Eurystheus was the king of Tiryns and Mycenae in Greek mythology. He is most noted for giving his cousin Heracles the twelve labors and for hiding in an urn.


The father of Eurystheus was Sthenleus and his mother was Niccipe. His wife’s name was antimache. Both he and his rival Heracles were the grandsons of Perseus

Before Eurystheus was born he was chosen as Hera’s champion as Heracles was Zues’s. Both unborn children were in line to take the throne of Tiryns. Hera tricked Zues by delaying the birth of Heracles who would have been born first, and having Eurystheus born prematurely.


Unlike his cousin, Eurystheus did not have remarkable strength or bravery. He did whatever Hera told him to do and was very like the goddess in making decisions based on jealousy or spite. In most myths he is portrayed as being a coward.

Eurystheus in myths-Edit

Eurystheus mostly appears in myths about Heracles or his children. When Hera strikes Heracles with madness Heracles is put into the service of King Eurystheus. Eurystheus charges Heracles with the twelve labors each one meant to be impossible. Heracles strength and quick thinking allowed him to complete every task easily. Whenever Heracles brought back a frightening beast he had been charged to capture Eurystheus would hide in an urn and beg Heracles to take it away.


 Heracles was only responsible for completing ten labors. Eurystheus declared that he had gotten help on two of them and they didn’t count towards the ten labors.

It is believed that after his death, Eurystheus's head shrivelled to resemble that of a duckling.

Cites Edit

N.S., Gill. "Eurystheus." About.comguide. N.p.. Web. 25 Apr 2013. <>.

Parada, Carlos. "Eurystheus." Greekmythlogylink. N.p.. Web. 25 Apr 2013. <>.


Antimes, Painter. Herakles Eurystheus boar Staatliche Antikensammlungen. N.d. Sculpture. Wijimedia commonsWeb. 25 Apr 2013. <>.