FABLE OF THE TWELVE LABORS.
The authors of the original solar fables, having lived in that remote age in which physical prowess was recognized as the highest attribute of humanity, conceived the idea that God Sol, while passing through his apparent orbit, had to fight his way with the animals of the Zodiac, and with others in conjunction with them. Hence, designating him as the Mighty Hunter, and calling his exploits the twelve labors, they made the incarnate Saviours the heroes of similar ones on earth, which they taught were performed for the good of mankind; and that, after fulfilling their earthly mission, they were exhaled to heaven through the agency of fire. When these fables were composed the Summer Solstice was in the sign of Leo, and making the twelve labors begin in it, the first consisted in the killing of a lion, and the second, in rescuing a virgin (Virgo) by the destruction of a Hydra, the constellation in conjunction with her. Upon one of the Assyrian marbles on exhibition in the British Museum these two labors are represented as having been performed by a saviour by the name of Nimroud. In the constellations of Taurus, the bull of the Zodiac, and of Orion, originally known as Horns, in conjunction therewith, we have groupings of stars representing the latter as one of the mighty hunters of the ancient Astrolatry, supporting on his left arm the shield of the lion's skin, the trophy of the first labor, and holding a club in his uplifted right hand, is engaged in performing the tenth labor by a conflict with the former.
The fable of the twelve labors constituted the sacred records or scriptures of the older forms of Astrolatry, one version of which, written with the cuneiform character upon twelve tablets of burnt clay, exhumed from the ruins of an Assyrian city, and now on exhibition in the British Museum, is ascribed to Nimroud, the prototype of the Grecian Hercules, and of Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter of the Old Testament.