from Melqart to Heracles
Heracles was a Greek hero, son of Zeus and Alcmene. He is most famous for the twelve labours, which he had to commit after having slain his own children (driven mad by Zeus’ wife Hera), and as one of the Argonauts in the hunt for the Golden Fleece. After his death Heracles was put on a pyre and made divine by Zeus. The iconography of Heracles, during antiquity and later on, mostly consists of him as the hero who is fighting a monster with his club. Only in the classical period does the amount of depictions of Heracles as monster-slayer decrease, but remains in sculptures and vase-painting. The same thing happens in literature from the 5th century, when the labours are mentioned occasionally but the emphasis is on other aspects of Heracles character like his inner life or his role as a tragic hero. It was also in the 5th century that Greek writers started to use Heracles when it is obvious they are talking about Phoenician Melqart.