Study Guide

Heracles (Hercules) - The Captains of the Football Team (Jocks)

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The Captains of the Football Team (Jocks)

Heracles is more brawn than brains. But don't get us wrong – brawn goes a LONG way in the world of mythology. Imagine Heracles, Zeus, Perseus, Achilles, and Thor hanging out on the picnic tables of the lunch yard. They slurp their Monster Milks, flex their muscles, and strategize about how they are going to win the next "game." Oh, and the ladies are swarming.

Thor (Norse)

No god, not even Zeus, is quite as famous for his feats of strength and skill as Hercules. Unlike his father Zeus, Heracles has all of the muscle and none of the ruling authority of the king of the gods, and that makes him pretty similar to Thor, Odin's son and the protector of Asgard. Both Heracles and Thor are freakishly strong sons of divine kings.

The ancient Germanic people seem to have recognized the parallels between the two muscle men, possibly even confusing them: apple-shaped amulets associated with Heracles in ancient Greece and Rome were used by Germanic people in the 5th to 7th centuries, inscribed with the name Donar – the Old High German name for Thor. In Scandinavia in the 8th to 9th centuries, these same amulets were gradually replaced by the hammer pendants associated with Thor, suggesting that the cults of the two gods mixed and became interchangeable as the Roman and Germanic people made contact with one another.

Gilgamesh (Sumerian)

Gilgamesh was the awesome Sumerian/Babylonian king of Uruk. He is the star of The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem about his adventures and his quest for immortality and eternal life. Just like Heracles, Gilgamesh gets into lots of trouble and defeats some pretty gross monsters.

King Arthur and Knights (English)

King Arthur is the kickbutt warrior and star of some very famous legends. His story and adventures have been told and retold over time. He is kind of the Michael Jordan of European warriors. Does the phrase, "the knights of the round table," or the name "Guinevere" ring bells in your mind? Well, King Arthur is basically the first knight in shining armor, and Guinevere was his ladylove who betrayed him by falling in love with Sir Lancelot. King Arthur's legends are still alive and well. Everyone loves a good King Arthur tale.

Cuchullain (Irish)

Cuchullain is a rad hero found in Celtic legends. He had a trusty, deadly spear that slaughtered anything that came in its path. Legend has it that Cuchullain was offered immortality, but he turned it down. In battle, he is often described as being monster-like, because he gets so worked up.

Superman (American)

That's right. You heard us. Superman also belongs in this jock clique. He's a very important American legend who has plenty of adventures and who soars above any obstacles that come his way.

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