General - Giants appear in most mythologies. These were the offspring of fallen angels and mortal women referred to in Genesis. -Greek (1) The Earthborn Giants, Gegeneis or Gigantes, the fourth race of monstrous beings, were originally twenty-four in number, half human, half serpent, who sprang from the blood of Uranus spattered on Earth (Gaea) when Cronus castrated his father, Uranus. They were said to have six arms and, being made from earth, were virtually indestructible. If they were killed, their bodies merged with the ground and they were reborn. In some accounts, they had snakes for legs. Led by Alcyoneus, Eurymedon and Porphyrion, they rebelled against the gods after Zeus imprisoned the Titans in Tartarus but were defeated, largely by the efforts of Heracles, bred by Zeus as a defence against the expected rebellion. Included in their number were Agrius, Aloeus, Clytius, Enceladus, Ephialtes, Eurytus, Gration, Hippolytus, Mimas, Otus, Pallas, Polybutes, Thoas and Tityus. (2) The Hundred-handed Giants were Briareus, Cottus and Gyges, three sons of Uranus and Gaea. Their father confined them to the underworld from which they were released by Cronus who later sent them back there. They were later released by Zeus to help in his fight with the Titans and, after the victory of the gods, the giants were given the job of guarding those Titans who were imprisoned in the underworld. -Norse The generic name for the giants was Jotunn or Thurses. Their home was Jotunheim and they were the opponents of the gods, destined to win the final battle, Ragnarok. The first giant was Ymir. Most of the original giants were killed in the torrent of blood that rushed from Ymir's body when he was killed by Odin, Ve and Vili. Only Bergelmir and his wife escaped this flood and they fled to the ends of the earth and started a new race of Giants. The Frost Giants (or Ice Giants), the Hrimthursar, were formed when the fiery clouds of Muspelheim condensed in the icy air over Niflheim. The Fire Giants, the Muspel, lived in Muspelheim and were ruled by Surtur. -North American (1) The Inuits refer to a race of giants known as the Tornit. (2) The Shawnee deity had four giant sons who could smell humans. -South American A race of giants came into Ecuador from the sea and bored a well in the rock. Then they killed the women and practised sodomy. For this, the gods destroyed them with lightning. In some accounts, known as giants, Hrimthursar, Hrimthursar or Frost Giants.

Nearby Myths