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Giants in Greek Mythology- the Ancient Greek Otus and Ephialtes

Otus and Ephialtes, the gentle twins of Poseidon

Last Update: 02 May 2021

Otus and Ephialtes, the gentle twins of Poseidon
The giants Otus and Ephialtes, also known as the "Aloadae," were the sons of Iphimedia and Poseidon, god of the seas.

It all happened when Iphimedia fell in love with Poseidon, so day after day she would go down to the seashore where she could scoop water from the waves with her hands and pour it into her womb until she became pregnant.

Otus and Ephialtes were extraordinary giants. Each year they grew about 18 inches wider and six feet taller. Yet they didn't look scary at all. Instead, they were beautiful and gentle creatures.

When they were only nine years old, the two brothers began to challenge the gods on various occasions.


The brothers' first challenge was to kidnap  Ares, the god of war, and hold him captive. They succeeded in this for 13 months until the gods reluctantly sent  Hermes, the messenger of the gods, to free him.

Their next challenge was to place one mountain on top of another and threaten to use those mountains to ascend to the heavens. When  Zeus, the king of the gods, learned of this, he wanted to strike both giants dead with his thunderbolt - but Poseidon, their loving father, convinced Zeus to show mercy for his children.

The fatal third challenge

The two brothers' third challenge was to capture Artemis, the goddess of the hunt. When Artemis saw the twins approaching, she quickly transformed into a stag and leapt between them.

Greedily, the two brothers threw spears to hit the animal, but the spears went back and killed them both.

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