Tales of Hercules

Location: In the Classics Departmental Library, first floor, Parkinson Building.


Hercules’ twin brother tells his famous brother’s 12 Labours and about growing up with a hero, while Hercules’ official biographer (Dr. Emma Stafford) is on hand to answer questions. An accompanying poster exhibition shows tales of Hercules, in several different media, from the ancient and modern worlds.

Tales of Hercules tells the stories of the Hercules’ life,  from his earliest childhood to him becoming a god, offering you an opportunity to read, listen to and ask questions about this ancient – yet very modern – hero.

Iphicles will recount his twin brother’s exploits – from Hercules’ very first heroic act (saving Iphicles’ life) to
his last (walking the three-headed dog Cerberus). Hear little-known details of Hercules’ famous 12 Labours and get an insider’s view of what it’s like to grow up with a hero. Story-telling will respond to the audience’s interests and age-group. Particular stories by request.

Dr. Emma Stafford, internationally renowned expert on the Greek hero Herakles, who was known to the Romans (and to us) as Hercules, will be on hand to answer any and all of your questions about the hero: from the size of his feet, to how many Labours he actually performed, to whether he performed them at all! Take the opportunity to discuss what it means to be a hero and discover some of the meanings attached to this hero through the ages.

Literary and artistic responses to individual tales of Hercules will be on display, with examples from a number of different media and time periods – from epic poetry to sculpture, from the ancient world to 21st century