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hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene, c.1200 (originally in reference to the Pillars of Hercules), also Ercules, from Latin Hercles, from Greek Herakles, literally "Glory of Hera;" from Hera (q.v.) + kleos "glory, renown" (see Clio). Used figuratively of strength since late 14c. Vocative form Hercule was a common Roman interjection (especially me Hercule!) "assuredly, certainly."
One of the greatest heroes of classical mythology, he is supposed to have been the strongest man on earth. He was renowned for completing twelve seemingly impossible tasks — the Labors of Hercules. One of these labors was the cleaning of the Augean stables; another was the killing of the nine-headed Hydra. Hercules was a son of Zeus.