A-Z: General definitions
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A-Z: General definitions: Alcmene
DefinitionAlcmene was the wife of Amphitryon. Zeus seduced her, having made himself look the same as her husband, who himself made love to Alcmene immediately afterwards. As a result, she had two sons: Iphicles was the son of her husband, but the other, Heracles, was the son of Zeus. Their different parentage became apparent early on when two snakes, possibly sent by jealous Hera, crawled into their cradle. Iphicles cried in terror, but Heracles strangled the snakes. Heracles was a great hero, but was opposed all his life by Hera.
Wife of Amphitryon, seduced by Zeus. Mother of Heracles and Iphicles.
Amphitryon married Alcmene, but was not allowed to consummate the marriage until he had avenged her brothers' deaths. Before he returned to her, Zeus seduced her, appearing as her husband.
Son of Cronos, ruler and chief of the Greek gods, originally a sky-god. (Roman name: Jupiter.)
Alcmene's son and twin of Heracles, but Iphicles' father was Amphitryon, not Zeus.
Greek hero, famous for his Twelve Labours; he was deified after his death. (Roman name, Hercules.)
Queen of the Greek gods, wife of Zeus and patroness of women. (Roman name, Juno.)
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