Founded by Hercules

Alphabetical list (via GBS unless otherwise indicated), and with no particular attention paid to the Greek vs Lybian business, to the Roman/West Mediterranean cult, or to anything else for that matter:

  • “ABDERA, ab-dé’-ra, a maritime city in Thrace” (Beeton’s Classical Dictionary)
  • Alesia, an ancient town of the Man« dubii in Gallia Lugdunensis, said to have been founded by Hercules (Smith, A New Classical Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography, Mythology and Geography)
  • Asciburgium (Tacitus)
  • Barcino, Barcelona, was a city of the Laletani, and stood on the coast, a little N. of the Rubricatus: it is said to have been founded by Hercules 400 years before Rome, and to have been rebuilt by Hamilcar Barcas, who gave it the name of his family. (Bevan ed Smith, The student’s manual of ancient geography)
  • “witness the famous temple of Cadiz, built by the Tyrians, … the boundary of his expeditions to the west.” (Clarke, The Monthly Epitome)
  • The legend tells A Coruña was founded by Hércules, who after conquering to Gerión [Girion] in a combat that lasted three days, he buried his head in the place where now the tower of Hércules gets up and he ordered to found there a city, call Crunnia. The General Chronicle of Alfonso X counts us this history.
  • Back in the 16th century, many Florentines might have told you proudly that Florence was founded by Hercules (the Lybian one), who one day stood on the ramparts of Fiesole looking into the valley and thinking what a nice place for a city this would be.
  • Gythium, the port of Sparta (Hazlitt, The Classical Gazetteer)
  • “Herculaneum was a city of vast antiquity, dedicated to, or, as some writers say, founded by Hercules [on returning from Spain]. This heroic divinity was much esteemed all over the then known world. Temples and altars were every where erected to him…” (Clarke, The Monthly Epitome)
  • In Lacinium “was a temple of Juno Lacinia, traditionally founded by Hercules, in which was the Helen of Zeuxis, and a famous pillar of gold.” (Hazlitt, The Classical Gazetteer)
  • Modica
  • Diodorus Siculus has asserted that Naples was founded by Hercules (A classical and historical tour through France …)
  • Olympic Games (Seneca, Hercules Furens)
  • Pompeii: “At the depth of 21 feet, coals, tools, and an inscription relative to Pompeia, were found under the fourth stratum; therefore the fix under the strata proceeded from eruptions prior to the building of that town, said to be founded by Hercules, who is here intimated to have lived in the days of Abraham, more than 1900 years before Christ; and hence is insinuated the length of time required for the date of the lowest stratum of lava.” (Howard, The Scriptural History of the Earth and of Mankind)
  • “Portus [ie Monaco], a Greek town of the Vediantii, in Liguria …” (Hazlitt, The Classical Gazetteer)
  • Saguntum (Bevan ed Smith, The student’s manual of ancient geography)
  • Salamanca school of magic: “Spain, from the relics, doubtless, of Arabian learning and superstition, was accounted a favourite residence of magicians… There were public schools, where magic or rather the sciences supposed to involve its mysteries, were regularly taught, at Toledo, Seville, and Salamanca. In the latter city, there were held in a deep cavern; the mouth of which was walled up by Queen Isabella, wife of King Ferdinand… This Salamancan Domdaniel is said to have been founded by Hercules.” (The Poetical Works of Sir Walter Scott)
  • According to legend, Segovia was founded by Hercules the Egiptian, a great-grandson of Noah, around the year 1076 BC.
  • Seville: “Spanish historians speak of it as one of the oldest cities of Europe, and claim it was founded by Hercules Livius, in the year of the creation 2228, or 592 years after the deluge, and 1717 before Christ. This would make it contemporary with the time of the patriarch Jacob, an age as great surely as any modest city could well wish to be honored with. (Rockwell, Sketches of Foreign Travel And Life at Sea)
  • Straits of Gibraltar: The two promontories, at the entry of the Straits, the one in Europe, the other in Africa, were called, by geographers, Hercules’s Pillars. The former, Calpe, is Gibraltar in Europe, and the latter, Abila, is Ceuta, in Africa. The fabulous tradition of the old Spaniards was, that these mountains were cut asunder by Hercules, by which means the Atlantic ocean rushed in and formed the Mediterranean sea… (Clarke, The Monthly Epitome)
  • There are other stories of Tangier being founded by Hercules. The cave or grotto of Hercules is only a 20 minute taxi drive from the city. This cave is a major tourist attraction because of its association with Greek mythology. It is believed that Hercules slept there before attempting one of his 12 labours.
  • They leave this, passing Tarentum in Apulia, traditionally said to be founded by Hercules (Virgil)
  • Toledo

Any more?

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