Laestrygonians

Also known as Lestringons, Lestrigons

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  • #1980
  • Greek Greek (culture)
  • Giant Giant (attribute)
  • Deadly Deadly (behaviour)

Man-eating Giants from the north western coast of Sicily.

They would destroy boats that sailed nearby by throwing rocks down at them. They would then kill any surviving crew by spearing them in the water or dragging them ashore to be cooked and eaten. They live in both Lamus and in Telepolyes. They are believed to live in the far north beyond the lands of Spain but some may live further south. Their name is made up of two words the first meaning 'skin' or raw hide' and the other meaning 'to gather'. Being so huge in size it was easy for them to kill others even if their weapons were quite primitive.

Odysseus (or Ulysses in some versions) travelled to their island where their crew landed. He sent one of his men to talk to the King of the region, but this emissary was killed by the Giants of the land. The crew then fled in terror having heard this and many died before they could reach the safety of their boats and sail far away.

The story is recounted by Pseudo-Apollodorus in Bibliotheca Ey. 12 around the 2nd century AD:

“ ...So he sailed along and came to the Laistrygones (Laestrygones) and . . ((lacuna)) he anchored his own ship last. The Laistrygones were cannibals, ruled by Antiphates. Odysseus, anxious to learn who the natives were, sent a group to inquire. They were met by the king's daughter, who took them to her father. He grabbed one and ate him, pursuing the rest as they ran, and summoning the other Laistrygones with shouts. They ran down to the sea, where they shattered the boats with rocks and started eating the men. Odysseus cut loose his ship's stern-cable and put to sea, but the other ships were destroyed with their crews.”

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