He next labor of Hercules was to capture the Erymanthian [Er-i-MAN-thi-an] boar [at the beginning of this section we will establish what a boar is by defining the word and searching in available classroom and library resources for a comprehensive understanding] which lived on the slopes of Mount in Erymanthus. The mountain was named after the son of Apollo whom the goddess of love, Aphrodite [Af-ro-DI-tee] had blinded after he saw her bathing. In turn, Apollo sent the boar to kill her beloved Adonis. The boar told Aphrodite that he hadn’t meant to kill Adonis, but simply to embrace him. It was only his clumsiness that caused him to scratch Adonis. Aphrodite spared his life but condemned him to roam and ravage those hills for the rest of his life.
On his way to capture the boar, Hercules met a centaur named Pholus. A centaur was a creature which had the body of a man from the waist and the body of a horse from the waist down. Pholus invited Hercules to dine with him and roasted meat for him in his cave. During the meal, he also opened a jar of wine which had been left for just such an occasion. The smell of the wine attracted all sorts of wild animals which proceeded to attack Hercules. He was forced to defend himself against these assaults and in the course of his retaliation several of the creatures were killed. In the course of his defense, a kindly old centaur was wounded by one of Hercules poisonous arrows. Pholus was astonished that such a minor wound could cause death and while examining the arrow, he dropped it and scratched his foot. The poison (from the hydras gall) was so venomous that he died within minutes. The certain death frightened away the other animals.
Hercules was now free to find and capture the boar which was ferocious and quite elusive. Hercules drove it from his hiding place and chased it into a snow drift where the boar sank from his own weight. Our hero captured the boar, bound it in chains and carried it back to Tiryns and Eurystheus. When the king saw the fearsome beast, he hid in a large bronze pot. Hercules took the boar and released it into the sea where it swam to the west toward Italy.