HECATONCHEIRES

ΕΚΑΤΟΝΧΕΙΡΕΣ

Three sons of Uranus and Gaea, named Briareus, Gyges and Cottus, also known as Uranids (Hes. Theog. 502, &c.), are described as huge monsters with a hundred arms (hekatoncheires) and fifty heads. (Apollod. i. 1. § 1; Hes. Theog. 149, &c.) Most writers mention the third Uranid under the name of instead of Aegaeon, which is explained in a passage of Homer (Il. i. 403, §c.), who says that men called him Aegaeon, but the gods Briareus. On one occasion when the Olympian gods were about to put Zeus in chains, Thetis called in the assistance of Aegaeon, who compelled the gods to desist from their intention. (Hom. Il. i. 398, &c.) According to Hesiod (Theog. 154, &c. 617, &c.), Aegaeon and his brothers were hated by Uranus from the time of their birth, in consequence of which they were concealed in the depth of the earth, where they remained until the Titans began their war against Zeus. On the advice of Gaea Zeus delivered the Uranids from their prison, that they might assist him. The hundred-armed giants conquered the Titans by hurling at them three hundred rocks at once, and secured the victory to Zeus, who thrust the Titans into Tartarus and placed the Hecatoncheires at its gates, or, according to others, in the depth of the ocean to guard them. (Hes. Theog. 617, &c. 815, &c.) The opinion which regards Briareus and his brothers as only personifications of the extraordinary powers of nature, such as are manifested in the violent commotions of the earth, as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the like, seems to explain best the various accounts about them.