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A cyclops ( SY-klops; Ancient Greek: Κύκλωψ, Kyklōps; plural cyclopes sy-KLOH-peez; Κύκλωπες, Kyklōpes), in Greek mythology and later Roman mythology, is a member of a primordial race of giants, each with a single eye in the center of his forehead. The word "cyclops" literally means "round-eyed" or "circle-eyed".Hesiod described three one-eyed cyclopes who served as builders, blacksmiths, and craftsmen: Brontes, Steropes, and Arges, the sons of Uranus and Gaia, brothers of the Titans. Homer described another group of mortal herdsmen or shepherd cyclopes, the sons of Poseidon. Other accounts were written by the playwright Euripides, poet Theocritus and Roman epic poet Virgil. In Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus releases three cyclopes from the dark pit of Tartarus. They provide Zeus' thunderbolt, Hades' "helmet of darkness", and Poseidon's trident, and the gods use these weapons to de
In an episode of Homer's Odyssey, the hero Odysseus encounters the cyclops Polyphemus, the son of Poseidon and Thoosa, who lives with his fellow cyclopes in a distant country. The connection between the two groups has been debated in antiquity and by modern scholars. It is upon Homer's account that Euripides and Virgil based their accounts of the mythical creatures. The ancient Greek geographer Strabo describes another group of seven Lycian cyclopes, also known as "Bellyhands" because they earned from their handicraft. They had built the walls of Tiryns and perhaps the caverns and the labyrinths near Nauplia, which are called cyclopean.