Monstrous phaeacians?


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Alkinoüs was king of the Phaiakoi [Phaeacians] at the time when Odysseus arrived on their island. He was the son of Naüsithoüs, son of Poseidon and Periboia; and Periboia was the daughter of Eurymedon, the chief of the Gigantes. Does it then follow that Periboia was a many-armed giant, like her father and uncles, and would her son Naüsithoüs likewise have inherited these traits [of gigantism and multiple arms], together with his sons and his descendants Naüsikaä and Ptoliporthos? I know that Homer has nothing so remarkable to report about the Phaiakoi in the Odyssey, but we do also have the myth about them having, together with the Gigantes, sprung from the Earth (Gaia) after she was impregnated by the spilled blood of Ouranos (Uranus). So could the Phaiakoi themselves have been gigantic?


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Based on what you have said, it defintely seems possible. I don't actually know, though. A lot of the mentioned names I've never heard before.


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I second that Myrddin; I've never heard of most of these people. But I don't think that Periboia would necessarily give birth to "many-armed" giants or even be one herself.
The three Hecatoncheires had one hundred hands and fifty heads, their brothers were the giants and their parents were Gaea and Uranus; neither the giants nor their parents had a hundred hands or more than one head so I think, to say that, because she came from a giant would make her and her off-spring giants would not necessarily be true.
Gods aren't held to the same genetic standards as humans so just because parents have a specific trait, doesn't always mean that their offspring will have the same.


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...I see what you're referring to now:D
Eurymedon was also called by the names Alkyoneus or Porphyrion; those are the names I knew him by;)
"Periboia" or Periboea gave birth to a son, Nausithoos, who later became king of the Phaiekes.
There is more that one myth about Periboia, though it would seem that they are two seperate women; one gives birth to the wife of Odysseus and the other gives birth to Nausithoos. In one myth Periboea, the mother of Nausithoos, is called a gigantis; in another myth, however, she is called "great-hearted" and also "the comeliest of women". Penelope's mother, however, was a water (Naias) Nymphe.
I wonder if it is possible that these two women could be one in the same, it wouldn't be the first time two non-humans have been recognized as being one in the same. After all, both have the same name and both are considered to be descendents of Uranus and Gaea.


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Myrddin, maybe they'd be more recognisable by the Latinised forms of some of their names, viz. Alcinoüs, Periboea, Naüsicaä and Ptoliporthus (or Poliporthes)? Well, even if not, as aforementioned, Alkinoüs is the king of the Phaeacians in the Odyssey; Periboia is his grandmother, and his daughter Naüsikaä is the island's princess who meets Odysseus and grants him hospitality when he is washed up on their beach after being shipwrecked by an angry Poseidon (who incidentally is the young princess' great-grandfather). According to other writers, Ptoliporthos was the son of Naüsikaä by Odysseus' son Telemakhos.

Nadai, I hadn't considered the possibility of Eurymedon, Alkyoneus and Porphyrion as the same personage. That helps the tantalising reference Homer makes to the idea that "lovely Periboia was the youngest daughter of bold Eurymedon," at least insofar as answering the question of who Eurymedon's other daughters were. Suidas tells us that Alkyoneus was the father of seven nymphs, although none of them is named Periboia, and all of them are transformed into alkyonides (ice-birds or kingfishers) upon the death of their father at the hands of Herakles and the gods. Maybe Periboia was the eighth, less-known [and lastborn] daughter?

There are, by the way, at least eight other personages in Greek myth who go by the name Periboia, of whom the Naiad who was Penelope's mother is one. I'm quite certain that the "giantess" and the Naiad are two different characters bearing an evidently common name. (There is yet one other non-human Periboia, who was an Oceanid.) I think it's also possible for Eurymedon's daughter Periboia to have been a giantess (or gigantis) while still being "great-hearted" and "the comeliest of women".

The reason I suspect that the Phaeacians were gigantic/monstrous is because Apollonios Rhodios hints at the idea that they were born, together with the Gigantes and the Cyclopes, from the Earth after its impregnation by Ouranos' spilled blood. Homer quotes King Alkinoüs in the Odyssey, saying to Odysseus that he (the king) and his people, the Phaeacians, are close relatives of the Gigantes and the Cyclopes, the latter of these being the tribe of man-eating, one-eyed giants who lived on Hypereia Island, rather than the three ancient divine Cyclopes who, together with Hephaistos, forged Zeus' thunderbolts. It might be noteworthy also that Poseidon, the grandfather of King Alkinoüs, is also the father of the most famous giant in the Odyssey, i.e., the Cyclops Polyphemos. In another version of the myth, Alkinoüs is the son of Phaiax, son of Poseidon and the Naiad Korkyra; from these the people are called Phaiakoi [Phaeacians] and their island is called Korkyra.

On the other hand, you make a good point concerning the fact that being related to giants does not necessarily make one a giant or a monster, since Alkinoüs also says that the Phaeacians, Gigantes and Cyclopes are close relatives of the gods themselves too.
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Regarding the other [unnamed] daughters of Eurymedon, the Egyptian writer Clement of Alexandria says that Zeus had a son named Koron by a certain Leandia [or Leandeia?], daughter of Eurymedon. Is this Eurymedon perhaps the same as the Gigantos, therefore making Leand[e]ia one of Periboia's older sisters? And is there any further information on Koron?


Koroni or Coroni comes to mind, I was looking into Orion's (son of Hyrieos, yet apparently facing the wrath of Artemis) children earlier yesterday (I want the names of his fifty sons; alas I also want the name of the fifty daughters of Selene, alas) anyway, his daughters are the Korônides (Metiokhe and Menippe, maidens of a mother unnamed) my source is Ovid and Antoninus Liberalis, both Metamorphoses which say they killed themselves to either save the land Aonia from drought or plague (possibly both?) - they had been given the gift of weaving by Athena, and Aphrodite gave them beauty, and they became comets - a sanctuary near Orchomenos was built for them. Ovid says something very strange about these virgins though: "Then, lest their line should die, from those two virgins' embers twin youths rise whom fame calls the Coronae, and they lead the files that lay their natal ash to rest."

So, either Leandia is the name of their mother, and Orion was tricked into thinking them his own; or the Coronae/Koronoi were thought of as sons of Zeus. If at all related.

Or it could be another Koron and another Leandia and another Eurymedon entirely.

Hyrieos (Hyrieus) is, so far as I can find is the son of Poseidon and Alkyone (daughter of Atlas); Hyperenor/Hyperes is either his brother or may be another name for Hyrieos(?).


Hm. If the Phaeacian's have Gigantes blood, equally they seem to have been Meliai too. (Which makes sense given the other brother-husband/sister-wife pairs found in Greek myth, but Phaiakian is also supposed to have been one of the races sprung from the blood of Gaia and Ouranos )

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica :
"He [Hyllos] was the son of the beautiful Melite by Herakles and was born in the Phaiakian (Phaeacian) land, for his father had come to King Nausithous and the island of Makris, nurse of Dionysos, to obtain absolution for the murder of his children. There Herakles fell in love with the Naias Melite, a daughter of the River Aigaios (Aegaeus), and she bore him the mighty Hyllos."

"In the Keraunian Sea, fronting the Ionian Straits, there is a rich and spacious island [Korkyra, Corcyra] . . . Others call it the reaping-hook of Demeter Khthonie (of the Earth), who lived there once and taught the Titanes to reap corn for food, in her affection for Makris (Macris). From this reaping-hook the island takes its name of Drepane (the Sickle), the sacred Nurse of the Phaiakes (Phaeacians). "

"For that very night [the Phaiakes, Phaeacians] prepared a bridal bed for [Jason and] Medea in the sacred cave where Makris had once lived. Makris (Macris) was the daughter of Aristaios (Aristaeus), the honey-loving shepherd who discovered the secret of the bees and the riches that the olive yields in payment for our toil. It was Makris, who in Abantian Euboia, took the infant Dionysos to her bosom and moistened his parched lips with honey, when Hermes had rescued him from the flames and brought him to her. But Hera saw this and in her anger banished her from Euboia. So Makris came to the remote Phaiakian land, where she lived in the sacred cave and brought abundance to the people."

*Makris may also be called Nysa. I'm thinking Nysa means something like "Nurse"? Which means Dionysus means "God of Nursing(!?).

"Nausithous at the first was born from the earth-shaker Poseidon and Periboea, the comeliest of women, youngest daughter of great-hearted Eurymedon"

Eurymedon could be another name of Alkyoneus -or Porphyrion (a myth where Periboea is the daughter of Hera and Porphyriôn? where the Alkyonides -Phosthonia, Anthe, Methone, Alkippa, Palene, Drimo, Asterie- are hers? Certainly Dionysus was supposed to have had three Kharites by Kronois/Hera)

*Pallene/Palene might be the same that Dionysus was made to wrestle by her father to be her lover.

-According to Homer, Nausithous (the godlike) led a migration of Phaeacians from Hypereia to the island of Scheria in order to escape the lawless Cyclopes. He is the father of Alcinous and Rhexenor. Alcinous would go on to marry his niece, Rhexenor's daughter Arete. One source relates that Heracles came to Nausithous (Apollonius Rhodius) to get cleansed after the murder of his children; during his stay in the land of the Phaeacians, the hero fell in love with the nymph Melite and conceived a son Hyllus with her.

Aigaios was the Potamos of the island of the Phaiakians (Skheria (Scheria) isle identified with Black Korkyra?)
Another daughter by Rhexenor might be Chalciope (the second wife of Aegeas)?
Alcinous father of Nausicaa, Halius, Clytoneus and Laodamas with Arete.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History :
"Asopos made his home in Phlios, where he married Metope, the daughter of Ladon, to whom were born two sons, Pelasgos and Ismenos, and twelve daughters, Korkyra (Corcyra) and Salamis, also Aigina, Peirene, and Kleone (Cleone), then Thebe, Tanagra, Thespeia, and Asopis, also Sinope, and finally Ornia and Khalkis (Chalcis) . . .
Korkyra was carried off by Poseidon to the island which was named Korkyra after her; and to her and Poseidon was born Phaiax (Phaeax), from whom the Phaiakes (Phaeacians) afterwards received the name they bear."

Phaiax (the father of Alcinous and Locrus?); Locus emigrated to Italy where he married Laurina, the daughter of Latinus.

(It may also be that when Leukothea-Ino saved Odysseus by giving him her scarf and telling him to swim for the island of the Phaiakes, she, who had once taken in Dionysus and fostered the son of her sister knew he would find safety there if she sent him to a island that called Makris a nurse of both Dionysus and nurse of their own people. )