Post Eagle Newspaper

Monday

May 27, 2024

45°F, few clouds
New Jersey

Time Now

12:00:00

Cyclops

The word for today is CYCLOPS – from the Greek – KYKLOS meaning ROUND, and OP meaning EYE.  In an ancient epic called the ODYSSEY, there is a confrontation between Odysseus and the one-eyed giant called Polyphemus who belongs to the cyclops family. The cyclops was anthropophagous, which meant that he ate humans. Odysseus and his men were locked in Polyphemus’ cave and some were eaten alive by the giant. Odysseus drugs the cyclops with wine and while he is sleeping, he sharpens a huge wooden stake, heats the tip in a fire, and drives it into the eye, blinding the giant. The giant in great pain searches for the Greeks who now are clinging upside down to the bellies of the sheep in the cave, waiting for the giant to roll back the stone which is blocking the egress to allow the sheep to go out to pasture. The cyclops feels the top of the sheep as they go out and since the Greeks are clinging to the bottom he does not detect them. Odysseus and his men escape. They set sail and continue the adventurous journey home.

Around 1100 B.C. the Greeks attacked and destroyed the city of Troy which was in present day Turkey. The city walls were built of gigantic eye-shaped stones and the Greeks imagined that the masons who cemented these stones had to be men of gigantic stature. This created the myth of the family of cyclops and the eye-shaped stones were then placed as one eye in the head of the monster.