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date: 03 February 2023



  • George M. A. Hanfmann


A mythological race of monstrous appearance and great strength. According to *Hesiod they were sons of Ge (Earth) from the blood of *Gaia/*Uranus which fell upon earth; he describes them as valiant warriors (Theog.185). *Homer considers them a savage race of men who perished with their king Eurymedon (Od. 7. 59). The prevailing legend of the fight of the gods and the Giants was formulated in Archaic epics and was embroidered by many later writers. A substantial account is given by *Apollodorus (6) (1. 6. 1.). When the gods were attacked by the Giants they learned that they could win only if they were assisted by a mortal. They called in *Heracles, who killed the giant Alcyoneus and many others with his arrows. *Zeus, who led the gods, smote with his thunderbolt Porphyrion who attempted to ravish *Hera; *Athena killed Pallas or Enceladus; *Poseidon crushed Polybotes under the rock that became the island of *Nisyros (Strabo 489); *Apollo shot Ephialtes; *Hermes slew Hippolytus; *Dionysus killed Eurytus and many other Giants besides who were caught in his vine; and Hephaestus aided the gods, throwing red-hot iron as missiles.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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