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Hercules was the name in Roman mythology of the hero Heracles from Greek mythology, the son of Jupiter (or Jove, the Roman name for the Greek god Zeus) and the mortal Alcmene. He was made to perform twelve great tasks, called the Twelve Labours of Hercules and become a god; the Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged.

The cult of Hercules may have been the first foreign one to be adopted in Rome; his most important shrine, the Ara Maxima, was in the original Palatine settlement. He became popular with merchants, who customarily paid him a tithe of their profits.

The later Roman emperors often identified or compared themselves with Hercules, in particular Commodus and Maximinus.

Movie and television adaptations

The legend of Hercules has many movie and television adaptations.


As a name associated with legendary strength, "Hercules" has been used for a variety of things: