Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes












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Alcmene in Greek Mythology




The beautiful heroine Alcmene played a small but nonetheless significant role in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Electryon, and the wife of Amphitryon.

As is often the case in Greek myth, there was an important incident that changed the course of Alcmene's life. In this story, problems began when Alcmene's brothers were killed during a cattle raid. When Amphitryon, at Alcmene's request, went to seek revenge for the death of the brothers, he accidentally killed the heroine's father. As a result, Amphitryon was exiled, and Alcmene accompanied him into exile. However, Alcmene imposed a severe restriction on the unfortunate man - she refused to become intimate with Amphitryon until he had avenged the deaths. Amphitryon had no choice but to gather his warriors and set out for battle.

Were all of these difficulties just an example of really bad luck? Actually, no. Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods, had chosen the lovely Alcmene to be his next - and indeed last - mortal mistress. So Zeus arranged for certain events to happen, events that would allow him to visit Alcmene and ultimately conceive a child with her. And that is exactly what took place. Zeus assumed the form of Amphitryon and slept with Alcmene. When the real Amphitryon arrived, he also enjoyed a night with his wife. Alcmene of course became pregnant, and with twins - Herakles, the son of Zeus, and Iphicles, who was Amphitryon's child.

In this way, Alcmene became the mother of mighty Herakles, one of Greece's greatest heroes. Her fame therefore is due in some measure to the achievements of her semi-divine son. But Alcmene was also important in her own right. Indeed, she is praised for her beauty and intelligence in Hesiod's poem The Shield.




Who's Who in Classical Mythology

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.

Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology

The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.

Mythography Forums

Mythography Forums

Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!