The Cyclopes were giant beings with a single, round eye in the middle of their foreheads. According to legend, they were strong, stubborn, and very quick to anger. Their every action radiated with violence and power. There are actually two generations of Cyclopes in Greek myth. The first generation were three brothers, Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, who were the offspring of Gaia and Uranus. The second generation descended from Poseidon, and the most famous of the Cyclopes was Polyphemus from Homer's Odyssey. Brontes, Steropes, and Arges were the blacksmiths of the Olympian gods at the time before Hephaestus. They were skilled metal workers and created Zeus' thunderbolts, Poseidon's trident, and Hades' Helmet of Darkness. However, they spent the majority of their early existence imprisoned in Tartarus, the sort of Mythilogical prison. Their father Uranus hated all of his offspring which included themselves, the Titans, and little known Hecatonchires and kept them confined deep within the Earth. The defeat of Uranus by his son Cronus freed the Cyclopes for a time, but Cronus was a paranoid ruler and he feared the Cyclopes stangth and cast them into Tartarus where they remained imprisoned until Zeus began the revolution against the Titans known as the Titanomachy in which Zeus called upon them to help dethrown Cronos. With the assistance of the Cyclopes and their thunderbolts, Zeus overthrew Cronus and the Titans and became ruler of the cosmos. Zeus was so grateful for the Cyclopes' help that allowed them to stay in Olympus as his armorers and helpers to Hephaestus, god of smiths. The Greeks also credited them with building the massive fortifications at Tiryns and Mycenae in the Peloponnese. But unlike there predisesors, the second generation of Cyclopes was a band of lawless shepherds living in Sicily who had lost the skill of metallurgy and spent much of their time terrorising villages and throwing boulders at unsespecting ships that were unfortunate enough to pass by.
from Parada's The Mythology Link
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LAST MODIFIED MAY 10,2006