Ancient Greek mythology is filled with fascinating characters. It isn’t hard to find among them great gods and heroes, such as Zeus, Athena, Achilles, Perseus, Hippolyta, Hercules, among others. There is a greater possibility of reading legends about monsters and fantastic animals, for example, the Medusa, the Pegasus and the Minotaur. Such creatures make up the enormity of the mythical universe of the ancient Greeks, and are called the Cyclops.
In this post concerning Cyclops, the focus will be on learning about some of the main characteristics, behavior, adventures, and combats of these creatures.
Savor the read about Greek Mythology Cyclops Facts!!
1 Appearance Of Greek Cyclops Is Totally Bizarre
The Cyclops were giants with extraordinary strength and possessed excellent fighting skills. Despite having an extraordinary strength and characteristics, they have become famous in ancient narratives because they have only one large, circular eye located in the center of the forehead.
In fact, the Greek term “cyclops” comes from “cycles”, which means round and opus eyes.
2 Homer Described A Giant Cyclops Polyphemus In His Work
Homer is a group of Greek contributors or poets who are responsible for two epic poems of Greek culture – Iliad and the Odyssey. According to Homer, Polyphemus is a giant cyclops, son of Thoosa and Poseidon, also described in the poem of Odyssey.
There are few poems attributed to Homer. In them, the Sicilian Cyclopes were considered gross giants, of aggressive behavior and entering into constant conflicts with any mythological person or monster, even against the gods. Some of them work in agrarian activities, living as shepherds and tending herds. Already other cyclops were lived inside the mountains acting as blacksmiths and making weapons.
3 Odysseus’ Stratagem Against Homer’s Cyclops
Polyphemus inhabited the dark caves of a mountain that came across the famous hero Odysseus (or Ulysses), in the poem Odyssey, attributed to Homer.
Here’s the legend: Ulysses returned to his homeland after the epic Trojan War. During the journey, the hero and his traveling companions find a cave inhabited by the Cyclops including Polyphemus. When this monster returned to cave, he covered the main gate with a giant stone. The meeting between the creature and Ulysses’ team was not harmonious. At that time Polyphemus was cruel and bloodthirsty and welcome Ulysses by eating some of his men.
Ulysses used his shrewdness to get around the situation. He offered all his stock of wine to the monster. Polyphemus was drunk and distracted. His only eye was seriously injured and blinded by Ulysses. Being tipsy at the moment, he asked his identity and his name. He assured that he would pleased him with a guest-surprise if Polyphemus will get the answer. Ulysses replied with answer “Οὖτις” (a Greek word means nobody). And the giant pledges to eat “Nobody” in his food and at last, he went to the deep sleep.
Meanwhile, Ulysses collected a wooden stack and stewed in fire. He used it as his weapon to destroy Polyphemus’s eye. Being wounded, he screamed to call his fellow giants and informed them that Nobody has injured him. Luckily, his colleagues misunderstood it as an act by the divine powers.
Next morning, Ulysses and his men are escaped from the place. As they sails off; therefore he was swaggering and revealing his name as a self assured Hubris.
4 Hesiod’s Three Cyclops In His Poems
The famous Greek poet Hesiod described three cyclops named as Steropes, Brontes, and Arges. Being the primordial sons of Gaia and Uranus and brothers of Titans and Hekatonkheires, they have a notable giant eye in the middle of their forehead.
They are stubborn in nature and having a strong body like iron. Legend has it that strength and brutality are the names that represent these three cyclops. They are skilled giants in masonry; often depicted with their respective forge.
Arges: This cyclope participated in the famous war known as Titanomachy. It was the epic battle between the Titans (headed by Cronos) and Zeus, who commanded the Olympic gods. Titanomachy war is only the well known event that would decide the ruler of Greek Universe. Later, Zeus left as winner.
Brontes: He also starred in Titanomachy. Brontes harbored a deep hatred for Gaia and Uranus.
Steropes: This cyclope also acted in the war between the Titans and the Olympians. Steropes fought alongside Zeus.
5 Arges, Brontes & Steropes Who Developed Zeus Lighting Bolt
Once upon a time, Uranus captured the three cyclops in Tartarus (a dungeon used as prison for Titans) where a female monster Campe watched over them to prevent them from escaping. According to the legends, Zeus set them free from dungeon and in return, they forged the main weapon (lightning bolt) of Zeus. It is believed that Arges enhanced the beauty of weapon with brightness, Brontes gave thunder, and Steropes affix lightning to the Jeus’ weapon. Not only this, but they are also responsible for Apollo’ bow, Poseidon’s trident, and Artemis’ bow as well.
Some of the Cyclopes were great as blacksmiths and weapon builders. Some of them even worked with Hephaestus, the god of fire and helped in forging the rays of Zeus, the main deity of the Greek pantheon.
6 A Simple Classification Of Cyclops
The Cyclops have been classified into following categories, namely-
Arges, Brontes & Steropes: They are the children of Uranus and Gaia.
Sicilians: They are the cyclops sons of Poseidon, also known by the Romans like Neptune. Poseidon was the god who controlled the seas and all the creatures that inhabited them. The most famous Sicilian Cyclops is called Polyphemus.
Builders: These are the Cyclopes from a province known as Lycia, a region full of mountains and that is part of Asia Minor.
7 Cyclops Offering To The Gods
The Cyclops offered a helmet that made Hades invisible and a trident to Poseidon. With the victory of the gods, Arges, Brontes and Steropes began to manufacture the rays of Zeus. Zeus was worried when the doctor Asclepio, son of Apollo, was able to improve his studies and to raise the dead. This did not break the order of the world, and the men decided to exterminate it. Apollo felt offended by Zeus, and decided to kill the cyclops that made its rays.
8 The Last Cyclops Were Great Builders
The third and last species of Cyclops was found in Greek mythology, and was physically strong. It did not exhibit the violent behavior of its fellow humans. Out of Asia Minor, in the region of Lycia, these Cyclops emerged in mythology by performing great works defying human ability. Among other achievements, these Cyclopes attributed to the construction of the walls that protected the cities of Tiryns and Mycenae. The command of the god Ephesus led to the manufacture of divine armaments.
The walls of several ancient cities were believed to have been built by Cyclopes. This is the reason why in modern archaeology the term Cyclopean wall is applied to walling of which the stones are not squared. According to Wikipedia, they built fortifications at Mycenae and Tiryns (both are ancient Greek fort hills).
9 Sicilian Cyclopes Feed On Human Flesh
Sicilian Cyclopes are commonly linked to the description made in the Odyssey, a work by the poet Homer. The Sicilians were wild, powerful and used to feed on plants, animals and human flesh. In the Hellenistic period, this cyclops character of Greek mythology was transformed into a dominated beast on the command of the god Efesto and manufactured the divine armaments.
10 Cyclops in Modern Culture
In the talk about Cyclops, it is important to mention that these creatures continue to be a part of the popular and diverse contemporary accounts. Among the recent apparitions of the Cyclops in modern popular culture, the one’s worth citing are:
Percy Jackson: The presence of Cyclopes is found in the books written by the author Rick Riordan, and in the cinematographic productions. The saga of Percy Jackson is a literary adventure destined for the infantile-juvenile public and has the myths of the old Greece to the urban and contemporary environment of the big cities.
X-Men: The character of Scott Summers is considered as one of the main members of the team of super heroes known as X-Men. Summers gets the nickname of Cyclops because his powers consist of emitting energy through a circular mask similar to an eye located on his forehead.