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Hercules (US: , UK: ) is the Roman equivalent of the Greek divine hero Heracles, son of Jupiter and the mortal Alcmene. In classical mythology, Hercules is famous for his strength and for his numerous far-ranging adventures. The Romans adapted the Greek hero's iconography and myths for their literature and art under the name Hercules. In later Western art and literature and in popular culture, Hercules is more commonly used than Heracles as the name of the hero. Hercules is a multifaceted figure with contradictory characteristics, which enabled later artists and writers to pick and choose how to represent him. This article provides an introduction to representations of Hercules in the later tradition. Mythology = Birth and early life =In Roman mythology, although Hercules was seen as the champion of the weak and a great protector, his personal problems started at birth. Juno sent two witches to prevent the birth, but they were tricked by one of Alcmene's servants and sent to another room. Juno then sent serpents to kill him in his cradle, but Hercules strangled them both. In one version of the myth, Alcmene abandoned her baby in the woods in order to protect him from Juno's wrath, but he was found by the goddess Minerva who brought him to Juno, claiming he was an orphan child left in the woods who needed nourishment.
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