THE GEGENEES were a tribe of six-armed giants who fought the Argonauts on Bear Mountain in Mysia.
GAIA (Apollonius Rhodius 1.901)
CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"In the Propontis there is an island sloping steeply to the sea, close to the rich mainland of Phrygia, and parted from it only by a low isthmus barely raised above the waves. The isthmus, with its two shores, lies east of the River Aisepos (Aesepus); and the place itself is called Bear Mountain by the people round about. It is inhabited by a fierce and lawless tribe of aborigines, who present an astounding spectacle to their neighbours. Each of these earthborn monsters is equipped with six great arms, two springing from his shoulders, and four below from his prodigious flanks. But the isthmus and the plain belong to the Doliones, who had for king the noble Kyzikos (Cyzicus) . . . These people were never troubled by the fearsome aborigines: Poseidon, from whom they were descended, saw to that.
Argo, pressing on with a stiff breeze from Thrake behind reached this coast and ran into a harbour called Fairhaven . . . The Doliones and Kyzikos their king received the Argonauts in a friendly spirits . . .
In the morning some of the Argonauts climbed towards the top of Dindymon in the hope of seeing for themselves the waters they would have to cross . . . Another party brought the ship from her former anchorage to the harbour of Khytos (Chytus) [Kyzikos' city].
But now the earthborn savages, coming from the other side, dashed down the mountain and blocked the mouth of the ample harbour of Khytos with boulders, in an attempt to pen them like wild beasts in a trap. However, Herakles had been left there with the younger men. He quickly bent his recurved bow and brought a number of the monsters down. The rest retaliated by pelting him with jagged rocks. And I cannot but surmise that these redoubtable beasts were bred by Hera, wife of Zeus, as an extra labour for Herakles. But just at this moment, the rest of the Argonauts, who had turned back before reaching the summit, appeared on the scene to take their part in the slaughter. The monsters charged with fury more than once, but the young warriors were ready for them with their spears and arrows and in the end they killed them all.
When the long timbers for a ship have been hewn by the woodman's axe they are laid in rows on a beach and there they lie and soak till they are ready to receive the bolts. That is how these fallen monsters looked, stretched out in a row on the grey beach by the harbour mouth. Some were sprawling in a mass with their limbs on shore and their heads and breasts in the sea. Some lay the other way about; their heads were resting on the sands and their feet were deep in the water. But in either case they were carrion for birds and fish. The day was won and the Argonauts had no more to fear."
- Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic C3rd B.C.
A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.