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Etching by Tommaso Piroli (1795) after a drawing of "John Flaxman
The Hecatonchir Briareos used as an "allegory of the multiple threat of labour unrest to Capital in a "political cartoon, 1890

The Hecatoncheires[note 1] (In "English, "stress on the fourth syllable;[1][2] singular: Hecatoncheir "/ˈhɛkəˌtɒŋkər/; "Greek: Ἑκατόγχειρες Hekatonkheires 'Hundred-Handed Ones'), also called the Centimanes["citation needed] "/ˈsɛntɪˌmnz/ ("Latin: Centimani) or Hundred-Handers, were figures in an archaic stage["clarification needed] of "Greek mythology, three "giants of incredible strength and ferocity that surpassed all of the "Titans, whom they helped overthrow. Their name derives from the "Greek ἑκατόν (hekaton, "hundred") and χείρ (cheir, "hand"), "each of them having a hundred hands and fifty heads" ("Bibliotheca 1.1). "Hesiod's Theogony (624, 639, 714, 734–35) reports that the three Hecatoncheires became the guards of the gates of "Tartarus. The Hundred-Handed-Ones are "giants" of great storms and hurricanes.

In Virgil's "Aeneid (10.566–67), in which Aeneas is likened to one of them (Briareos, known here as Aegaeon), they fought on the side of the Titans rather than the Olympians; in this, Virgil was following the lost Corinthian epic "Titanomachy rather than the more familiar account in Hesiod.

Other accounts make Briareos (or Aegaeon) one of the assailants of Olympus. After his defeat, he was buried under Mount Aetna (Callimachus, Hymn to Delos, 141).




According to Hesiod, the Hecatoncheires were children of "Gaia (Earth) and "Uranus (sky).[3][4] They played no known part in "cult.[5] They were:

During the "War of the Titans, the Hecatoncheires fought against the Titans, throwing rocks as big as mountains, one hundred at a time, and overwhelming them. After this, the Hecatoncheires became the guards of Tartarus. Briareos became the son-in-law of "Poseidon, who gave him "Kymopoliea his daughter to wed."[10]


In a "Corinthian myth related in the second century CE to "Pausanias, Briareos was the arbitrator in a dispute between Poseidon and "Helios, between sea and sun: he adjudged the "Isthmus of Corinth to belong to Poseidon and the acropolis of Corinth ("Acrocorinth) sacred to Helios.[11]


"Scholia (manuscript notes) on "Apollonius of Rhodes represent Aegaeon as a son of Gaea and "Pontos, the Sea, ruling the fabulous Aegaea in Euboea, an enemy of Poseidon and the inventor of warships.[12] In Ovid's "Metamorphoses and in Philostratus' Life of "Apollonius of Tyana he is a marine deity.[13]

In literature[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Depending on the method of "transliteration, the "Ancient Greek ἑκατόν (hekaton) may be latinised as hecaton and χείρ (cheir) may be transliterated as kheir, chir or even khir.


  1. ^ Howatson, M.C. (2013). "Hecatoncheiʹres". The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature. Oxford University Press. p. 277. 
  2. ^ Bulfinch, Thomas (1902). "Hec-atonchiʹres". The Classic Myths in English Literature. Ginn & Co. p. 508. 
  3. ^ Hesiod calls them the "Ouranids" (Theogony 502).
  4. ^ A "scholia on "Apollonius Rhodius 1.1165c notes ""Eumelos in the "Titanomachy says that Aegaeon was the son of Earth and Sea, lived in the sea, and fought on the side of the Titans"; noted in "M.L. West "'Eumelos': A Corinthian Epic Cycle?" The Journal of Hellenic Studies 122 (2002, pp. 109–133) p 111.
  5. ^ Kerenyi 1951:19
  6. ^ Liddell, Scott & Jones, A Greek–English Lexicon, sv.Βριάρεως & βριαρός
  7. ^ See Virgil, Aeneid 6.287: "et centumgeminus Briareus ac belua Lernae"
  8. ^ Liddell, Scott & Jones, A Greek–English Lexicon, sv. κόσσος
  9. ^ Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Ancient Greek, sv.γύης
  10. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 817.
  11. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 2.1.6 and 2.4.7
  12. ^ Apollonius, Argonautica 1,1165
  13. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses 2.10; Philostratus, Life of Apollonius 4.6
  14. ^ Dante, Inferno XXXI.99.
  15. ^ Dante, Purgatorio XII.28.
  16. ^ Rabelais, Francois (1955). "5". Gargantua and Pantagruel. Great Britain: Penguin Classics. p. 50. "ISBN "014044047X. 


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