"Hundred-handed." Three giants from who each had one hundred arms and fifty heads.1 They were Aegaeon, Cottus, and Gyges (or Gyes), and they were the sons of Uranus and Gaea, and were collectively known as the Uranides.2
According to Hesiod,3 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 Uranides 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 Hecatonchires at its gates, or, according to others, in the depth of the ocean to guard them.4
The Hecatonchires are the personifications of the unbridled forces of nature, originating from before the fierce battle of the Titans and the hegemony of the Olympians. Their name is derived from ἑκατόν, "hundred," and χείρ, "hand." Their Latin name is Centimani.
- Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library i, 1.1; Hesiod. Theogony, 149 ff.
- Hesiod. Theogony, 502 ff.
- ibid., 154 ff., 617 ff.
- ibid., 617 ff., 815 ff.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.
This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.