The legendary strongman Hercules was born to the god Zeus and a mortal named Alcmena. This union so incensed Zeus’s wife Hera that she made life almost unbearable for the hero. Her ire resulted in him undertaking a series of tasks, known as the Twelve Labors of Hercules. Sebald Beham challenged his audience’s knowledge of the classical text, engraving three actual labors and nine scenes of Hercules’ exploits before and after his labors.
One mission takes Hercules to Erythia to steal the monstrous Geryon’s cattle. Along the way, Hercules erected great rocks, or pillars, near the Straits of Gibraltar.