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The Giants Revolt

The Giants Revolt The Giants’ Revolt Enraged because Zeus had confined their brothers, the Titans, in Tartarus, certain tall and terrible giants plotted an assault on Heaven. They had been born from Mother Earth at Thracian Phlegra, twenty-four in number. Without warning, they seized rocks and fire-brands and hurled them upwards from their mountain tops, so that the Olympians were hard pressed. Hera prophesied that the giants could never be killed by any god, but only by a single, lion-skinned mortal; and that even he could do nothing unless the enemy were anticipated in their search for a certain herb of invulnerability, which grew in a secret place on earth. Zeus at once took counsel with Athene; sent her off to warn Heracles, the lion-skinned mortal; and forbade Eos, Selene, and Helius to shine for a while.

Under the light of the stars, Zeus groped about, found the herb, and brought it safely to Heaven. The Olympians could now join battle with the giants. Heracles let loose his first arrow against Aclyoneus, the enemy’s leader. He fell, but sprang up again revived, because this was his native soil of Phlegra. ‘Quick!’ cried Athene. ‘Drag him away to another country!’ Heracles caught Aclyoneus and dragged him over the Tracian border, where he despatched him with a club.

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