Alexiares and Anicetus

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Alexiares and Anicetus (Ἀλεξιάρης Alexiarês and Ανικητος Anikêtos) are minor deities in Greek Mythology. They are the immortal sons of Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes and the strongest mortal to live, and Hebe, the goddess of youth the server of Ambrosia and nectar to the other Olympian gods.[1] Along with their father Heracles, they possibly were the guardians of Mount Olympus, and the pair may have been regarded as the gatekeepers of Olympus, a role which was often assigned to their immortal father. Additionally, they were likely responsible for the protection and fortification of towns and citadels. They were born after the hero's mortal death and assent to Olympus, where he gained immortality and married the goddess Hebe.[2] Callimachus makes a reference to Hebe receiving assistance from her sister, Eiliethyia the goddess of midwifery, while in labour.[3] Their names mean "he who wards off war" and "the unconquerable one" respectively.[4]

They were likely worshiped mostly in Thebes and Rhodes. Their powers were said to be youth and sports and it is possible that they inherited their father's great strength. Little is known about them besides a mention of their birth in the Bibliotheca: Heracles achieved immortality, and when Hera’s enmity changed to friendship, he married her daughter Hebe, who bore him sons Alexiares and Anicetus.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 2. 7. 7
  2. ^ Hesiod. Theogony. pp. 950 ff.
  3. ^ Callimachus. Fragment 524.
  4. ^ Atsma, Aaron J. "Aniketos & Alexiares". Theoi Project. Retrieved November 4, 2018.