Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
Form: Kyklopes.
In Greek mythology, the round-eyed ones. According to Hesiod the Cyclopes are the gigantic sons of Uranus and Gaea, named Argos, Steropes, and Brontes. For the rest, they resemble the gods, except that they have only a single eye in their forehead. Their father threw them into Tart1rus, and they assisted Cronus to the sovereignty. Cronus, however, put them again in prison, where they remained until Zeus set them free. For this they gave him the thunder, and forged him the lightning. Apollo slew them when Zeus struck his son Asclepius by lightning. In Homer the Cyclopes, like the giants and the Phaeacians, are the kinsfolk of the gods; but in other respects they have nothing in common with the Cyclopes of Hesiod but their gigantic size and strength. They live a pastoral life in the far West, without knowledge of agriculture, law, morals, or social order. Each dwells separately with his family in caverns at the mountain tops, without troubling himself about the gods, to whom, indeed, the Cyclopes deem themselves easily superior in strength. The Phaeacians used to live in their neighbourhood, but were driven by their violent dealing to emigrate. The figure of Polyphemus, well known from his encounter with Odysseus, gives a typical notion of their rudeness and savagery. (See also GALATEA). The Homeric Cyclopes were in a later age localized in Sicily, and came to be identified with the Cyclopes of Hesiod. They were imagined as assistants of Hephaestus, and as helping him to forge lightnings for Zeus and arms for heroes in the bowels of Aetna or on the Aeolian islands. A third variety of Cyclopes were the giants with arms to their belly as well as to their shoulders, whom Proetus was supposed to have brought from Lycia to. Argos. It was they who were supposed to have built the so-called Cyclopean walls at Mycenae and Tiryns (see ARCHITECTURE). In works of art the Cyclopes are represented as giants with one eye in their forehead, though there is, generally an indication of a pair of eyes in the usual place.
Type: Standard
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