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Cyclops (sĪˈklŏps) [key], plural Cyclopes sĪklōˈpēz, in Greek mythology, immense one-eyed beings. They appear in at least two distinct traditions. According to Hesiod the Cyclopes were smiths, the sons of Uranus and Gaea. They were imprisoned in Tartarus by their father and again by their brother Kronos. In return for their freedom they gave Zeus the thunderbolt that aided him in overthrowing Kronos. In Homer the Cyclopes are a lawless, barbarous, and pastoral people, one of whom (Polyphemus) Odysseus encounters in his wanderings.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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