Alcmene


Alcmene: Greek virgin goddess of midwinter

Alcmene is a beautiful Greek virgin goddess of midwinter. She was one of Zeus' many lovers, but she can probably claim innocence in the affair as Zeus visited her in the form of her husband while he was away. She became pregnant with Heracles on the night of their union. Her husband Amphitryon returned the next night and Alcmene fell pregnant again.

Although Hera sent several witches to hinder Alcmene giving birth, the two boys, Heracles and Iphicles, were finally delivered. The angry Hera plagued Heracles with pain and hardship throughout his life.

Although Alcmene was a mortal, she is revered as a goddess by some. It is said that when she died, Zeus got Heracles to place a stone in her coffin and her body was brought to the Isle of the Blessed where she was revived and married to Rhadamanthys.