Who were the Giants in Greek mythology?

Who were the Giants in Greek mythology?


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The Giants, according to Greek mythology, they were huge beings born of the Uranus blood drops when he was mutilated by Cronus in the Creation myth that we find in the Hesiod's ‘Theogony’.

Despite being of divine origin, they were deadly. When they rose up against Zeus trying to take Olympus, they were repelled by the gods, but according to an oracle, they could not be defeated if a mortal did not intervene, together with the Gods.

This was Heracles, who pierced Alcioneo with an arrow, also killing Porfirion.

Confrontations between giants and gods in the Gigantomachy

Sour: Las Moiras beat him with bronze maces to death.

Alcyonean: He was immortal as long as he fought in his homeland. He was the one who died at the hands of Hercules who dragged him out of Palene, his birthplace, after shooting an arrow at him.

Alpo: Killed by Dionysus

Clithium: He was killed by Hecate with torches.

Chtonium: Gaea convinced him to fight Dionysus, promising Aphrodite in return.

Efialtes: He rebelled against the gods. Apollo shot him in the left eye and Heracles in the right.

Enceladus: He dwelt under Mount Etna, whose rumblings were caused by his tumbling. Athena threw the island of Sicily on him.

Eurito: He was killed by Dionysus with his thyrsus.

Gration: He was killed by Artemis.

Hippolytus: He was killed by Hermes, who was wearing the helmet of Hades.

Pampering: Killed by Hephaestus with red-hot metal projectiles. According to other versions, he was killed by Ares.

Pallas: He was killed by Athena, who skinned him and used his skin as a shield for her own body.

Harassment: Fought against Dionysus.

Polybotes: Killed by Poseidon, who broke a piece of the island of Cos and threw it on him.

Porphyrion: It is said of him that he tore Hera's tunic with the intention of raping her, and that she had promised Hebe as a wife if she fought against Dionysus. Zeus struck him with lightning and Heracles finished him off with an arrow.

Typhoon: Son of the first Typhoon, equal to him in everything, who fought against Dionysus.

Toante: He was beaten to death by the Moiras with bronze maces.

The Gigantomachy

The most important divine struggle in Greek mythology was the Gigantomachy, the battle between the Giants and the Olympian gods for the supremacy of the cosmos.

It is mainly for this battle that the Giants are known and their importance to Greek culture is attested by the frequent representation of Gigantomachy in art.

Representations of the Giants

The archaic representations and classics show the Giants as man-sized hoplites (heavily armed ancient Greek infantrymen) in fully human form.

Later depictions (after 380 BC) show them with snakes instead of feet.

In later traditions, they were frequently confused with other opponents of the Olympians, particularly the Titans, an earlier generation of giant and powerful sons of Gaea and Uranus.

Image: Cabinet des Médailles Collection / Wikimedia Commons


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