Type: Terrestrial Garden
Usual Means of Access: The Garden of the Hesperides was located "beyond the river Oceanus and somewhere in western (ancient) Libya near the mountains of Atlas" in what is now part of modern Morocco.
Dominant Life-Form: The Hesperides (Aegle, Erytheia, Haestia, Arethusa, Hespere, Hesperusa and Hespereia - daughters of Atlas), Ladon,
Features: The Garden of the Hesperides provides the golden apples of immortality from which the Olympian Gods derive their immortality.
First Appearance: Hercules III#1 (June, 2005)
History: (Greek/Roman myth) - The Garden of the Hesperides was the sacred garden of Hera from where the Olympian Gods derived their immortality. A wedding gift from Gaea to Hera, the garden was placed in an inaccessible spot on the fringes of the western edge in the command of the Olympian gods. They were tended for the the Hesperides, minor goddesses of earth and daughters of the Titan Atlas, who spent their time singing and dancing when their attention was not devoted to gardening. They were further protected by an immense serpent named Ladon, off-spring of Typhon and Echidna.
Despite their remote location, the Hesperides was visited by Perseus, son of Zeus and heir to the throne of Argos. He had divulged their location from the Graiae who had sent him to seek out the Hesperides for weapons enchanted enough to slay the Gorgon Medusa. As he returned to give back the weapons, Perseus tried to stay as their guest but was roused from his revelry by Atlas imprisoned nearby. Using the head of Medusa, Perseus transformed Atlas to stone.
(Greek/Roman Myth/Hercules III#1 (fb)) - For his Eleventh Labor, Perseus' great-grandson, Hercules, also a son of Zeus, was sent to pick apples from the garden for King Eurystheus of Mycenae. However, their location had never been revealed and Hercules had to wrestle the secret of their location from Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. He killed Ladon, the dragon that protected the apples, but he eventually needed Atlas to pick them for him. Offering to hold back the heavens while Atlas picked the apples, Hercules was trapped under the burden of the heavens as Atlas decided to leave him and take the apples to Mycenae himself. Using his wits, Hercules asked Atlas to hold back the heavens long enough to get a better grip on them, but as Atlas took back his place, Hercules snatched up the apples and departed in haste. Before departing entirely, he created a freshwater spring to refresh himself which in his absence also saved the Argonauts from thirst as they fought to return to Greece. In Mycenae, Eurystheus was forced to turned over the apples to the goddess Athena who returned them to the Hesperides.
Comments: Adapted by
According to the continuity of the "Legendary Journeys," eating one of the golden apples made a normal human immortal although lacking in godly gifts until tasting ambrosia. This is how Callisto (the blonde female psychopath, not the Arcadia priestess from the myths) became the goddess of hate and yet, still not a worthy match for Xena.
Some myths place the garden far to the north in Hyperborea, in what would be modern Scandinavia (where the Asgardian gods could have sneaked quite a few) or in Northern Italy, but considering the connection to Atlas, Libya has been the most faithful location.
Profile by: WillU
The Garden of the Hesperides not to be confused with:
Hercules III#1, pg 30
Hercules III#1 (June, 2005) - Frank Tieri (writer), Mark Texeira (pencils), Jimmy Palmiotti (inks), Axel Alonso (editor)
Last updated: 12/09/05
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