The Giants or Gigantes were a race of great strength, but not necessarily of great size, that were born out of the blood that fell onto the earth (the Titan goddess Gaea) when the Titan Uranus was castrated by his son, Cronus.

The Giants were often confused with the Titans, who were a previous set of offspring by Uranus and Gaea. Just like the Titans who fought the Olympians during the Titanomachy, the Giants also fought Zeus and the other gods during the Gigantomachy. The Gigantomachy was probably considered the most important war among gods in Greek mythology, as it was depicted in a vast number of vases that have been found. The most detailed description that has survived belongs to Apollodorus, a mythographer of the first or second century AD. In this description, it is not mentioned why the war took place; however, it ended with the defeat of the Giants. The rule of the Olympians over the Giants probably symbolised the rule of order over chaos in Ancient Greece.

Indicatively, some of the Giants were:

  • Enceladus: he was killed by Athena by being crushed under the island of Sicily.
  • Eurymedon: he was a king of the Giants, and maybe the one who raped Hera, giving birth to Prometheus.
  • Porphyrion: he was the greatest of the Giants, but he died when Zeus threw a thunderbolt against him and Hercules or Apollo shot him with an arrow.

More: Uranus, Gaea, Cronus, Zeus