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Sons of Poseidon by Iphimedeia, the wife of Aloeus, son of Canace (see Aeolos, 1) and Poseidon; their names were Ephialtes and Otus. They grew, every year an ell in breadth and a fathom in length, so that in nine years' time they were thirty-six feet broad and fifty-four feet high. Their strength was such that they chained up the god Ares and kept him in a brazen cask for thirteen months, till their stepmother Eriboea betrayed his whereabouts to Hermes, who came by stealth and dragged his disabled brother out of durance. They threatened to storm heaven itself by piling Ossa on Olympus and Pelion on Ossa, and would have done it, says Homer, had not Apollo slain them with his arrows ere their beards were grown. The later legend represents Ephialtes as in love with Hera, and Otus with Artemis. Another myth represents Artemis as slaying them by craft in the island of Naxos. She runs between them in the form of a hind; they hurl their spears, and wound each other fatally. In the later legend they expiate their sins in the lower world by being bound with snakes to a pillar, back to back, while they are incessantly tormented by the screeching of an owl. On the other hand, they were worshipped as heroes in Naxos, and in the Boeotian Ascra were regarded as founders of the city and of the worship of the Muses on Mount Helicon.
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