhipped in Sidon in Spain.
    • 1750, The Works of Mr. Francis Beaumont, and Mr. John Fletcher, volume the third, London: [] J. and R. Tonson and S. Draper [], page 70:
      Mr. Sympſon would read Theban, the Story of Omphale being, as he thinks, only applicable to him: But as there were many Hercules’s, and among the reſt a Libyan, the Son of Jupiter Ammon; if it is inaccurate, it ſeems the Inaccuracy of a Scholar, and not an Error of the Preſs.
    • 1769, The New Peerage; or Present State of the Nobility of England: [], volume III, London: [] R. Davis, []; L. Davis, []; and W. Owen, [], page 227:
      Supporters.] Two Herculeſſes, with clubs over their ſhoulders, proper, crined and habited about the middle, or.
    • 1795, Paradise Regained, a Poem, in Four Books, by John Milton. A New Edition, with Notes of Various Authors, by Charles Dunster, M.A., London: [] T[homas] Cadell, Jun. and W[illiam] Davies, [], page 258:
      There were so many Hercules in the Grecian mythology and history, that it was necessary to specify when the principal Hercules, the son of Jupiter and Alcmena, was meant.
    • 1838, L[eveson] Vernon Harcourt, The Doctrine of the Deluge; Vindicating the Scriptural Account from the Doubts Which Have Recently Been Cast upon It by Geological Speculations, volume I, London: [] Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, [], page 453:
      Thus he enumerates many Hercules’s, and many Mercury’s; but one part of the history of each is so much the same, that I know not how he could avoid perceiving that they were only two names of one person.
    • 1843, [Josiah Priest], Slavery, as It Relates to the Negro, or African Race, Examined in the Light of Circumstances, History and the Holy Scriptures; [], Albany, N.Y.: C. Van Benthuysen and Co., page VII:
      []Hercules—Was Nimrod, the grand-son of Noah, and the origin of all the fabled Herculesses of all the early nations—[]
    • 1848, Richard B[oxall] Grantham, A Treatise on Public Slaughter-Houses, Considered in Connection with the Sanitary Question. [], London: [] J[ohn] Weale, []; and [] Henry Renshaw, [], page 25:
      Our great cities have become so many Augean stables, for the removal of whose filth as many Hercules are required.
    • 1884, Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, [], page 112:
      [] Diogenes turned Hercules into ridicule; and the Roman Cynic Varro introduces three hundred Joves without heads.” From the stage abuser the sarcastic African father selects, partly from his own former observation, those of Diana being flogged, the reading of Jupiter’s will after his decease, and the three half-starved Herculesses!
    • 1903, The City of God, page 62:
      [] and now was Hercules famous at Tyre: not he that we spoke of before: (for the more secret histories say there were many Hercules, and many father Libers) and this Hercules they make famous for twelve sundry rare exploits []
    • 1986, Hans Soop, The Power and the Glory: The Sculptures of the Warship Wasa, Almqvist & Wiksell, →ISBN, page 43:
      The two Hercules are positioned on the same convex, bulging frame of the lower stern gallery as David, but furthest to the port (No. 397) and to the starboard (No. 1279) respectively of the centre line.
    • 2008, Gino Moliterno, Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema (Historical Dictionaries of Literature and the Arts; 28), The Scarecrow Press, Inc., →ISBN, page 188:
      By this time, however, Maciste had lost his individuality and had become indistinguishable from the many Herculeses, Atlases, and other assorted neomythological strongmen, all played by a host of American bodybuilders.
  2. (astronomy) A summer constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble the mythical hero. It lies between the constellations Lyra and Corona Borealis.
  3. (astronomy) A crater in the first quadrant on the moon.
  4. (rare, countable) A male given name from Ancient Greek
  5. A city in Contra Costa County, California, United States.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Noun[edit]

Hercules (plural Hercules)

  1. A Hercules beetle

Anagrams[edit]

Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Hercules m

  1. (astronomy) Hercules

Latin[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Via the Etruscan 𐌇𐌄𐌓𐌂𐌋𐌄 (hercle), from the Ancient Greek Ἡρακλῆς (Hēraklês), apparently cognate of Ἥρα (Hḗra, Hera) and, according to Haudry, from Proto-Indo-European *yóh₁r̥ (year, season) + κλέος (kléos, glory).

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Herculēs m sg (genitive Herculis or Herculī); third declension

  1. (Greek mythology) Hercules, Heracles, heroic son of Zeus.
    Herculēs quidem contrā/adversus duōs (Μηδ’ Ἡρακλῆς πρὸς δύο).
    Not even Hercules fights against two.

Declension[edit]

Third-declension noun.

Case Singular Plural
Nominative Herculēs Herculēs
Genitive Herculis
Herculī
Herculum
Dative Herculī Herculibus
Accusative Herculem Herculēs
Ablative Hercule Herculibus
Vocative Herculē
Herculēs
Hercle
Herculēs
  • Although listed as a vocative, Hercle is properly an interjection and a religious oath/swear. The other vocative forms also occur in this function, often augmented by - see mehercule.
  • The genitive and dative often found spelt as Herculei (read as /ˈher.ku.liː/ by Classical era) in manuscripts and inscriptions. [1]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

  • Hercŭles”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • Hercules”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • Hercŭlēs in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette, page 742/2
  • Herculēs” on page 791/3 of the Oxford Latin Dictionary (1st ed., 1968–82)
  • “Héros”, in Jean Haudry (2023) Léxique de la tradition indo-européenne, Fouenant: Yoran, pp. 268-9.
  1. ^ Corpus inscriptorum Latinarum vol. I pars II fasc. I, p.623 §1482 [= 1113] and p.626 §1503 [= 1145]. More properly: Theodorus Mommsen (editor), Inscriptiones latinae antiquissimae ad C. Caesaris mortem. Editio altera, fasciculus I, Berlin, 1918