Who were the Cyclopes of Greek Mythology?
Find out now who were the Cyclopes of Greek Mythology! In a simplified way, "Cyclops" is that giant of an eye that in a way is peaceful. Some of them forged the Zeus Ray.
Cyclopes, who were they?
Cyclopes were, in Greek Mythology, immortal giants with one eye in the middle of their foreheads who, according to the hymn of Callimachus, worked with Hephaestus as blacksmiths, forging the rays used by Zeus. Cyclops can be divided into two groups according to their age: the old cyclops (or first generation) and the young cyclops (new generation).
They appear in many Greek myths, but with a very controversial origin. According to their origin, these beings are organized into three different species: the uraniums, children of Uranus and Gaia, the Sicilians, children of the sea god Poseidon, and the builders, who come from the Lycian territory.
Arges, Brontes and Esteropes are considered the oldest cyclopes, descending from Uranus and Gaia. Legend has it that, at birth and because of his enormous powers, his father Uranus, lord of the heavens, locked them in the interior of the Earth with his brothers, the hecatoncheires, giants of a hundred arms and fifty heads. Gaia, enraged at having her children imprisoned in Tartarus, urges them to support the war fought by five of the six titans, also her children with Uranus, in order to take the throne of the father who, at the time, ruled heaven. The Titans win, but the Cyclopes are sent back to the abyss of Tartarus.
Sometimes Zeus, like his brothers Poseidon and Hades, freed the Cyclopes with the intention of having them as allies in the war against Cronos and the Titans. The Cyclopes, like good blacksmiths, forged magical and powerful weapons for Zeus and his brothers: Zeus had received lightning and lightning, Poseidon, a trident capable of provoking terrible storms, and Hades, the Helm of Terror, which gave him invisibility.
This race is portrayed in Homeric poems as gigantic and insolent shepherds outside the law, who inhabited the southwestern part of Sicily. They did not care much about agriculture and all the orchards cultivated on those lands were invaded by them, when looking for food. It is noted that they sometimes ate even human flesh.
For this reason, they were considered to be beings that had no laws or morals, living in caves, each of them, with his wife and children, who were disciplined in a very arbitrary way by them. Still according to Homer, not all cyclopes had only one eye in the center of the forehead, however Polyphemus, who was considered the main among all the others, that yes only had one eye on his forehead.
Check: Polyphemus and Odysseus
Is there another species?
It is said that there is also a third race of Cyclopes, called builders, originating in the territory of Lycia. These possessed great physical power and were not violent. His work was very heavy and no human would be able to do it so easily. It is suspected that these cyclopes are responsible for building the walls of the cities of Tirinto and Mycenae.