Chap. VII.—Of the Wicked Life and Death of Hercules.
But though almost all nations are persuaded that they are gods, yet their actions, as related both by poets and historians,
declare that they were men. Who is ignorant of the times in which Hercules lived, since he both sailed with the Argonauts on their expedition, and having stormed Troy, slew Laomedon, the father of Priam, on account of his perjury? From that time rather more than fifteen hundred years are reckoned. He is said not even to have
been born honourably, but to have been sprung from Alcmena by adultery, and to have been himself addicted to the vices of his father. He never abstained from women, or males, and traversed
the whole world, not so much for the sake of glory as of lust, nor so much for the slaughter of beasts as for the begetting
of children. And though he was unvanquished, yet he was triumphed over by Omphale alone, to whom he gave up his club and lion’s skin; and being clothed in a woman’s garment, and crouching at a woman’s feet,
he received his task14591459
to execute. He afterwards, in a transport of frenzy, killed his little children and his wife Megara. At last, having put on a garment sent by his wife Deianyra, when he was perishing through ulcers, being unable to endure the pain, he constructed for himself a funeral pile on Mount
Œta, and burnt himself alive. Thus it is effected, that although on account of his excellence14601460
he might have been believed to be a god, nevertheless on account of these things be is believed to have been a man.