Nemean Lion

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Greek Mythical Creature Report: Nemean Lion

The Nemean Lion had a strong golden coat that could not be punctured by any mortal weapon. It had razor-sharp claws that could slash through any type of armor it came into contact with it. It was known to be extremely large(double the size of a normal lion) and exceedingly violent. It is said that the beast roamed the mountain valley of Nemea in the Argolis. Eventually, Hercules slayed it.

It is usually said that the Nemean Lion is the offspring of the monsters Typhon and Echidna. However, others have told it fell from the moon and was the son of Zeus and Selene. The Greeks say that the Nemean Lion was placed in the sky after it had died and is supposedly the constellation Leo. Its main purpose was to terrorize the people of Nemea.

The popular and one of the few myths about the Nemean Lion is its battle with Hercules. In the story, Hera makes Hercules go crazy and made him murder his own wife and children. When he got out of his crazy state, he felt guilty and prayed to Apollo to ask what he should do next. Apollo told him to work under King Eurystheus for twelve years to compensate for the murders. He was then given twelve tasks, or labors, by Eurystheus to complete. His first task was to slay and bring back the Nemean Lion. While looking for the beast, he finds the town of Cleonae and comes across a boy. The boy told Hercules that if he could slay the Nemean Lion and come back within 30 days, the whole town would sacrifice a lion to Zeus. Otherwise, the boy would sacrifice himself to the gods. Hercules armed himself with arrows to attack the creature, not knowing its golden fur was impenetrable. He traveled to the beast's cave and fired arrows at its fur. After realizing his arrows did no damage to the magnificent coat, he shot the foe at the mouth and killed it. A different version of the myth says he stunned the Nemean Lion with a club and wrestled it to death. He skinned the lion with it own claws after...
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