The battle of Zeus and Typhon in Apollodorus

The defeat of the Gigantes by the gods angered Ge all the more, so she had intercourse with Tartaros and bore Typhon in Kilikia. He was a mixture of man and beast, the largest and strongest of all Ge's children. Down to the thighs he was human in form, so large that he extended beyond all the mountains while his head often touched even the stars. One hand reached to the west, the other to the east, and attached to these were one hundred heads of serpents. Also from the thighs down he had great coils of vipers, which extended to the top of his head and hissed mightily. All of his body was winged, and the hair that flowed in the wind from his head and cheeks was matted and dirty. In his eyes flashed fire. Such were the appearance and the size of Typhon as he hurled red-hot rocks at the sky itself, and set out for it with mixed hisses and shouts, as a great storm of fire boiled forth from his mouth.
When the gods saw him rushing toward the sky, they headed for Aigyptos to escape him, and as he pursued them they changed themselves into animal shapes. But Zeus from a distance hurled thunderbolts at Typhon, and when he had drawn closer Zeus tried to strike him down with a sickle made of adamant. Typhon took flight, but Zeus stayed on his heels right up to Mount Kasium, which lies in Syria. Seeing that he was badly wounded, Zeus fell on him with his hands. But Typhon entwined the god and held him fast in his coils, and grabbing the sickle he cut out the sinews from Zeus' hands and feet. Then, placing Zeus up on his shoulders, he carried him across the sea to Kilikia, where he deposited him in the Korykian cave. He also hid away the sinews there in the skin of a bear, and posted as guard over them the drakaina Delphyne (a girl who was half animal). But Hermes and Aigipan stole back the sinews and succeeded in replanting them in Zeus without being seen. So Zeus, again possessed of his strength, suddenly appeared from the sky in a chariot drawn by winged horses, and with thunderbolts chased Typhon to the mountain called Nysa. There the Moirai deceived the pursued creature, for he ate some of the ephemeral fruit on Nysa after they had persuaded him that he would gain strength from it. Again pursued, he made his way to Thrace, where while fighting round Haimos he threw whole mountains at Zeus. But when these were pushed back upon him by the thunderbolt, a great quantity of his blood streamed out on the mountain, which allegedly is why the mountain is called Haimos. Then, as Typhon started to flee again through the Sikilian Sea, Zeus brought down Sikilia's Mount Aitna on him , a great mountain which they say still erupts fire from the thunderbolts thrown by Zeus. (Apollodorus, Library 1.39-44)

July 14, 2004 in Gigantomachia/Titanomachia | Permalink

Comments