Cyclops

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In Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, a cyclops (pronounced /ˈsaɪklɒps/; Greek: Κύκλωψ, Kuklōps), was a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. The classical plural is cyclopes (pronounced /saɪˈkloʊpiːz/; Greek: Κύκλωπες, Kuklōpes). The name is widely thought to mean "circle-eyed".[1]

Hesiod described one group of cyclopes and the epic poet Homer described another, though other accounts have also been written by the playwright Euripides, poet Theocritus and Roman epic poet Virgil. In Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus releases three Cyclopes, the sons of Uranus and Gaia, from the dark pit of Tartarus. They provide Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' helmet of invisibility, and Poseidon's trident, and the gods use these weapons to defeat the Titans. In a famous episode of Homer's Odyssey, the hero Odysseus encounters the Cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon and a nereid (Thoosa), who lives with his fellow Cyclopes in a distant country. The connection between the two groups has been debated in antiquity and by modern scholars.[2] It is upon Homer's account that Euripides and Virgil based their accounts of the mythical creatures.

Contents

Accounts of the Cyclopes

Various ancient Greek and Roman authors wrote about the cyclopes. Hesiod described them as three brothers who were primordial giants. All the other sources of literature about the cyclopes describe the cyclops Polyphemus, who lived upon an island populated by the creatures.

Hesiod

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