Heracles was the greatest and the strangest of all the Greek heroes. A long list of superhuman acts of strength and courage stood to his name, and above all else the famous twelve labours, which began with the killing of the Nemean lion and.ended in the capture of the monstrous watchdog Cerberus in Hades. He was a great slayer of monsters, also a great civilizer, founding cities, warm springs, and (as Pindar was fond of reminding his audiences) the Olympic festival. He suffered prodigiously, and he maintained prodigious appetites, for food, drink, and women. He may have had friends, but none close (as, say, Patroclus and Achilles were close), but he did have one implacable and jealous enemy, the goddess Hera. He had two marriages: the first set of wife and children he killed in a fit of madness; the second brought about his own death. He was the son of a mortal woman, Alcmena, and the god Zeus, with Amphitryon as a second, mortal, father; and after his death (by most accounts) he became a god himself and lived on Olympus.