The revolt of the Gigantes against Zeus and the Olympians. Gaea, wrathful by the fate of the Titans, incited the Gigantes against Zeus. They hurled huge boulders and flaming oak trees at Olympus but these failed to reach their target. Then they stacked the Thessalian mountains Ossa and Pelion on top of each other to reach their enemies, but Zeus smote the construction with a thunderbolt and the mountains crashed down, burying some of the Gigantes underneath.

An oracle had prophesied that the gods themselves would not be able to destroy any of the Gigantes unless they had help from a mortal ally. When Gaea learned of this, she sought a drug that would prevent the destruction of her children even by mortal hands. Zeus however chopped up the drug himself before Gaea could find it. He then had Athena enlist the help of Heracles. During the ensuing battle, the individual Olympians, aided by Heracles, killed a great number of them. The rest were destroyed by Zeus' thunderbolts and Heracles sent arrows into them all as they lay dying.

The area where the Gigantes were overcome is mentioned as the Phlegraean plains (near the Vesuvius).


The Gigantomachy was depicted on a relief on the large Zeus altar at Pergamon (Asia Minor) and on the Parthenon in Athens.



  • Ovid. Metamorphoses x, 145.
  • Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 6.2.