The 9th Labour of Hercules

labour-9

Eurystheus’ daughter Admete wanted the belt of Hippolyta, a gift to the queen of the Amazons from the war god Ares. To please his daughter, Eurystheus ordered Hercules to retrieve the belt as his ninth labour.

Hercules obtaining the belt of Hippolyta, by J.M. FĂ©lix Magdalena (born 1941)

Taking a band of friends with him, Hercules set sail, stopping at the island of Paros, which was inhabited by some of Minos’ sons. These killed two of Hercules’ companions, an act which set Hercules on a rampage. He killed two of Minos’ sons and threatened the other inhabitants until he was offered two men to replace his fallen companions. Hercules agreed and took two of Minos’ grandsons, Alcaeus and Sthenelus. They continued their voyage and landed at the court of Lycus, whom Hercules defended in a battle against the king of the Bebryces, Mygdon. After killing King Mygdon, Hercules gave much of the land to his friend Lycus. Lycus called the land Heraclea. The crew then set off for Themiscyra where Hippolyte lived.

All would have gone well for Hercules had it not been for Hera. Hippolyte, impressed with Hercules and his exploits, agreed to give him the belt and would have done so had Hera not disguised herself and walked among the Amazons sowing seeds of distrust. She claimed the strangers were plotting to carry off the queen of the Amazons. Alarmed, the women set off on horseback to confront Hercules. When Hercules saw them, he thought Hippolyte had been plotting such treachery all along and had never meant to hand over the belt, so he killed her and took the belt, returning to Eurystheus. Eurystheus, shocked that Hercules survived his encounter with the Amazons, immediately sent him to capture the cattle of Geryon.