The Seventh Labor
Source: Myths And Legends Of All Nations.
King Minos of Crete had promised Neptune (Poseidon), god of the sea,
to offer to him whatever animal should first come up out of the water,
for he declared he had no animal that was worthy for so high a
sacrifice. Therefore the god caused a very beautiful ox to rise out of
the sea. But the king was so taken with the noble appearance of the
animal that he secretly placed it among his own herds and offered
another to Neptune. Angered by this, the god had caused the animal to
become mad, and it was bringing great destruction to the island of
Crete. To capture this animal, master it, and bring it before
Eurystheus, was the seventh labor of Hercules.
When the hero came to Crete and with this intention stepped before
Minos, the king was not a little pleased over the prospect of ridding
the island of the bull, and he himself helped Hercules to capture the
raging animal. Hercules approached the dreadful monster without fear,
and so thoroughly did he master him that he rode home on the animal
the whole way to the sea.
With this work Eurystheus was pleased, and after he had regarded the
animal for a time with pleasure, set it free. No longer under
Hercules' management, the ox became wild again, wandered through all
Laconia and Arcadia, crossed over the isthmus to Marathon in Attica
and devastated the country there as formerly on the island of Crete.
Later it was given to the hero Theseus to become master over him.
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