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[59] Γιγάντεσσιν, according to some from “γίς”=“γῆ”, and “γα”, as in “γεγαώς”, and so identical with “γηγενής”. Curtius supposes “γίγας” to be only a reduplication of the root “γα”. Cp. Pausan. 8. 29. 2 “Γιγάντων οὐδεμίαν ἐν Ἰλιάδι ἐποιήσατο Ὅμηρος μνήμην, ἐν Ὀδυσσείᾳ δὲ” (10. 129) “ἔγραψε μὲν ὡς ταῖς Ὀδυσσέως ναυσὶ Λαιστρυγόνες ἐπέλθοιεν Γίγασι καὶ οὐκ ἀνδράσιν εἰκασμένοι: ἐποίησε δὲ καὶ τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Φαιάκων λέγοντα” ( Od.7. 205, 206) “εἶναι τοὺς Φαίακας θεῶν ἐγγὺς, ὥσπερ Κύκλωπας καὶ τὸ Γιγάντων ἔθνος. ἔν τε οὖν τούτοις δηλοῖ θνητοὺς ὄντας καὶ οὐ θεῖον γένος τοὺς Γίγαντας, καὶ σαφέστερον ἐν τῷδε ἔτι: ὅς ποθ̓ ὑπερθύμοισι . . αὐτός. ἐθέλουσι δὲ αὐτῷ λαὸς ἐν τοῖς ἔπεσιν ἄνθρωποι οἱ πολλοὶ καλεῖσθαι”. Homer then knows nothing of the Gigantomachia of later legend, nor does he regard the Gigantes as Hesiod did, as monsters with serpent-feet, sprung from Uranus and Gaea, who thought to storm Olympus, but were hurled back by the thunderbolts of Zeus ( Apollod.1. 6. 1). Here we have no means of ascertaining whether (1) the Gigantes and their king were destroyed in some foolhardy expedition against another tribe; or (2) whether an insurrection of the people against their king ended in mutual disaster; or (3) whether the guilt of Eurymedon brought destruction on himself and his people. The actual words are susceptible of any one of these three interpretations, of which (1) is perhaps the most likely, on the strength of the epithets ὑπερθύμοισι and ἀτάσθαλον.

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hide References (2 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (2):
    • Pseudo-Apollodorus, Library, 1.6.1
    • Homer, Odyssey, 7.205
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