Mimas (Giant)

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In Greek mythology, Mimas was one of the Gigantes (Giants), the offspring of Gaia, born from the blood of the castrated Uranus.[1] According to the mythographer Apollodorus, he was killed, during the Gigantomachy, the cosmic battle of the Giants with the Olympian gods, by Hephaestus with "missiles of red-hot metal" from his forge.[2] In Euripides' Ion (c. 410 BC), the chorus, describing the wonders of the late sixth century Temple of Apollo at Delphi, tell of seeing depicted there the Gigantomachy showing, among other things, Zeus burning Mimas "to ashes" with his thunderbolt.[3] In the Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes, and the Gigantomachia by Claudian, Mimas was killed by Ares (or in Claudian's case by Ares' Roman counterpart Mars).[4] Mimas is also mentioned in the company of other Giants, by the Latin writers Horace [5] and Seneca.[6]

A fragment of an Attic Black-figure dinos by Lydos (Athens Akropolis 607) dating from the second quarter of the sixth century, which depicted the Gigantomachy, shows Aphrodite with shield and spear battling a Giant also with shield (displaying a large bee) and spear, whose name is inscribed (retrograde) as "Mimos", possibly in error for "Mimas".[7]

He was said to be buried under Prochyte, one of the Phlegraean Islands off the coast of Naples.[8] Claudian mentions Mimas as one of several vanquished Giants whose weapons, as spoils of war, hung on trees in a wood near the summit of Mount Etna.[9]

Mimas is possibly the same as the Giant named Mimon on the Gigantomachy depicted on the north frieze of the Siphnian Treasury at Delphi (c. 525 BC),[10] and a late fifth century BC cup from Vulci (Berlin F2531) shown fighting Ares.[11]

Saturn's moon, Mimas, is named for the Giant.


  1. ^ For the birth of the Gigantes see Hesiod, Theogony 185. Hyginus, Fabulae Preface gives Tartarus as the father of the Giants.
  2. ^ Apollodorus, 1.6.2.
  3. ^ Gantz, p. 448; Euripides, Ion 205–218.
  4. ^ Apollonius of Rhodes, Argonautica 3.1225–7 (pp. 276–277); Claudian, Gigantomachia 85–91 (pp. 286–287).
  5. ^ Horace, Odes 3.4.49–51; Lyne, p. 51.
  6. ^ Seneca, Hercules 976–981 (pp. 126–127).
  7. ^ Gantz, p. 451; Beazley, p. 39; Arafat, p. 16; Beazley Archive 310147; LIMC Gigantes 105: image 1/14.
  8. ^ Silius Italicus, Punica 12.143–151 (pp. 156–159)
  9. ^ Claudian, Rape of Proserpine 3.332–356 (pp. 368–371).
  10. ^ Brinkmann, N14 pp. 109, 124–125.
  11. ^ Arafat, p. 16; Beazley Archive 220533: detail showing Mimon and Ares; Cook, p. 56, Plate VI.