Hercules and Busiris - Greek Myth
Welcome to Quatr.us Study Guides!

Hercules and Busiris

man in lion skin killing bald men with a club
Hercules kills the Egyptians

In this story, Hercules traveled to Egypt, where he met the king of Egypt, the Pharaoh Busiris. Busiris was a bad king. He captured Hercules, because Hercules was a stranger there, and tried to sacrifice Hercules to the Egyptian gods.

But just as they were about to sacrifice him, Hercules used his giant muscles to break the chains that were tying him up. Hercules killed Busiris and his sons, and got away.

Mostly the point of this Greek story is just to suggest the racist idea that Egyptians are bad and weak - they mistreat strangers, and they have weird ideas about their gods, plus they're losers. You might compare the breaking-the-chains part of the story to the Jewish story of Samson (which is a story about how the Greeks are bad and the Jews are good!), and also to the Jewish story of the evil pharaoh Rameses and how Moses led the Jews to freedom.

More about Hercules

Bibliography and further reading about Hercules:

Twelve Labors of Hercules (Step into Reading, Step 3), by Marc Cerasini. Very easy, for beginning readers.

The Story of Hercules (Dover Children's Thrift Classics), by Robert Blaisdell (1997). , very cheap.

Hercules, by Nancy Loewen (1999). Still for kids, but more sophisticated, with a look at how the myth was passed on and what it meant to people, as well as the story itself.

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths, by Edgar and Ingri D'Aulaire. (Look under Heracles).

The Myths of Herakles in Ancient Greece, by Mark W. Padilla (1998). By a specialist, for adults.

More about Hercules
Ancient Greece
Quatr.us home

LIMITED TIME OFFER FOR TEACHERS: Using this article with your class? Show us your class page where you're using this article, and we'll send you a free subscription so all your students can use Quatr.us Study Guides with no distractions! (Not a teacher? Paid subscriptions are also available for just $16/year!)
Please help other teachers and students find us: link to this page from your class page.
Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
Cite this page
  • Author: K.E. Carr
  • Title:
  • Site Name: Quatr.us Study Guides
  • Publisher: Quatr.us
  • Date Published:
Did you find what you needed? Ask your teacher to link to this page so other people can use it too! Send it in and win a Quatr.us "Great Page!" award!
Sign up for more free articles and special offers in Quatr.us' weekly newsletter:
We will never share your e-mail address unless you allow us to do so. View our privacy policy. Easy unsubscribe links are provided in every email.
Comment on This Article

Does your class page honor diversity, celebrate feminism, and support people of color, LBGTQ people, and people with disabilities? Let us know, and we'll send you a Diversity Banner you can proudly display!
Looking for more?
Quatr.us is loading comments...
(Comments will appear after moderation, if they are kind and helpful. Feel free to ask questions, and we'll try to answer them.)
Cite this page
  • Carr, K.E. . Quatr.us Study Guides, . Web. 27 April, 2017