Hercules and Deianira
After Evrit banished Hercules from Oichalia, the great hero came to Calydon, the city of Aetolia. There are rules Oyney. Hercules came to Oineus to ask for the hand of his daughter Deyanira, as he promised in the kingdom of shadows Meleagra to marry her. In Calydon, Hercules met a formidable opponent. Many heroes sought the hand of the beautiful Deyanira, and among them the river god Aheloy. Finally, Oinei decided that the hand of Deyanira would be given to the one who would come out victorious in the fight. All the grooms refused to fight the mighty Acheloi. Only Hercules remained. He had to fight with the god of the river. Seeing Hercules' determination to measure strength with him, Acheloi told him:
And Acheloi began to mock the great son of Zeus and defame his mother Alcmene. Frowning, Hercules looked sternly at Acheloy; his eyes flashed with the fire of anger, and he said:
- Aheloy, my hands serve me better than my tongue! Be a winner in words, I will be a winner in deeds.
With a firm step, Hercules approached Acheloi and wrapped his mighty arms around him. The huge Acheloi stood firm; the great Hercules could not bring him down; all his efforts were in vain. So Aheloy stood, as an unshakable rock stands, and the sea waves do not shake it, hitting it with a thunderous noise. Chest to chest, Hercules and Acheloi are fighting, like two bulls grappling with their crooked horns. Three times Hercules attacked Acheloy, and the fourth time, escaping from the hands of Acheloy, the hero grabbed him from behind. Like a heavy mountain, he pressed the river god to the very ground. Aheloy could hardly, gathering all his strength, free his hands, covered with sweat; no matter how hard he strained his strength, Hercules pressed him harder and harder to the ground. With a groan, Aheloy bent down, his knees bent, and his head touched the ground itself. In order not to be defeated, Aheloy resorted to cunning; he turned into a snake. As soon as Acheloi turned into a snake and slipped out of Hercules' hands, Hercules exclaimed laughing:
- Even in the cradle I learned how to fight snakes! True, you are superior to other snakes, Aheloy, but you cannot compare with the Lernaean hydra. Although she grew two new ones instead of a severed head, I still defeated her.
Hercules grabbed the snake's neck with his hands and squeezed it like iron pincers. I tried to escape from the hands of the hero Ahela, but could not. Then he turned into a bull and attacked Hercules again. Hercules grabbed the horns of the bull-Acheloi and knocked him to the ground. Hercules knocked him down with such terrible force that he broke one of his horns. Achela was defeated and gave Oinei to Deianir as a wife to Hercules.
After the wedding, Hercules stayed in the palace of Oineus; but he did not stay with him for long. Once during a feast, Hercules hit his son Architheles, Eunoma, for the fact that the boy poured water on his hands, prepared for washing his feet. The blow was so strong that the boy fell dead. Hercules was saddened, and although Architel forgave him the involuntary murder of his son, the hero Calydon still left and went with his wife Deyanira to Tiryns.
During the journey, Hercules came with his wife to the river Even. Through this stormy river, the centaur Nessus transported travelers on his broad back for a fee. Nessus offered to move Deianira to the other side, and Hercules put her on the centaur's back. The hero himself threw the club and bow to the other side and swam across the stormy river. Hercules had just come ashore when he suddenly heard the loud cry of Deianira. She was calling for her husband's help. The centaur, captivated by her beauty, wanted to kidnap her. The son of Zeus shouted menacingly to Nessus:
- Where are you running to? Do you really think that your legs will save you? No, you will not be saved! No matter how fast you run, will my arrow still catch up with you?
Hercules pulled his bow, and an arrow flew off the tight string. The deadly arrow caught up with Nessus, stabbed him in the back, and its tip went through the centaur's chest. Nessus fell to his knees, mortally wounded. A stream of blood mixed with the poison of the Lernaean hydra is drunk from his wound. Nessus did not want to die unavenged; he collected his blood and gave it to Deianira, saying:
- Oh, daughter of Oineya, I carried you last through the stormy waters of Even! Take my blood and keep it! If Hercules falls out of love with you, this blood will return his love to you, and no woman will be dearer to him than you, rub only Heracles' clothes with it.
She took the blood of Nessus Deyanir and hid it. Nessus died. Hercules and Deyanira arrived in Tiryns and lived there until the involuntary murder of a friend by Hercules forced them to leave the glorious city Ifit.