The CYCLOPES belong to the first generations of
deities, being generally called sons of Uranus and Gaia (but see other parentages in the list below). They are well known for having only one eye in their forehead, and for having given weapons to Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
RII.1-1679: The Cyclopes in the workshop of Hephaestus. Wilhelm Heinrich Roscher (Göttingen, 1845- Dresden, 1923), Ausfürliches Lexikon der griechisches und römisches Mythologie, 1884.
In and out of prison
The CYCLOPES were bound and cast into Tartarus by Uranus, to make there
company to their brethren the HECATONCHEIRES.
In this way, their father expected to get rid of
the terrible generations he was procreating. WYet when the Titan Cronos revolted against his father Uranus (see also Castration of
Uranus), he delivered both the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES. And then again, following the example of his father and predecessor, Cronos shut
them up in Tartarus once more. Later on, when Zeus attacked the TITANS (see Titanomachy), Gaia prophesied victory to
him if he would have both the CYCLOPES and the HECATONCHEIRES as allies. So he slew their jaileress Campe (see Underworld), and set them free. The CYCLOPES then gave Zeus the thunderbolt, Hades a helmet, and Poseidon the trident. And armed with these weapons, the Olympian gods overcame the TITANS.
Destroyed by Apollo
It is told that because Zeus smote Asclepius with a
thunderbolt, Apollo (father of Asclepius), angry on that account, killed the CYCLOPES (Arges, Brontes 1, and Steropes), who had fashioned the thunderbolt for Zeus.
The Cyclops Polyphemus 2
Whereas the children of Gaia were like the gods,
the race of Polyphemus 2 was formed by fierce and uncivilized shepherds. The Cyclops Polyphemus 2 loved the Nereid Galatea 1, but she in turn loved Acis, the son of Faunus 1 and a Symaethian Nymph. This triangle drama caused the death of Acis, who was buried by a rock hurled at him by the jealous Polyphemus 2. Acis was turned into a river. This Polyphemus 2 was later blinded by Odysseus.