Heracles steals the Mares of Diomedes

The 8th Task of Heracles was to steal four horses that belonged to King Diomedes, this King was the ruler of a war like civilisation on the coast of the Black Sea, not a lot more is known about King Diomedes apart from the fact he owned four horses called Podargos, Lampon, Xanthos and Deinos. King Diomedes being the nasty man he was has trained these four horses to only eat human flesh,  they had been driven mad by this and they would feast on anyone who strayed onto the kings land.

There are several versions of how Heracles obtained the horses but they all end up the same way. The version I prefer is that Heracles dug a trench around the four horses and filled it with water leaving them stranded on an island, King Diomedes wondered where his beloved horses where and went to find them only to be ambushed by Heracles who killed him with an axe.

Heracles threw the kings body onto the island where the Horses quickly feasted on the King thus curing them of their madness and their taste for human flesh. Heracles was now able to lead the four calm horses back to the palace of King Eurystheus where they were released into the wild where they never harmed another person again.

I have just four more of the Labours of Heracles to do and then I will be moving on to some other Myths and Legends around the world, do you have a favourite that you would like to see me cover? Please do let me know with a message of comment.

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