|Disclaimer: While it is the intention of the foremost members of this website to keep pages as mythologically accurate as possible, this site should not be taken fully as mythical, legendary or folkloric canon (let alone as a resource for any paper, report or journal). Cite pages at your own peril.|
The Nemean Lion is a creature with origins in Greek mythology, legend and folklore. A son of the great divine monsters Typhon and Echidna, nursed by the moon goddess Selene, and favored by Hera for its ferocity, the original Nemean Lion lived its life fiercely terrorizing lands where Hera's enemies resided.
In fact, when it is first introduced with its own mythos, it is in the land of Argos, sent to terrorize the town, and eventually to oppose the divinely-strong hero Heracles (Hercules) for his first labor.
When Heracles succeeded in slaying it, the Lion would go on to be rewarded by Hera, despite his failed efforts, by being placed among the stars, as the constellation Leo. From this proud and divinely favored heritage, all other Nemean Lions descend.
A Nemean Lion is often said to be the much more handsome version of a normal lion. Touched by Hera's divine blessing, which passed down through its generations, they are majestic and regal, capable of intimidating even an adult male of a normal lion species.
In addition, they are much larger than normal (with cubs the size of adult domestic cats at birth), and clad in a hide of impenetrable skin and lovely golden fur.
Nemean Lions assemble in prides like normal lions, and are highly territorial. They can be brutal, savage creatures when provoked, raging about viciously and attacking fiercely.
However, they are not to be depicted as brutes or monsters; they are among the brightest of the feline kingdom. Furthermore, the pride's hierarchy is very nurturing, paying especial attention to their cubs (especially males of the litter).
They always makes sure the cubs are provided for first (followed by the elder males, the younger adult males and the females respectively). And when certain members are harmed, they are defended dutifully by other members of the pride.
In fact, the entire purpose for their males' territorial nature is to ensure that weaker members have food and other resources always provided.
Well defended by its nearly impenetrable (divinely-reinforced) hide, Nemean Lions are extremely difficult to slay. The hide makes long-range fighting almost useless against them. These lions also possess the teeth, strength, claws, speed and voice beyond a normal lion. These make fighting one in close combat a frightening prospect.
The only known way to kill them is suffocation. Though, many theorize that poisoning is also a possible alternative, as well as perhaps piercing the inside of its mouth.