Cyclops


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The Cyclops are large mythical creatures known for their massive size, immense strength, strong tempers, and most of all, their one eye.

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Origin:

Hesiod and Homer are the two main sources of information on the topic of Cyclops. They both were Greek epic poets; however their interpretations of the Cyclops vary, especially in regards to their origin.

Hesiod wrote that four Cyclops (by the names of Brontes, meaning "thunderer", Argos, meaning "bright", and Steropes, meaning "lightning"), were born to the earth (Gaia) and the sky (Uranus). This couple also gave birth to many other mythical creatures such as the Titans and Hecatonchires. Legend has it that Uranus was a little paranoid and kept all of his monster children locked in the earth (ironically, his wife). Yet, one day, a brave young Titan by the name of Cronus decided to help his mother and free all of his siblings. The Cyclops helped but unfortunately, Cronus ended up fearing them and therefore had them all locked up in Tartarus. Luckily for the Cyclops, when Cronus was overthrown by Zeus, they were all freed.

Homer’s account of their birth is much different. Homer simply wrote that the Cyclops were born of the powerful sea god, Poseidon.

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Myths:

* The Cyclopes were excellent blacksmiths and metal workers. They supposedly had crafted the lightening bolt of Zeus as a thank you for freeing them. Also, due to all of their metalwork, they are accredited with creating volcanoes.

* The Helmet of Darkness, used by Hades, was also created by the Cyclopes.

* The Cyclopes gave Poseidon his trident as a gift.

* Created Artemis’s Bow & Apollo’s arrows.

* Theocritus, a Sicilian poet, wrote that Polyphemus, a Cyclops, fell in love with a sea nymph named Galatea. In retaliation for Galatea marrying a mortal man, Polyphemus killed her husband, and legend has it that his blood created a major river in Italy.

* Polyphemus’s one eye was blinded by Odysseus when he encountered the Cyclops in a cave while on his journey.

* Apollo killed a Cyclops in anger since Zeus killed his son, Aesculapius. One of the most important myths was that Hades offered to tell the Cyclopes the day they would die in exchange for one of their eyes.





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The most common theory of origin regarding the Cyclopes is that indigenous people found the skulls of prehistoric dwarf elephants and mistook the large naval cavity for a single eye socket.


external image 220px-Dwarfelephant.jpg





Modern Day uses:

Although there are not many modern day companies that incorporate Cyclopes into their businesses, there have been numerous video games produced featuring these mythical creatures. Also, a television show called “Cyclops” premiered in 2008.


Works Cited

"Cyclops." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Creatvie Commons Attribution. Web. 04 May 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclops.

"Cyclops." Mythological Monsters. Web. 04 May 2011. http://monsters.monstrous.com/cyclops.htm.

Gill, N.S. "Cyclops." Ancient / Classical History - Ancient Greece & Rome & Classics Research Guide. Web. 04 May 2011. http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/cgodsandgoddesses/g/Cyclops.htm.