The narrative stories of the,” Giants,” that were passed forward through the centuries, by different cultures all over the world, were described as beings that existed before the gods, but were eventually defeated by them. The Titans of Greek Mythology were deities of Gods, large in stature, but not considered giants.
Giants have long been at the heart of storytelling. These supersized human being’s, have been the source of inspiration for writers, animations, and movies.
In the days before science it was simple to explain natural events as a result of supernatural creatures, like earthquakes, floods or solar eclipses. Today, it is the scientific school of thought that the world was full of giants, and the size of the giants diminished, due to climate changes, diet, and other cause and effect variables that evolved over time.
So what exactly is the definition of a giant? Webster’s dictionary describes giants as imaginary beings of superhuman size. So how big is imaginary, superhuman being big?
The anglo-irish, clergyman writer, Jonathan Swift, wrote a book called, Gulliver’s Travels, and in the first part of the book, Gulliver is considered a giant to a tribe of 6 inch Liliiputians. The story is about, when he is washed ashore after a shipwreck and lands in the land of Lilliput. Now he was probably an average sized man, by today’s standards in our society, but to tiny 6 inch, human beings, he was considered a giant.
In modern day civilization, we have sports celebrities that are extremely tall human beings, that might look like giants, to a diminutive sized person. They range from 6 to 8 feet tall in height. We watch television and read in the media, accounts of other humans whose height is unusually, taller than the average person. There are documentations of entire native tribes that are extraordinarily tall, and live in various parts of the world, alongside pygmie tribes. They might appear as giants. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Museums account for the tallest man ever alive, complete with a life size photo blow up and measuring bar to see how you measure up. Some circuses feature a sideshow of an extraordinarily tall man.
Many European legends, hold to the belief that people of the ancient “golden age”, were gigantic in stature, but have since died out or shrank to normal human size.
The Danish area was once a civilization of giants. It is testified by the humongous burial stones attached to the barrows. If anyone is doubtful whether or not giants existed, these stones had to be executed by superhuman strength and to gaze at the heights of certain mounds, it is certain that giants existed.
A noteworthy story of a giant is, Goliath, who is a very popular giant among Christian readers. His story is found in the,” Holy Bible”, 1Samuel; 17.Goliath, defies the armies of GOD, he is depicted as being a pagan and worshipping idols and many other gods. He enters into many battles with God’s armies, thus conquering and defeating them
A battle between, another of God’s armies, the Israelites and the Philistines, ensues near the Valley of Elah. The biblical story depicts, Goliath, as a giant, and champion warrior, of the philistine army. The Israelites are afraid of the giant who by textual history is described in different manuscripts as anywhere between 7 foot and 10 foot tall, and his reputation for being undefeated in single combat precedes him.
Goliath, challenges the Israelites, twice a day for 40 days, to send him a,” champion.” to single combat, at the line between armies.
A young lad named David, a brother bringing food to members of the Israelite army, gets permission from Saul, the Israelite leader, to accept, Goliaths, challenge and ultimately takes on the challenge, David, defeats, Goliath, by killing him with a staff sling and stone David hits Goliath in the middle of the forehead, with the rock from his slingshot and Goliath falls dead to the ground. David eventually becomes, God’s King of Israel. Goliath was considered small in stature by definition of a giant.
The legendary, Paul Bunyan is a familiar lumberjack giant of American folklore. Paul Bunyan was a gentle giant, who had head and shoulders that reached above the trees. He could chop down an entire forest with a single swing of his mighty axe, He was so big he had to use wagon wheels as buttons on his coat and his footprints filled with water and they created Minnesota’s fabled 10,000 lakes.
Big John, was also another fable, in American culture, it is said, he was a giant of a man, born with a hammer in his hand. He built the most of the railway system single handedly.
The Abominable Snowman is a common form of giant seen and documented in photos and videos throughout several of the world’s countries. Most of these giants are human like, covered in long hair and have enormously large hands and feet. Some of these giants include the Yeti of Tibet. There is also Sasquatch (bigfoot), that inhabits the American Pacific Northwest and the Wildman of China is another example.
Fairytale giants are described as terrible creatures with bodies of men, muscular legs and the tails of serpents. Giants are described as a human like, but huge in stature. Sometimes they have supernatural powers. They are considered to be savage and cannibalistic with a preference for human blood. They can wolf down a herd of cows or sheep in one sitting, and drink a river dry.
Giants are considered generally stupid, and hostile toward humans. Giants live in exquisite castles underground or built in caves on the sides of mountains, and they hoard magical objects and treasures in their homes. Heroes of folklore that escape from capture by giants, or conquer giants usually do so by the way of their wits rather than brute strength. For instance in the fairytale, ”Jack In The Beanstalk.” A poor boy named Jack, goes to market for his mother and buys magical beans instead of food, his mother throws the magical beans out and sends, Jack to bed. A giant beanstalk grows overnight. Jack climbs the beanstalk and encounters a giant living in a castle hoarding his treasures. The giant captures him. Jack outwits the giant and escapes, with the giant’s prized goose that lays golden eggs Jack climbs down the beanstalk, and when he reaches the ground he uses an axe to cut the beanstalk down, while the giant is climbing down after him, and the giant falls to his death. Jack and his mother live happily ever after and become rich off of the goose that lays the golden egg.
Whatever your conception of a giant is, it can surely be found imaginary or real as a superhuman being, if you look for it.