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In Greek mythology, any of several one-eyed giants. In the Odyssey, the Cyclopes were cannibals who lived in a faraway land (traditionally Sicily). Odysseus was captured by the Cyclops Polyphemus, but he escaped being devoured by blinding the giant. According to Hesiod, there were three Cyclopes (Arges, Brontes, and Steropes) who forged thunderbolts for Zeus. In a later tradition, they were assistants to Hephaestus in this task. Apollo destroyed them after one of their thunderbolts killed Asclepius.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Cyclops, visit Britannica.com.
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