Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Πολυβωτης Polybôtês Polybotes Feeding-Many, Fertile
Poseidon & the giant Polybotes | Athenian red figure kylix C5th B.C. | Antikenmuseen, Berlin
Poseidon & Polybotes, Athenian red figure
kylix C5th B.C., Antikenmuseen, Berlin

POLYBOTES was a Gigante who fought Poseidon in their war against the gods. He was pursued by the god across the sea and crushed beneath the rock of Nisyros which formed the tip of the island of Kos (Cos).

His name is derived from the Greek noun polybôtos, meaning "fertile," or more literally "feeding-many."

[1.1] Blood of OURANOS & GAIA (Apollodorus 1.34)
[1.2] TARTAROS & GAIA (Hyginus Preface)

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 37 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[In the War of the Gigantes (Giants):] [The Gigante] Polybotes was pursued through the sea by Poseidon until he reached Kos. There Poseidon ripped off the part of that island called Nisyros and threw it at him."

Strabo, Geography 10. 5. 16 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"They say that [the island of] Nisyros is a fragment of Kos (Cos), and they add the myth that Poseidon, when he was pursuing one of the Gigantes (Giants), Polybotes, broke off a fragment of Kos with his trident and hurled it upon him, and the missile became an island, Nisyros, with the Gigante lying beneath it. But some say that he lies beneath Kos."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 2. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Not far from the temple [of Demeter at Athens] is Poseidon on horseback, hurling a spear against the Gigante (Giant) Polybotes, concerning whom is prevalent among the Koans (Coans) the story about the promontory Khelone (Chelone)."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Preface (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"From Terra [Gaia the Earth] and Tartarus [were born]: Gigantes Enceladus . . . Typhon, Polybotes [and others in a list of the Gigantes]."


POLYBO′TES (Polubôtês), a giant, who in the contest between the gods and giants was pursued by Poseidon across the sea as far as the island of Cos. There Poseidon tore away a part of the island, which was afterwards called Nisyrion, and throwing it upon the giant buried him under it. (Apollod. i. 6. § 2; Paus. i. 2. § 4 ; Strab. x. p. 489.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

Poseidon & the giant Polybotes | Greek vase painting
Poseidon & the giant Polybotes | Greek vase painting
Poseidon, Gaea  & the giant Polybotes | Greek vase painting
Poseidon & the giant Polybotes | Greek vase painting


  • Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
  • Strabo, Geography - Greek Geography C1st B.C. - C1st A.D.
  • Pausanias, Guide to Greece - Greek Geography C2nd A.D.
  • Hyginus, Fabulae - Latin Mythography C2nd A.D.