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Roman statue of Hercules

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Roman statue of Hercules
Roman statue of Hercules

A Roman marble statue depicting Hercules. Dated from 117-138 CE.

In Roman mythology, Hercules was a deified hero. Later his cult merged completely with the Greek Heracles, but even then the Romans retained some of their own myths about this character. Roman legend attributes Hercules to the killing of the giant Cacusa and king Faunus. Hercules was to be hosted by Evander in his country, and after the death of the hero, he established his cult.

Initially, Hercules was worshipped in Rome as guardian of property, guardian of entrances, and guardian of travellers and traders. Farmers and merchants tithed him of the profits and the crops.
An attribute of Hercules, unlike his Greek counterpart, was the lyre. He was often presented with her in the company of Apollo and muses.

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