Greek Mythology >> Bestiary >> Giants >> Olympus (Olympos)


Greek Name

Ολυμπος Ουλυμπος


Olympos, Oulympos

Latin Spelling

Olympus, Ulympus



OLYMPOS (Olympus) was a giant of the island of Krete (Crete) who entrusted with raising the young god Zeus. He later incited the Gigantes (Giants) against the god and was slain in the rebellion which ensued.

Olympos may have been one of the Kouretes (Curetes) who were sometimes described as giants and were the usual wardens of the young Zeus.


Presumably GAIA (see the Gigantes)


Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Bk2 (trans. Pearse) (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"The tomb which passes for that of Zeus in Krete (Crete) is that of Olympos (Olympus) of Krete, who received Zeus son of Kronos (Cronus), raised him and taught divine things to him; but Zeus, he says, struck down his foster-parent and master because he had pushed the Gigantes (Giants) to attack him in his turn; but when he had struck, before his body he was full of remorse and, since he could appease his sorrow in no other way, he gave his own name to the tomb of his victim."
[N.B. The Gigantes of this myth were probably the Kouretes (Curetes) or perhaps the Titanes.]

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 71. 2 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Before the battle against the Gigantes (Giants) in Krete (Crete), we are told, Zeus sacrificed a bull to Helios (Sun) and to Ouranos (Uranus, the Sky) and to Ge (Gaea, the Earth)." [N.B. The Gigantes here are either the Kouretes or Titanes.]

Ovid, Fasti 3. 793 ff (trans. Melville) (Roman poet C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Saturnus [Kronos (Cronus)] was thrust from his realm by Jove [Zeus]. In anger he stirs the mighty Titanes to arms and seeks the assistance owed by fate." [Compare Kronos and the Titanes in this passage with Hephaestion's Olympos and the Gigantes.]


Olympos or Oulympos, as his name was also spelt, was perhaps identified with the Titan Kronos (Time). In an ancient Greek translation of the Phoenician cosmogony by Mochus, a primordial god named Oulomos (World-Time) is born of Aither (the Light of Heaven). This figure clearly coincides with Kronos (Time) son of Ouranos (Heaven). Kronos was also titled Olympios through his connection with the sanctuary of Olympia in Elis where he was said to have wrestled with Zeus over the throne of heaven.
Olympos was perhaps also identical to Mylinos--a giant mentioned by another writer who was likewise vanquished by Zeus on the island of Krete. His name, meaning "mill-stone", might also symbolise the grinding wheel of time.





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