Was Hercules real?

Jan 2015
Would you be kind enough to elaborate on this?
I have, many times, on this thread and others. Post 550 was the most recent occasion on this thread:

"Note that Pharaoh Osorkon (either the III or the IV) is said to have been known by the Greeks as 'Heracles' in Manetho's king list. It seems to be taken for granted that he wasn't the Heracles of the Greek myths, due to the pervasive idea that the stories of Heracles and the Trojan War and all that are set around the 1200s B.C.E. But there's a lot of evidence that the Trojan War actually happened closer to c. 700 B.C.E. If that's the case, then Osorkon III, who lived in the early-eighth century, could well have been the Heracles of the Greek myths. He was said to have fought Busiris of Egypt, and Busiris was supposed to have been the brother of 'Pygmalion of Cyprus'. There was a historical king of Tyre in the late-ninth, early-eighth century B.C.E. who had a degree of power over Cyprus. So he could have been the Pygmalion of the legend."

And there's this post from your 'The battle of Troy' thread: http://historum.com/ancient-history/74650-battle-troy-37.html#post2769113?postcount=367

"Well, as I just said to you on another thread, there's a lot of evidence that the Trojan War actually took place much later than commonly believed. For example, a lot of ancient writers said that Homer was either a contemporary of the Trojan War or lived very soon after it. Yet when did Homer live? No one puts his life anywhere near 1200 B.C.E. Most estimates tend to be between 800 and 650 B.C.E. I think the lower estimate is closer to the truth. See my reasons in this post: Time period of the Greek Myths?

In fact, take a look at that thread as a whole. A lot of evidence is presented there that many of the Greek myths took place around the eighth century, not the 13th. One very intriguing piece of evidence is that there was a person called Agamemnon who lived in the late eighth century. He is known in the particular record in which he appears (where his daughter married the historical king Midas of the late-eighth century) as 'Agamemnon of Cyme', Cyme being one of the Greek colonies in Anatolia. We know that the Greeks were invading and expanding into western Anatolia in that time period, and that is where Troy is. In the Iliad, it's not just the inhabitants of the city of Troy who are fighting the Greeks, but there are so many other cities and nations of Anatolia involved in the war against the Greeks. So I think that the Trojan War was simply one particularly event that occurred during that whole period of the Greeks invading and conquering that part of Anatolia. So Agamemnon of Cyme, a Greek colony relatively near Troy, of the late-eighth century, was the Agamemnon of the legend.

It also ties in with the fact that the Etruscans were meant to have migrated over to Italy from Anatolia along with the Trojans after their defeat in the Trojan War, yet Etruscan cities only start appearing in Italy in c. 700 B.C.E."

Then the discussion continues and I provide many more reasons why I think the Trojan War took place in c. 700 B.C.E., and how certain historical figures tie in with that chronology (like Osorkon). Have a read through that post and the following few pages if you've forgotten.
Apr 2017
I still think that there is a slight chance of some realism about Heracles.
I am not sure by the way you phrase this if you are trolling or if you seriously wondering about this, so in the hope that I do not waste my time:

I want that you imagine the following: Imaging a world without electricity. So no computers, no cell-phone, no light!
Then I would like that you imagine a world without paper (or any other possibility that makes it easy to record).
Now I would like that you go outside – in a garden preferable – without a watch, all that electrical devices or a pen and an paper and that you meet me – in two month on the same spot and that you collect during that period enough food for you and me to survive the next three month on.

Do you got an idea, that without all that tools, how complicated that is for you to know the date in two month, even while our lives will depend on it?
We gonna die. If you miss the date. Or I will – as you got the food. ^^ Lives are at stake.

So how will you calculate the date of today in two month?
You can be creative – and maybe look at a tree. Are you such an expert on trees that you can tell the date on growing? Or maybe you want to look at birds?
I can tell you that all that flora and fauna, even at your spot are influenced by changes in nature far away from your place. They are not exact and change constantly.
So wouldn't be cool – to have something reliable like a clock – like a marry-go-round – that repeats constantly with something like numbers and a pointer you look at – and know the date/measure time?
If you stand in your garden and look around – is there anything on what you could say for sure – this repeats constantly - no matter what?

It might take you a while – but sooner or later you will figure out that the sun does.
The sun always rises in the east hits its climax in the south and sets in the west.
Every day. Never stops. You can always see the sun and be sure where it is.
Now the travel from east to west, is like a half clock, isn't it?
Your pov is a pointer. Just look south. East is on your left. West on your right.
Now the sun is only visible during day. And it is only one object. We need more numbers on our clock, so where do we take them from?
Go out at night. Now the problem for you is – that our world has changed during time.

You might be aware about – or heard it somewhere – but the full impact of that changes are much bigger then they look on first sight.
F.e. pine-forests in Europe nearly all man-made. If you saw the movie Gladiator and you see this Germanic army coming from the forest – that is like Samurai coming out of a bamboo-forest.
There is nothing authentic on the whole scenery. That plants do not grew there on their own. The grass they are standing on is man-made. The whole flora is maybe 200, 300 years old.
But that is only the beginning. The night sky you are looking it is polluted as well by electrical light I hope you do know how light works. You know it goes endless?
So to see the night-sky in a world without electricity you might have to travel.
But if you could – and observe the night-sky you would realize that all stars are not equally bright. Some are brighter and some are very, very bright.
And if you look everyday south – you will realize that there are three – that are quite easy to spot, because no matter where you are – they are high enough to see them AND they are more or less on the same spot, if they travel from east to west like the sun.
These three stars we call Arcturus, Vega and Capella. They belong to the top 5 brightest stars you can see on the night sky and they share great similarities, because like they sun the move constantly during a year at more or less the same spot.
Now – stars are not like the sun. There are many of them and sometimes the weather conditions are not perfect – so they might not seem as bright as they could be.
So wouldn't it be practical to have some more helpers to determine where these stars are at?

We can make pictures out of these stars? Pictures that are easy to remember. That is what we call star-constellations. Our creativity could be endless on this – but we do not do this for fun. We want that to serve a real purpose and at best have a pattern.
If we do this – we can see human like figures on the lower right of that three stars, that travel with them if we can see them. You heard the names of that constellations they are called: Perseus, Virgo and … Hercules.
As we said that stars dawn in the east travel for a few month – reach the climax in the south and then set in the west – it takes them for that more or less 4 month.
So if Capella comes up with Virgo – it goes for 4 month and then you see – Vega and Hercules moving to the climax.
So as we can see it takes multiple month and in the meantime on our planet something changes.
It is our seasons. So there is a direct changing on our planet linked to what stars we see.

Hercules is during summer. Now during summer – you can experience on earth something interesting in our seasons.
And that are weather changes. Yes, in summer these are our hot days – but even the mightiest thunderstorms.
Yes in fall we do have more wind – but it is every day more wind. Like in winter it is every day more cold. It is about the change.
So in summer the impact of a thunderstorm is bigger change then it is in winter.
And let's be practical how do we describe a thunderstorm? It is an event that comes and goes.
It does not stick. It travels. We do not see often how it starts or how it ends -most of the time it is going over our heads. A thunderstorm is a traveler.
This is the origin of Heracles and while the Greek progressed a lot and created a whole metaphor/story telling around that character – we can see something interesting – because the other people in Europe – did exact the same thing, but not on the same development level.
Problem is, that we do not have the written sources – so we can not tell for sure what a Russian might have connected to the star-constellation Hercules – but we can tell that they showed the same display and the moment they start writing about it – we got a name: It is Thor/Donar.
Now Thor/Donar is very visible connected to thunderstorms – but that is only because these people were more primitive. Or in other words they did not have the same amount of time the Greek had to progress in the metaphors, the story-telling and before they had a chance to do so – they took over the Greek astronomy, by the Romans and had Christianity.
This is why we still call that constellation Hercules and not – Frugi-hugi-doo.

This is why you may not make the mistake and look at Greek/Roman story-telling and think: Yeah but Zeus has the lighting – this is all highly progressed stuff of people who had theaters.
If we would ask a common human today in the US – for them Thor is the son of Odin and they live on the planet Valhalla and fight with the Avengers. This is an insane amount of creativity that went into that.
That amount did not began with comics. And if you look on the religions of antiquity of the Romans and the Greek – you see here and there the original things that have parallels to the guys on the other side of the Alps.
But this is the origin of Hercules. It goes back to a time beyond our capacity to tell when it began.
The figure of Hercules is already a highly artistic complex execution. Even by Germanic standards, because it shows elements of a story.

In case you do not know that: Storytelling follows always the same structures.
This is why it is a huge waste of time to look for realistic events that follow a pattern of a story.
You might have something like Atlantis – so a city that is washed into the sea. But here it ends, because how stories are told – they can not follow reality or they make very lame tales.
Nobody wants to know that William Wallace died with 25 because he was sold out by his own people for a handful of gold.
That is an awful story. You want David who – against all odds – goes against Goliath – motivated by love, surrounded by people who all are idealists, that do not fear and slain the dragon, so that good survives and justice prevails and int the end he has the girl. That story is told 2000 times. And not only we tell them- the Africans do, the Asians, the Australians the Americans – everybody tells the same stories, because they target the most primitive elements of how our species works.
Thor slain a giant. Hercules slain a giant. They all fight the dragon.

So if you go by sagas, tales, fiction and try to look for the real thing – and we are not talking here about a location (that is something different) but a complex human being – you are already lost.
Go to China. You will find a similar tale about a guy there. Or ask the Incas. The real Hercules is in the skies and everything else – even his name – is fiction.
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Ad Honorem
May 2016
I really liked your post, even if I was lost a couple of times in it. The internet makes this to us, I have more difficulty to stay focused in a reasoning in a web page than in a (paper) book page.

Anyway, I think I *slight* disagree with you since I don’t think that this mythical characters need necessarily to be (totally) fictional. I think that in all the mythical characters there is a bottom of veracity, of inspiration… of something… even if sometimes that deep “true” is so buried that is quite difficult to tell the difference between the echoes of the reality and the fiction.
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Aug 2011
I still think that there is a slight chance of some realism about Heracles.
Of course there could have been some real early "hero" among the Greeks - or several heroes - which went down in tradition as one Hercules. Like British Arthur or Norse Beowulf. Killing a lion would perhaps be something extra to talk about around the fire.
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