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3001: The Giants preparing their attack on heaven. Engraving by Bernard Picart 1673-1733.

The GIANTS, they say, were serpent-footed, had a thousand hands, and being huge they were also invincible in their might. Some have said that the GIANTS were born in Phlegrae or Pallene, which is the westernmost of the three peninsulas jutting into the Aegean Sea from Chalcidice.

The GIANTS were born from the flowing blood which fell upon the earth after the Castration of Uranus, performed by Cronos. But it has also been told that Gaia, vexed because the OLYMPIANS had defeated the TITANS, gave birth to a race of GIANTS so that they should attack heaven, and obtain revenge.

These GIANTS did attack heaven (see Gigantomachy), and as an oracle had declared that none of the them could perish at the hands of the gods unless a mortal could help them, these summoned Heracles 1 to their aid, and the GIANTS were destroyed.




The GIANTS are collectively said to be the sons either of Uranus and Gaia, or of Gaia by herself, or to have been born from the blood which fell upon the earth after the Castration of Uranus (but see list below).

List of GIANTS

The ALOADS, listed below, organized their own attack against heaven on another occasion (see Zeus). Other GIANTS mentioned in the list do not seem to have participated in the famous revolt (see also Gaia for more detailed parentage)

Agrius 2. Son of Gaia. Agrius 2 was killed by the MOERAE with brazen clubs (Apd.1.6.1-2, Hes.The.183ff.).

Agrius 6. Son of a bear and Polyphonte. Polyphonte did not honored Aphrodite and for that reason the goddess made her conceive a passion for a bear. Like his brother Orius 3, he was a powerful giant who did not honour the gods and who devoured men. Was turned into a vulture by Hermes (Lib.Met.21).

Alcyoneus 1. Son of Gaia. A giant who was immortal so long as he fought in the land of his birth. He was killed by Heracles 1 who dragged him out of Pallene, the land of his birth, after shooting him with an arrow (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183 ff.; Nonn.48.22; Pin.Isth.6.33).

ALOADS. Sons either of Poseidon and Iphimedia, or of Aloeus 1 and Iphimedia. These are the Giants Ephialtes 2 and Otus 1, who sought to pull down heaven with their bare hands, and to overthrow Zeus. The ALOADS grew every year a cubit in breadth and a fathom in height. When they were nine years old, being nine cubits broad and nine fathoms high, they resolved to fight against the gods. So they set Mount Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa, threatening by means of these mountains to ascend up to heaven. They also said that by filling up the sea with the mountains they would make it dry land, and the land they would make sea. They were killed by Apollo (see also Zeus) (Apd.1.7.4; Hes.CWE.6; Hom.Od.11.305ff.; Hyg.Fab.28; Pau.9.22.6; Pin.Pyth.4.89; QS.1.516ff.; Stat.Theb.6.719; Vir.Aen.6.582ff.).

Alpus. Son of Gaia. Alpus revolted against the gods and was killed by Dionysus 2 (Nonn.25.238, 45.174).

Clytius 6. 8707: Overkrop af giganten Klytios? Pergamon, Zeus alterets østfrise. Graesk hellenistisk 170-155 f.Kr. Berlin Staatliche Museen (Royal Cast Collection, Copenhagen).

Chthonius 4. Son of Gaia. One of the GIANTS whom Hera goaded to battle against Dionysus 2. He was promised Aphrodite for doing so (Nonn.48.10ff.).

Clytius 6. Son of Gaia. During the revolt against the gods he was killed by Hecate with torches (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.).

Damasen. Son of Gaia. This giant, who was nursed by Eris, once killed a serpent which was restored to life by another serpent, its female partner, with the help of a lifegiving herb (Nonn.25.486).

Enceladus 2. Son of Gaia. This is one of the GIANTS who attacked the OLYMPIANS. Athena threw the island of Sicily on him (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.; Nonn.48.22; Vir.Aen.3.578).

Ephialtes 1. Son of Gaia. Ephialtes 1 revolted against the gods and was shot by Apollo in his left eye and by Heracles 1 in his right (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.).

Eurytus 7. Son of Gaia. One of those GIANTS who revolted against the OLYMPIANS. He was killed by Dionysus 2 with a thyrsus (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.).

Gration. Son of Gaia. Gration revolted against the gods and was killed by Artemis (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.)

Hippolytus 3. Son of Gaia. Another subversive giant. Was killed by Hermes, who was wearing Hades' helmet (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.).

Hopladamus. This giant was enlisted by Rhea 1 when she was pregnant with Zeus, as an ally against Cronos (Pau.8.36.2).

Mimas 1. Son of Gaia. Another giant who defied the OLYMPIANS. Was killed by Hephaestus with missiles of red-hot metal. But some say he was killed by Ares (Apd.1.6.1-2; Arg.3.1226; Hes.The.183ff.).

Orius 3. Son of a bear and Polyphonte, and brother of Agrius 2 (see above). Orius 3 was, like his brother Agrius 6, a powerful giant who did not honour the gods and who devoured men. He was turned into a bird by Hermes (Lib.Met.21).

Pallas 4. Son of Gaia. Another giant who fought against the gods. He was killed by Athena, who flayed him and used his skin to shield her own body (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.).

Peloreus. Son of Gaia. One of the GIANTS who incited by Hera fought against Dionysus 2 (Nonn.48.10ff, 48.39).

Polybotes. Son of Gaia. Revolted against the OLYMPIANS and was killed by Poseidon, who broke a piece off the island of Cos and threw it on him (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.; Pau.1.2.4).

Porphyrion 1. Son of Gaia. Of him it is said that he tore Hera's robes and wanted to rape her. It is also said that he was promised Hebe as his wife by Hera if he would fight Dionysus 2. Zeus smote him with a thunderbolt and Heracles 1 shot him dead with an arrow (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.; Nonn.48.20).

Thoas 5. Son of Gaia. During the revolt against the gods, he was killed by the MOERAE, with brazen clubs (Apd.1.6.1-2; Hes.The.183ff.).

Thurius. This giant is reported to have fought against Heracles 1 (Pau.3.18.11).

Typhoeus 2. Son of Gaia. A younger Typhoeus in all parts like the older (Typhoeus 1, that is Typhon), who fought against Dionysus 2 (for Typhon see Zeus) (Nonn.48.10ff, 48.77).

Related sections Castration of Uranus, Gigantomachy, Theogony  

AO.18; Apd.1.6.1ff.; Hes.The.185; Ov.Fast.5.35ff.; Ov.Met.1.184.