-By Kelsey S.
Leo the Lion was the first of Hercules' labors to be killed, because the giant beast roamed the hills and the streets, devouring whomever it met.
The lion's skin was iron, bronze, and stone. Hercules' arrows harmlessly bounced off, his sword bent in two, and his wooden club smashed into pieces, so Hercules wrestled the beast and finally choked it to death. Then he rapped the lions pelt around his waist, for it would protect him from the next labor, killing the poisonous Hydra.
The lion, long before the Greeks, was a symbol of power and strength. Approximately three thousand years before the Christian era carvings showed lions, it had replaced another sacred symbol, the Bull. The Bull was mentioned having to do with the moon, and the Lion was now mentioned with the sun. The Lion was made to kill the Bull. About 4000BC, the Lion was seen chasing the Bull over the horizon announcing the end of winter and the beginning of spring.
Thus, Leo, the killer of Taurus, ruled the summer skies. The sun currently passes through Leo at the end of summer from mid-August to mid-September.