1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Antaeus

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

ANTAEUS, in Greek mythology, a giant of Libya, the son of Poseidon and Gaea. He compelled all strangers passing through the country to wrestle with him, and as, when thrown, he derived fresh strength from each successive contact with his mother earth, he proved invincible. With the skulls of those whom he had slain he built a temple to his father. Heracles, in combat with him, discovered the source of his strength, and lifting him up from the earth crushed him to death (Apollodorus ii. 5; Hyginus, Fab. 31). The struggle between Antaeus and Heracles is a favourite subject in ancient sculpture.