Monday, 3 December 2012

#TwitterFiction Festival: 100 Myths in 100 Tweets (The Full Story 41-60)

Part 3 of my manic myth tweet marathon...Artemis to Autolycus

'Nobody sees me naked!' Angry Artemis chases speechless stagboy in fatal hunt! Hounds tear Actaeon apart for pervy peeking
Actaeon the hunter sees virgin goddess Artemis bathing in a woodland pool. He flees, knowing that no man may see the goddess naked, but she gives chase, turns him into a stag, and has him torn apart by her hounds as his punishment.

Syrinx flees priapic Pan! Smutty goat god in sordid sex romp! 'Let's make sweet music!' he leers as nymph turns to reeds
Nymph Syrinx, on her way home from Mount Cronus, is chased to the river's edge by the randy goat god, Pan.  She flees, unwilling to become his lover, and is turned into a bunch of reeds by the river spirits.  Hearing the wind whistling through them, Pan plucks the reeds and turns them into his famous Pan Pipes, so that Syrinx can sing to him forever.

Nyx girls 'weave own dooms'! 3 Fates ply spindle, thread, scissors! Bribe rumours 'unfounded' says incorruptible Atropos
Nyx, Goddess of Night, lets three stars fall to earth. These turn into the Fates - three women, Clotho, Atropos and Lachesis - who weave mankind's destiny into their great tapestry with spindle, thread and scissors. They could not be influenced, either by gods or by men. 

'Kindly Ones' rise in bloodstained earth birth! Snake-haired Furies wield whips on world's wicked! Motto:'Vengeance is Ours'
The Furies - snake-haired women with copper wings and whips - were born from three drops of Ouranos' blood, which soaked into the earth round Mount Cronus. They hunted down the wicked and punished them. So terrifying were they, that both gods and humans tried to placate them (and avoid their attention) by naming them The Kindly Ones.

Sly stableboy slays king in waxed waggon wheel fiasco. Olympic Games will be 'Dad's undying legacy' vows brave Hippodamia
Princess Hippodamia wanted to marry Prince Pelops as soon as she saw him, but first he had to win a race against her father's magic horses.  She wanted to give her lover an advantage, so bribed a stableboy to make her father's chariot slower.  Unfortunately the stableboy had a grudge against the king, and sabotaged it, killing him.  Pelops executed the stableboy, and together, he and Hippodamia founded the Olympic Games in her father's memory.

Snakes in Cradle Mystery! Baby Heracles strangles serpents with own tiny fists! Chief suspect Hera says 'No effin' comment'
The goddess Hera had a grudge against Heracles from the minute he was born, because his mother had had an affair with Zeus.  She sent two venomous snakes to kill him in his cradle, and was furious when the future hero strangled them and threw them onto the floor.

Heracles in daring cattle swoop! Steals Geryon's prize cows, kills 3-headed giant! Sails herd to Tiryns! Task 1 completed 
Hera sent Heracles mad, and he committed the dreadful sin of uxoricide, also killing his children. To pay for this, Hera made him complete a series of impossible tasks, and gave Heracles' cousin, King Eurystheus of Tiryns (who also hated him) the job of overseeing them. In this one, he had to steal the Cattle of the Sun from a three-headed Giant, and get them back to Tiryns in a year and a day.

Heracles in pongy poo mission! Palace Stables 'cleaner than a virgin's arse' says a delighted King Augeias! Task 2 completed
The Augeian Stables hadn't been cleaned for 20 years, and were stinking out the city of Elis. Heracles cleaned them by diverting the course of 2 rivers, and King Augeias was so delighted that he threw a feast for the hero.

Heracles battles bristly Boar of Erymanthia! Pig 'too scary' for pet says Eurystheus from oil jar hideaway! Task 3 completed 
Eurystheus was a coward at heart, so when Heracles brought him the terrifying Erymanthian Boar, the king jumped into a bronze jar and hid.  Unfortunately the jar was half full of olive oil.

Heracles in year-long deer chase! Captured Golden Hind 'ornament to Palace grounds' says King's Gardener! Task 4 completed 
Heracles spent a year chasing the golden deer of Cerynaiea, which belonged to Artemis.  Eurystheus was delighted, and commanded that it should be let loose in the palace gardens, where it was much admired.  However, it didn't stay there long, jumping the fence and running back to Artemis.

'Fiery Bull Out of Control!' exclaims Cretan Times! Hero Heracles dowses blazing bovine, tows it to Tiryns! Task 5 completed
King Minos of Crete asked Heracles to come and deal with a fire-breathing bull which was terrorising the island.  Heracles conquered it, and swam back to Tiryns, towing it behind him, and gave it to Hera's temple priestesses.

Heracles in horsey horror! Man-Eater Mares munch on murderous monarch! Eurystheus bans petrifying new pets! Task 6 completed
Heracles was sent to steal the man-eating mares belonging to King Diomedes of Thrace. The king decided to feed Heracles to his hungry horses, but was himself fed to them when Heracles found out his plan.  Heracles took them back to Tiryns, whereupon a trembling Eurystheus commanded that they should be locked in the strongest stable.

Heracles trounces fearsome feline! Nemean Lion no more!  Hero models 'Invincible Lionskin Armour' look! Task 7 completed 
The Nemean Lion had skin which could not be pierced by any weapon, so Heracles had to strangle it to death. He skinned it with its own sharp claws, and made invincible armour for himself out of its pelt.

Heracles in Golden Apple raid! Crafty champ tricks thick Titan! Dragon duped! King E forbids fatal fruit! Task 8 completed 
Heracles was commanded to bring Eurystheus 3 golden apples from Hera's garden at the end of the world. These were guarded by a fierce dragon. Heracles persuaded Atlas, the Titan who held up the heavens, to get them for him. Atlas agreed, if Heracles would take on his burden while he did it. When Atlas came back, he was going to run off and leave Heracles. However, Heracles played a trick on him, asking the Titan to take back the heavens while he scratched his nose.  In the end, Eurystheus made Heracles give the apples back to Athene in the end, as they were so dangerous to have around.

Heracles attracts amorous Amazon! Hippolyta hands hero gorgeous girdle! Admete's verdict? Fashion failure! Task 9 completed 
Eurystheus ordered Heracles to go and get a present for his spoilt daughter, Admete. Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons admired Heracles' strength so much that she gave him her magic girdle for the girl.  However when Admete saw the girdle, she took it, but didn't think it was a good enough gift.

Heracles battles hostile Hydra. Freaky fiend loses heads, grows more! Hero victorious, Hera furious! Task 10 completed 
Hera ordered Heracles to fight her poisonous nine-headed monster, the Hydra, which lived in a stinking swamp at Lerna, thinking that he would never beat it. However, with the help of his friend Iolaus, Heracles killed the beast.  Hera was beside herself with rage that the hero was not dead instead.

Heracles alerted to alarming avians! Bronze feathers 'cause carnage'! Stymphalian Birds routed by rattles! Task 11 completed 
A flock of ferocious birds were terrorising the people of Stymphalus, so Heracles was despatched to deal with them.  His arrows were no use in piercing the birds' bronze feathers, so he used a loud rattle to drive them away across the sea.

Heracles in head-2-head over grisly Guardian! Cerberus in chains! 'The End!' beams happy hero! Hera in huff! Tasks complete 
Heracles' final task was to steal Cerberus, the three-headed dog guardian of the Underworld. Hades agreed to this, provided Heracles beat the beast in a fair fight.  A victorious Heracles hauled Cerberus all the way to Tiryns, where Eurystheus took one look and ran to hide in his jar, where he stayed for a year.  Cerberus had to be taken back to the Underworld, and Hera was furious that Heracles had completed all his tasks successfully, but could do nothing more about it.

Pegasus 'Prince of Ponies' says blissful Bellerophon! Feathery steed & hero in fatal flying strike on scary Chimaera! 
Prince Bellerophon prays to Athene for help in defeating the Chimaera, a goat-headed, fire-breathing beast which is terrorizing Lycia.  Athene gives him Pegasus, the winged horse born from the Gorgon Medusa's blood.  Together they attack the beast, the horse hovering above while Bellerophon sticks a lead-tipped lance down its throat, killing it instantly.
Sisyphus in canny cattle ruse! Thief Autolycus trapped by trail of stolen steers! 'Evidence overwhelming!' rules judge 
Sisyphus Sharp-Eyes is having his cattle stolen by the thief Autolycus, son of Hermes.  The cunning King carves 'Stolen by Autolycus' into each remaining cow's front hoof, and when they are taken, he follows the marked trail to the robber's hideaway, catching him red-handed.

Click HERE for Part 1: Myths 1-20 Creation to the Minotaur
Click HERE for Part 2: Myths 21-40 Endymion to Echo and Narcissus
Click HERE for Part 4: Myths 61-80 Death of Heracles to Odysseus's Call-Up for the Trojan War
Click HERE for Part 5: Myths 81-100 Philoctetes to Odysseus's Return to Ithaca (the whole Iliad and Odyssey)

Once again, this is for those who have asked to see my entire #twitterfiction offering in one place, with a very simple expanded explanation.  Anyone who wants even more detail can find it in my book,

which was written for children, but also seems to be the 'ready reference' book of choice for many university Classics students.  It's available HERE

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