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GIGANTES
Form: Giants

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In Homer the Gigantes are a wild and gigantic race of aborigines, kinsmen of the gods, as are the Cyclopes and Phaeacians. With their king Eurymedon, they are destroyed for their wickedness. Hesiod makes them the sons of Gaea, sprung from the blood of the mutilated Uranus. Neither Hesiod nor Homer know anything of their struggle with the gods (Gigantomachia ), the story of which seems to be a reflexion of the myth of the Titans, and their contest with the gods, and to be associated with local legends. The two are often confused by later poets. The place of the contest was Phlegra, or the place of burning. Phlegra, was always localized in volcanic regions. In the earlier stories it is on the Macedonian peninsula of Pallene; and in later times on the Phlegraean plains in Campania between Cumae and Capua, or again at Tartessus in Spain. Led on by Alcyoneus and Porphyrion, they hurled rocks and burning trunks of trees against heaven. But the gods called Heracles to their assistance; a prophecy having warned them that they would be unable to destroy the giants without the aid of a mortal. Heracles slow not only Alcyoneus, but gave the others, whom the gods had struck down, their quietus with his arrows. As Enceladus was flying, Athene threw the island of Sicily upon him. Polybotes was buried by Poseidon under the island of Nisyros, a piece of the island of Cos, which Poseidon had broken off with his trident, with all the giants who had fled there. Besides these, the following names are given among others: Agrios, Ephialtes, Pallas, Clytios, Eurytos, Hippolytos, Thoon. In the oldest works of art the Giants are represented in human form and armed with harness and spears. But in course of time their attributes became terrific, awful faces, long hanging hair and beard, the skins of wild animals for garments, trunks of trees and clubs for weapons. In the latest representations, but not before, their bodies end in two scaly snakes instead of feet (see cut). In the Gigantomachia of Pergamos, the grandest representation of the subject in antiquity, we find a great variety of forms; some quite human, others with snakes' feet and powerful wings, others with still bolder combinations of shape; some are naked, some clothed with skins, some fully armed, and others slinging stones. (See PERGAMENE SCULPTURES.)
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PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint