Greek Mythology >> Bestiary >> Giants >> Alpos


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ALPOS was a monstrous Sicilian giant slain by the god Dionysos. He had vipers for hair and multiple sets of arms.


GAIA (Nonnus Dionysiaca 45.174)


Nonnus, Dionysiaca 25. 238 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"Dionysos with his fleshcutting ivy shore through Alpos, that godfighting son of Gaia (Gaea, the Earth), Alpos with a hundred vipers for hair, who touched the Sun, and pulled back the Moon, and tormented the company of stars with his tresses."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 45. 174 ff :
"The divine hand of Dionysos Giantslayer, who once beside the base of Tyrsenian Peloros [in Sicily] smashed Alpos, the son of Gaia (Gaea, the Earth) who fought against gods, battering with rocks and throwing hills. No wayfarer then climbed the height of that rock, for fear of the raging Gigante (Giant) and his row of mouths; and if one in ignorance travelled on that forbidden road whipping a bold horse, the son of Gaia spied him, pulled him over the rock with a tangle of many hands, entombed man and colt in his gullet! Often some old shepherd leading his sheep to pasture along the wooded hillside at midday was gobbled up. In those days melodious Pan never sat beside herds of goats or sheepcoates playing his tune on the assembled reeds, no imitating Ekho (Echo) returned the sounds of his pipes; but prattler as she was, silence sealed those lips which were wont to sound with the pipe of Pan never silent, because the Gigante then oppressed all. No cowherd then came, no band of woodmen cutting timbers for a ship troubled the Nymphai (Nymphs) of the trees, their agemates, no clever shipwright clamped together a barge, the woodriveted car that travels the roads of the sea, until Bakkhos (Bacchus) [Dionysos] on his travels passed by that peak, shaking his Euian thyrsos.
As Lyaios (Lyaeus) [Dionysos] passed, the huge son of Gaia high as the clouds attacked him. A rock was the shield upon his shoulders, a hilltop was his missile; he leapt on Bakkhos, with a tall tree which he found near for a pike, some pine or planetree to cast at Dionysos. A pine was his club, and he pulled up an olive spire from the roots to whirl for a quick sword. But when he had stript the whole mountain for his long shots, and the ridge was bare of all the thick shady trees, then Bakkhos thyrsos-wild sped his own shot whizzing to the mark, and hit this towering Alpos full in the wide throat--right through the gullet went the sharp point of the greeny spear. Then the Gigante pierced with the sharp little thyrsos rolled over half dead and fell in the neighbouring sea, filling the whole deephollowed abyss of the bay. He lifted the waters and deluged Typhaon's rock [Sicily], flooding the hot surface of his brother's bed and cooling his scorched body with a torrent of water."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 47. 626 ff :
"To whom [Dionysos] bold Alpos bent his knee, that son of Gaia (Gaea, the Earth) with huge body rising near the clouds."




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