Cyclopes, Sons Of The Gods

Uranus was, in Greek Mythology, the god of the Sky, and Gaia was the goddess of the Earth. Gaia was also the mother of Uranus, but even being his mother she had several sons with her own son.

Cyclopes were the sons of Gaia and Uranus. Cyclopes were giants that had only one eye in the middle of their foreheads. They were very strong and powerful beings, with a very irritable personality.

The three cyclopes sons of Uranus and Gaia were called Brontes, Steropes and Arges. They had more children. This way the race of the cyclopes was born.

Uranus feared the strength of his sons the cyclopes, and sent them to Tartarus, a hellish place of punishment worser than Hades.

But Uranus not only feared the cyclops, he felt that his other sons will also dishonor him. So he threw them to the abysses thinking that Gaia won't notice this. Gaia, enraged, decided to take revenge on him, and did a plan with her son Cronus to use an enormous sickle to castrate Uranus.
From the drops of blood of Uranus emerged nymphs and giants. From the spilled blood that fell on the sea, Venus was born. Uranus powers were lost since then, and he only retained the power to predict the future.

But Cronus was not alone when he defeated his father Uranus. He freed his brothers the giants that helped him. But once Uranus was beaten, Cronus locked them up, guarded by Campe, a monster with body of woman and scaled skin, whose hair were snakes and scorpions.

It was Zeus who killed Campe and freed the Cyclopes and their brothers the Hecatonchires (giants with 100 arms and 50 heads). The Cyclopes helped Zeus forging the thunderbolts, that became the weapon of Zeus with which he is always depicted.
Arges did the thunder, Steropes did the lightning. Zeus, using the thunderbolts forged by the Cyclopes, managed to beat Cronos and the other titans.

The Cyclopes also forged the trident of Poseidon, that had the power to invoke earthquakes, and the bow and arrows of Artemis.

But Apollo, to get revenge on Zeus that had killed his son, murdered the 3 cyclopes. And that's how the first generation of cyclopes became extinct.
But there were other generations of cyclopes that inhabited a mysterious island. One of them was Polyphemus, son of Poseidon and a nymph.

Polyphemus is mentioned in the Odyssey of Homer. Odysseus arrived to the island of the cyclopes, and entered with his men in the house of Polyphemus, and ate his supplies. Polyphemus, in rage, stuck them inside his house and started to devour them one by one.

But Odysseus escaped and made him drunk, and when he was sleeping, they crossed his only eye with a big club.
Later on, Odysseus took advantage on Polyphemus blindness and he and his men escaped tying themselves to the undersides of the cyclops' sheep. This way, Odysseus escaped from the island of the cyclopes.

Images (in order): Cyclops, by Shadowless; Bringer Of The Fall, by Ridvan; Pilgrims, by Sb51075; Polyphemus, by Maestro Tomberi.

-Emma Alvarez-

© 2008 by Emma Alvarez. Link to this post without copying the text.

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frenzy said...

thank you for choosing my image to be displayed with this good myth. :)

Emma Alvarez said...

Thank you Frenzy for your art :)

José said...


The cyclope has been always a character that as brought some fascination to me due to a movie with Ulysses that I saw when kid (about 7 or 8).
Seeing Polyphenus eating those guys was a weird experience for that age :-)
In your article you mention the Hecatonchires (giants with 100 arms and 50 heads), maybe the word hecatomb is related to them.

Kind regards,


Emma Alvarez said...

I agree Jose ;)

Ahh! and Hecatomb means the sacrifice of 100 oxen, aghhh really horrible.

Free Running said...

i have heard that one of the Gods from hindu mythology is also destructive .... like this one

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