Hercules and Omphale

For the murder Ifitwas sold Hercules enslaved to Queen Lydia Omfala. Hercules had never experienced such hardships as in the service of the proud Lydian queen. The greatest of the heroes suffered constant humiliation from her. It seemed that Omphala found pleasure in bullying the son of Zeus. Having dressed Hercules in women's clothes, she forced him to spin and weave with her maids. The hero who struck the Lernaean hydra with his heavy club, the hero who brought from the kingdom of Hadesterrible Kerber, who strangled the Nemean lion with his hands and held the heaviness of the firmament on his shoulders, the hero, at the very name of whom his enemies trembled, had to sit bent over at the loom or spin wool with hands accustomed to wield a sharp sword, pull the string of a tight bow and strike enemies with a heavy club. And Omphale, having put on the lion's skin of Hercules, which covered her whole and dragged her along the ground, in his golden shell, girded with his sword and with difficulty shouldering the heavy mace of the hero, stood in front of the son of Zeus and mocked him - her slave. Omphala, as it were, set out to extinguish in Hercules all his invincible power. Hercules had to endure everything, because he was in complete slavery to Omphale, and it had to last for three long years.

Only occasionally did Omphala let the hero go from her palace. One day, after leaving the palace of Omphala, Hercules fell asleep in the shade of a grove, in the vicinity of Ephesus. While sleeping, the kerkops dwarfs crept up to him and wanted to steal his weapon from him, but Hercules woke up just at the time when the kerkops grabbed his bow and arrows. The hero caught them and tied their hands and feet. Hercules passed a large pole through the kerkops between the bound legs and carried them to the Hilt. But the Kerkops made Hercules laugh so much with their antics that the great hero let them go.

During the slavery of Omphala, Hercules came to Aulid, to the king Siley, who forced all strangers who came to him to work like slaves in the vineyards. He also made Hercules work. The angry hero tore out all the vines from Siley and killed the king himself, who did not honor the sacred custom of hospitality. During his slavery at Omphala, Hercules took part in the Argonauts' campaign. But, finally, the term of punishment ended, and the great son of Zeus was free again,