The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Geta – Gigantes – Gildo

GIGANTES.

the name of Caracalla with infamy, but, oh the contrary, he took delight in the liberal arts and in the society of learned men, and was generally accounted upright and -honourable.

After the murder of his brother, Caracalla or­dered all his statues to be broken, all inscriptions in his honour to be erased, and all coins bearing his effigy or designation to be melted down. Not­withstanding these measures, many of Geta's medals have come down to us, and the obliteration of a portion of the legend upon some great public monuments, such as the arch of Severus, has served, by attracting attention and inquiry, to keep alive his memory.

coin of caracalla. (See remarks at the end of caracalla.)

As in the case of Commodus, we find a variation in the praenomen. The earlier coins exhibit Lucius and Pullius indifferently, but the former disappears from all the productions of the Roman mint after his first consulship, while both are found together on some of the pieces struck in Greece and Asia. The cause of these changes is quite unknown.

coin op geta, exhibiting on the reverse both emperors and the goddess Liberalitas.

(Dion Cass. Ixxvi. 2, 7, 11, Ixxvii. 1—3, 12 ; Spartian. Sever. 8, 10, 14, 16, 21, Caracall. ; Geta; Herodian. iii. 33,46, iv. 4—10 ; Vict. Caes. 20, Epit. 20, 21 ; Eutrop. viii. 10.) [W. R.]

GETA, P. SEPTI'MIUS, a brother of Septi-mius Severus, after having held the offices of quaestor, praetor of Crete, and of Cyrene, was ele­vated to the consulship in A. d. 203, along with Plautianus [plautianus], and appears at one time to have entertained hopes of being preferred to his nephews. He is said to have revealed to the emperor with his dying breath the ambitious schemes of Plautianus, whom he hated, but no longer feared ; and it is certain that from this period -the influence of the favourite began to wane. (Dion Cass. Ixxvi. 2; Spartian. Sept. Sev. 8, 10, 14 ; Gmter, Corpus Insoripp* mxcix. 7.) [W. R.]

GIGANTES (Tiyavres}. In the story about the Gigantes or giants, we must distinguish the early legends from the later ones. According to Homer, they were a gigantic and savage race of men, governed by Eurymedon, and dwelling in the distant west, in the island of Thrinacia ; but they were extirpated by Eurymedon on account of their insolence towards the gods. (Horn. Od. vii. 59, 206, x. 120 ; comp. Paus. viii. 29. § 2.) Homer accordingly looked upon the Gigantes, like the

267

GILDO.

Phaeacians, Cyclopes, and Laestrygones, as a race of Autochthones, whom, with the exception of the Phaeacians, the gods destroyed for their overbear­ ing insolence, but neither he nor Hesiod knows any thing about the contest of the gods with the Gigantes. Hesiod ( Theog. 185), however, considers them as divine beings, who sprang from the blood that fell from Uranus upon the earth, so that Ge was their mother. Later poets and mythographers fre­ quently confound them with the Titans (Serv. ad Aen. viii. 698, Georg. i. 166, 278 ; Hor. Carm. iii. 4. 42), and Hyginus (Praef. Fab. p. I) calls them the sons of Ge (Terra) and Tartarus. Their battle with Zeus and the Olympian gods seems to be only an imitation of the revolt of the Titans against Uranus. Ge, it is said (Apollod. i. 6. § 1, &c.), indignant at the fate of her former children, the Titans, gave birth to the Gigantes, that is, monstrous and unconquerable giants, with fearful countenances and the tails of dragons. (Gomp. Ov. Trist. iv. 7, 17.) They were born, according to some, in Phlegrae (i. e. burning fields), in Sicily, Campania, or Arcadia, and, according to others, in the Thracian Pallene. (Apollod., Paus. ll.cc.\ Pind. Nem. i. 67 ; Strab. pp. 245, 281, 330 ; Schol. ad Horn. II. viii. 479.) It is worthy of remark that Homer, as well as later writers, places the Gigantes in volcanic districts, and most authorities in the western parts of Europe. In their native land they made an attack upon heaven, being armed with huge rocks and the trunks of trees. (Ov. Met. i. 151, &c.) Porphyrion and Alcyoneus distinguished themselves above their brethren. The latter of them, who had carried off the oxen of Helios from Erytheia, was immortal so long as he fought in his native land; and the gods were informed that they should not be able to kill one giant unless they were assisted by some mortal in their fight against the monsters. (Comp. Schol. ad. Pind. Nem. i. 100 ; Eratosth. Calast. 11.) Ge, on hearing of this, discovered a herb which would save the giants from being killed by mortal hands ; but Zeus forbade Helios and Eos to shine, took himself the herb, and invited Heracles to give his assistance against the giants. Heracles, indeed, killed Alcyoneus, but as the giant fell on the ground, he came to life again. On the advice of Athena, Heracles dragged him away from his native land, and thus slew him effectually. Por­ phyrion attacked Heracles and Hera, but was killed by the combined efforts of Zeus and He­ racles, the one using a flash of lightning and the other his arrows. (Comp. Pind. Pyfh. viii. 19 with the Schol.) The other giants, whose number, ac­ cording to Hyginus, amounted to twenty-four, were then killed one after another by the gods and Heracles, and some of them were buried by their conquerors under (volcanic) islands. (Eurip. Cyd. 7 ; Diod. iv. 21 ; Strab. p. 489 ; Serv. ad Aen. iii. 578.) The fight of the giants with the gods was represented by Phidias on the inside of the shield of his statue of Athena. (Plin. H.N. xxxvi. 5. 4.) The origin of the story of the Gi­ gantes must probably be sought for in similar phy^ sical phenomena in nature, especially volcanic ones, from which arose the stories about the Cyclopes. [L. S.]

GILDO, or GILDON (the first is the usual form in Latin writers, but Claudian, for metrical reasons, sometimes uses the second), a Moorish chieftain in the latter period of the Western Em*

Pages
About | First

266

267

268
letter/word  
volume
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.