Who were the Hesperides?

   Hesperides were the maidens who guarded the golden apples given by Gaea (Earth) to Hera on her marriage. The accounts of these maidens vary. Some mention three of them, others give four, and still others seven. Hesiod speaks of them as the daughters of Night. Other ac­counts name Atlas as their father and Hesperis as their mother. Again the Hesperides are said to be the daughters of Hesperus. The garden where the golden apples grew was believed to be at the extreme western limit of the world. The maidens were aided by the hundred-headed dragon, Ladon. While fifty of his heads watched, the other fifty slept. Hercules was assigned the task of obtaining these apples as his twelfth labor.

The Hesperides