Simplified Heracles and Perseus Genealogy

Alcmene on the pyre

Alcmene, or Alkmênê (Αλκμήνη / Ἀλκμήνη) ("might of the moon") was, in ancient Greek mythology, the daughter of Electryon, king of Mycenae, and wife of Amphitryon.

She was the mother of Heracles by Zeus, who assumed the likeness of her husband during his absence, and the mother of Iphicles by Amphitryon. While Alcmene was pregnant with Heracles, Hera tried to prevent her from giving birth. She was foiled by Galanthis, her servant, who told Hera that she had already delivered the baby. Hera turned her into a weasel.

One account of the origin of the Milky Way is that Zeus had tricked Hera into nursing the infant Heracles: discovering who he was, she had pulled him from her breast, and a spurt of her milk formed the smear across the sky that can be seen to this day.

Alcmene was regarded as the ancestress of the Heracleidae, and worshipped at Thebes and Athens.

After separating from Amphitryon, she married Rhadamanthus in Boeotia.

Zeus as an old man with a ladder visiting in the night one of his many loves (probably Alcmene, the wife of Amphitryon). Hermes with a lamp helps Zeus. Museo Gregoriano Etrusco, Inv. no. 17106, Aestas painter, Southern Italy. A scene of a Phlyax play with typical ironical descriptions of the adventures of heroes and gods, c. 350-325 BC

Asteroid 82 Alkmene


Alcmene on the pyre, The Darius Painter, Red-Figure Kalyx Crater c. 340–330 BC, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Heracles killing his children , Megara ,his wife, Iolaos and Alcmene as witnesses

Alcmene on the pyre, Zeus, Amphitryon, Antenor

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica.

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