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Because Hera knew that Alcaeus was the bastard son of her husband Zeus, she constantly plotted against him. She sent 2 witches to prevent the birth, but they were tricked by his mother's servant to go to another room; however, Hera managed to delay his birth so that his cousin Eurystheus would inherit the Mycenaean kingdom instead of him. Hera then sent serpents to kill him in his cradle, but he strangled them. In an effort to hide him his mother (a granddaughter of Perseus) left him in a forest, but the goddess Athena took her to Hera and persuaded her that he was an abandoned orphan, so Hera suckled him, inadvertently imbuing him with even more strength and power; when he bit her nipple, her milk spilled across the sky, creating the Milky Way. He married Megara, the daughter of king Kreon of Thebes, and they had 2 children. Hera then made him mad, and he killed his family. To keep him from killing himself, his cousin Theseus convinced him he had to find a way to atone for his actions. The oracle at Delphi told him that he must perform 12 labors devised by Eurystheus. At this pint he changed his name to Herakles (Glory of Hera) as an ironic commentary that his fame would be achieved due to her opposition.
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