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[9]

Hercules was taught to drive a chariot by Amphitryon, to wrestle by Autolycus, to shoot with the bow by Eurytus, to fence by Castor, and to play the lyre by Linus.1 This Linus was a brother of Orpheus; he came to Thebes and became a Theban, but was killed by Hercules with a blow of the lyre; for being struck by him, Hercules flew into a rage and slew him.2 When he was tried for murder, Hercules quoted a law of Rhadamanthys, who laid it down that whoever defends himself against a wrongful aggressor shall go free, and so he was acquitted. But fearing he might do the like again, Amphitryon sent him to the cattle farm; and there he was nurtured and outdid all in stature and strength. Even by the look of him it was plain that he was a son of Zeus; for his body measured four cubits,3 and he flashed a gleam of fire from his eyes; and he did not miss, neither with the bow nor with the javelin.

While he was with the herds and had reached his eighteenth year he slew the lion of Cithaeron, for that animal, sallying from Cithaeron, harried the kine of Amphitryon and of Thespius.4


1 As to the education of Herakles, see Theocritus xxiv.104ff., according to whom Herakles learned wrestling not from Autolycus but from Harpalycus, son of Hermes.

2 Compare Diod. 3.67.2; Paus. 9.29.9; Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.213ff.

3 Four cubits and one foot, according to the exact measurement of the historian Herodorus. See Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.210ff.; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 662.

4 According to another account, the lion of Cithaeron was killed by Alcathous (Paus. 1.41.3ff.). But Tzetzes, Chiliades ii.216ff. agrees with Apollodorus, whose account of Herakles he seems to follow.

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