In Greek mythology, Eurystheus ( /jʊəˈrɪsθiəs/ ; Greek : Εὐρυσθεύς, lit. "broad strength", IPA: [eu̯rystʰěu̯s] ) was king of Tiryns, one of three Mycenaean strongholds in the Argolid, although other authors including Homer and Euripides cast him as ruler of Argos.
Eurystheus was the son of King Sthenelus and Nicippe (also called Antibia  or Archippe  ), and he was a grandson of the hero Perseus.  His sisters were Alcyone and Medusa, and he married Antimache,  daughter of Amphidamas of Arcadia. Their children were Admete, Alexander, Iphimedon,  Eurybius, Mentor, Perimedes  and Eurypylus. 
In the contest of wills between Hera and Zeus over whose candidate would be hero, fated to defeat the remaining creatures representing an old order and bring about the reign of the Twelve Olympians, Eurystheus was Hera's candidate and Heracles—though his name implies that at one archaic stage of myth-making he had carried "Hera's fame"—was the candidate of Zeus.  The arena for the actions that would bring about this deep change are the Twelve Labors imposed on Heracles by Eurystheus. The immediate necessity for the Labours of Heracles is as penance for Heracles' murder of his own family, in a fit of madness, which had been sent by Hera; however, further human rather than mythic motivation is supplied by mythographers who note that their respective families had been rivals for the throne of Mycenae. Details of the individual episodes may be found in the article on the Labours of Heracles, but Hera was connected with all of the opponents Heracles had to overcome. 
Heracles' human stepfather Amphitryon was also a grandson of Perseus, and since Amphitryon's father (Alcaeus) was older than Eurystheus' father (Sthenelus), he might have received the kingdom, but Sthenelus had banished Amphitryon for accidentally killing (a familiar mytheme) the eldest son in the family (Electryon). When, shortly before his son Heracles was born, Zeus proclaimed the next-born descendant of Perseus should get the kingdom, Hera thwarted his ambitions by delaying Alcmene's labour and having her candidate Eurystheus born prematurely at seven months. 
Heracles' first task was to slay the Nemean Lion and bring back its skin, which Heracles decided to wear. Eurystheus was so scared by Heracles' fearsome guise that he hid in a subterranean bronze winejar, and from that moment forth all labors were communicated to Heracles through a herald, Copreus. 
For his second labour, to slay the Lernaean Hydra, Heracles took with him his nephew, Iolaus, as a charioteer. When Eurystheus found out that Heracles' nephew had helped him he declared that the labour had not been completed alone and as a result did not count towards the ten labours set for him. 
Eurystheus' third task did not involve killing a beast, but capturing one alive—the Ceryneian Hind, a golden-horned hind or doe sacred to Artemis. Heracles knew that he had to return the hind, as he had promised, to Artemis, so he agreed to hand it over on the condition that Eurystheus himself come out and take it from him. Eurystheus did come out, but the moment Heracles let the hind go, she sprinted back to her mistress, and Heracles departed, saying that Eurystheus had not been quick enough. 
When Heracles returned with the Erymanthian Boar, Eurystheus was again frightened and hid in his jar, begging Heracles to get rid of the beast; Heracles obliged. 
The fifth labour proposed by Eurystheus was to clear out the numerous stables of Augeias. Striking a deal with Augeias, Heracles proposed a payment of a tenth of Augeias' cattle if the labour was completed successfully. Not believing the task feasible, Augeias agreed, asking his son Phyleus to witness. Heracles rerouted two nearby rivers (Alpheis and Peneios) through the stable, clearing out the dung rapidly. When Augeias learned of Heracles' bargain for the task, he refused payment. Heracles brought the case to court, and Phyleus testified against his father. Enraged, Augeias banished both Phyleus and Heracles from the land before the court had cast their vote. However, Eurystheus refused to credit the labour to Heracles, as he had performed it for payment. So Heracles went and drove Augeias out of the kingdom and installed Phyleus as king. Heracles then took his tenth of the cattle and left them to graze in a field by his home. 
For his sixth labour, Heracles had to drive the Stymphalian Birds off the marshes they plagued. He did so, shooting down several birds with his Hydra-poisoned arrows and bringing them back to Eurystheus as proof. 
For his seventh labour, Heracles captured the Cretan Bull. He used a lasso and rode it back to his cousin. Eurystheus offered to sacrifice the bull to Hera his patron, who hated Heracles. She refused the sacrifice because it reflected glory on Heracles. The bull was released and wandered to Marathon, becoming known as the Marathonian Bull. 
When Heracles brought back the man-eating Mares of Diomedes successfully, Eurystheus dedicated the horses to Hera and allowed them to roam freely in the Argolid.  Bucephalus, Alexander the Great's horse, was said to be descended from these mares.
To acquire the belt of Hippolyte, queen of the Amazons, was Heracles' ninth task. This task was at the request of Eurystheus' daughter, Admete.  For the tenth labour, he stole the cattle of the giant Geryon, which Eurystheus then sacrificed to Hera. 
To extend what may have once been ten Labours to the canonical dozen, it was said that Eurystheus didn't count the Hydra, as he was assisted, nor the Augean stables, as Heracles received payment for his work. For the eleventh labour, Heracles had to obtain the Apples of the Hesperides; he convinced their father, the Titan Atlas, to help him, but did his share of work by temporarily holding up the sky in the Titan's stead.  For his final labour, he was to capture Cerberus, the three-headed hound that guarded the entrance to Hades. When he managed to bring the struggling animal back, the terrified Eurystheus hid in his jar one more time, begging Heracles to leave for good and take the dog with him. 
After Heracles died, Eurystheus remained bitter over the indignity the hero had caused him. He attempted to destroy Heracles' many children (the Heracleidae, led by Hyllus), who fled to Athens. He attacked the city but was soundly defeated, and Eurystheus and his sons were killed.  Though it is widely told that Hyllus killed Eurystheus, the stories about the killer of Eurystheus and the fate of his corpse vary,  but the Athenians believed the burial site of Eurystheus remained on their soil and served to protect the country against the descendants of Heracles, who traditionally included the Spartans and Argives. 
After Eurystheus' death, the brothers Atreus and Thyestes, whom he had left in charge during his absence, took over the city, the former exiling the latter and assuming the kingship, while Tiryns returned to the kingship of Argos.
Eurystheus was a character in Heracleidae , a play by Euripides. Macaria, one of the daughters of Heracles, and her brothers and sisters hid from Eurystheus in Athens, which was ruled by King Demophon. As Eurystheus prepared to attack, an oracle told Demophon that he would win if and only if a noble woman was sacrificed to Persephone. Macaria volunteered for the sacrifice and a spring was named the Macarian spring in her honor. Eurystheus speaks prophetically of his burial within Attica, claiming that he will be an anti-hero of sorts, though one who will eventually protect the Athenians. 
In Greek mythology, Alcmene or Alcmena was the wife of Amphitryon by whom she bore two children, Iphicles and Laonome. She is best known as the mother of Heracles, whose father was the god Zeus. Alcmene was also referred to as Electryone (Ἠλεκτρυώνη), a patronymic name as a daughter of Electryon.
In ancient Greek religion, Hera is the goddess of marriage, women and family, and the protector of women during childbirth. In Greek mythology, she is queen of the twelve Olympians and Mount Olympus, sister and wife of Zeus, and daughter of the Titans Cronus and Rhea. One of her defining characteristics in myth is her jealous and vengeful nature in dealing with any who offend her, especially Zeus' numerous adulterous lovers and illegitimate offspring.
Heracles, born Alcaeus or Alcides, was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, and the foster son of Amphitryon. He was a great-grandson and half-brother of Perseus, and similarly a half-brother of Dionysus. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae (Ἡρακλεῖδαι), and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.
The Heracleidae or Heraclids were the numerous descendants of Heracles (Hercules), especially applied in a narrower sense to the descendants of Hyllus, the eldest of his four sons by Deianira. Other Heracleidae included Macaria, Lamos, Manto, Bianor, Tlepolemus, and Telephus. These Heraclids were a group of Dorian kings who conquered the Peloponnesian kingdoms of Mycenae, Sparta and Argos; according to the literary tradition in Greek mythology, they claimed a right to rule through their ancestor. Since Karl Otfried Müller's Die Dorier, I. ch. 3, their rise to dominance has been associated with a "Dorian invasion". Though details of genealogy differ from one ancient author to another, the cultural significance of the mythic theme, that the descendants of Heracles, exiled after his death, returned some generations later to reclaim land that their ancestors had held in Mycenaean Greece, was to assert the primal legitimacy of a traditional ruling clan that traced its origin, thus its legitimacy, to Heracles
Amphitryon, in Greek mythology, was a son of Alcaeus, king of Tiryns in Argolis. His mother was named either Astydameia, the daughter of Pelops and Hippodamia, or Laonome, daughter of Guneus, or else Hipponome, daughter of Menoeceus. Amphitryon was the brother of Anaxo, and Perimede, wife of Licymnius. He was a husband of Alcmene, Electryon's daughter, and stepfather of the Greek hero Heracles.
In Greek mythology, Hyllus or Hyllas (Ὕλᾱς) was son of Heracles and Deianira, husband of Iole, nursed by Abia.
In Greek mythology, Atë, Até or Aite was the goddess of mischief, delusion, ruin, and blind folly, rash action and reckless impulse who led men down the path of ruin. She also led both gods and men to rash and inconsiderate actions and to suffering. Até also refers to an action performed by a hero that leads to their death or downfall.
In Greek mythology, Augeas, whose name means "bright", was king of Elis and father of Epicaste. Some say that Augeas was one of the Argonauts. He is best known for his stables, which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the country and had never been cleaned, until the time of the great hero Heracles.
In Greek mythology, Epaphus, also called Apis or Munantius, was a son of the Greek God Zeus and king of Egypt.
In Greek mythology, Iphicles, also called Iphiclus, was the maternal half-brother of Heracles and one of the Calydonian boar hunters.
In Greek mythology, Echemus was the Tegean king of Arcadia who succeeded Lycurgus.
In Greek mythology, Phyleus was an Elean prince and one of the Calydonian boar hunters.
The Mares of Diomedes, also called the Mares of Thrace, were a herd of man-eating horses in Greek mythology. Magnificent, wild, and uncontrollable, they belonged to Diomedes of Thrace, king of Thrace, son of Ares and Cyrene who lived on the shores of the Black Sea. Bucephalus, Alexander the Great's horse, was said to be descended from these mares.
In Greek mythology, Alcaeus or Alkaios was the name of a number of different people:
The Labours of Hercules are a series of episodes concerning a penance carried out by Heracles, the greatest of the Greek heroes, whose name was later romanised as Hercules. They were accomplished at the service of King Eurystheus. The episodes were later connected by a continuous narrative.
In Greek mythology, Megara was a Theban princess and the first wife of the hero Heracles.
Perimedes was a name attributed to several characters in Greek mythology.
Hercules is a 2005 American television miniseries chronicling the life of the legendary Greek hero, Heracles, called Hercules in this series. It is most often aired on television as a two-part miniseries: the first part documents his early life in Tiryns and his desire and marriage to the lady Megara; the second part follows the more widely recognised part of his life, in seeking redemption for the madness-induced murder of his family.
In Greek mythology, Sthenelus was a king of Tiryns and Mycenae, and the son of Perseus who founded the latter city.
In Greek mythology, Antimache was the queen of Tiryns as wife of King Eurystheus, who tasked Heracles with his Labors.