JF Ptak Science Books Post 1250
"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." Genesis 6:4-5 (KJV).
Our dog Blue is a giant Jack Russell Terrier--mix. He's a Jack St. Bernard/Jack Russell--a St. Jack--and at 50+ pounds is either a Giant Jack or a mini St. Bernard. He behaves like the St. Bernard. One wonders about the mechanics of the thing--similar to Mr. Gulliver in Jonathan Swift's A Voyage to Brodbingnag (1727), in which the hero (or anti-hero) though he is disgusted by the gigantic women of the place nevertheless seeks and accomplishes some sort of romantic union with the handmaidens of the giant queen. And this all puts me in the mind of giants--actually, I'd like to put together an Alphabet of Giants, with this being the beginning. And to start at the beginning is Athanasius Kircher--the incredible Kircher, who produced thousands of pages of excellent analysis and cutting-edge technical/physical thinking as well as hundreds of pages of highly imaginative scientificiana--and his generic giant, featured in Mundus Subterraneus in 1646.
Giants have certainly been around for a long time, though imaging that imagination is less ocmmmon early on in the history of the illustrated book.
There's no lack of giants in ancient mythologies and legends--the Hindu Daitya, Mohamed's depiction of a 100-foot-tall Adam, the Greek Antaeus (the children of Heaven and Earth, of Uranus and Gaea), the sleepy Encedladus, the Nephialim, and so on. One of the most glorious of the big people stories is the beautifully-named Gigantomachy, in which the gods of Olympus engage in an enormous confrontation with Chaos and Aleyoneus. The "good" (though not very) guys win.
There's actually about half-an-alphabet residing just within the Greek Titans (Atlas, Crius, Cronus, Coeus, Gaia, Hyperion, Iapetus, Mnemosyne, Oceanus, Phoebe, Prometheus, Rhea, Theia, Themis, Tethys), but I'd like to expand this if I can. A fuller, more diverse listing of giants and giant-groups follows: Anakim (Jewish mythology, references in the Old Testament), Argus Panoptes (Greek mythology), Bestla (Norse mythology), Cyclopes (Greek mythology), Daityas (Hindu mythology), Epimetheus (Greek mythology), Fachan (Celtic mythology), Gargantua and Pantagruel, Gigantes (Greek mythology), Gog and Magog (Jewish mythology), Goliath (Book of Samuel of the Bible), Hecatonchires (Greek mythology), Iovan Iorgovan (Romanian mythology), John Henry (American folklore), Jotuns (Norse mythology), Kaour (Celtic mythology), Menoetius (Greek mythology), Nimrod (Jewish mythology, OT), Oni (Japanese folklore), St Christopher (Roman Catholic saint),Talos (Greek mythology), Titans (Greek mythology--Atlas, Crius, Cronus, Coeus, Gaia, Hyperion, Iapetus, Mnemosyne, Oceanus, Phoebe, Prometheus, Rhea, Theia, Themis, Tethys), Zipacna (Mayan mythology).
For the most part I've stayed old with these images, except for the 50-Foot Woman, the Giants are generally not from the modern fantasy/sci fi gernre.
So, Part 1:
A. ALICE. John Tenniel's Alice in Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
A. Arthur. King Arthur's Giant.
B. Beanstalk Giant. Jack and the Beanstalk, John D. Batten
B. Bunyan, Paul. By Allen Lewis.
C. Cyclopes. By Ordilon Redon.
R. Rukh. "The Rukh which fed its young on elephants", by E.J. Detmold. For The Second Voyage of Sinbad the Sailor from The Arabian Nights, 1924.
W. Woman, 50-Foot.
Women don't often appear though as giants--at least until modern times.
Zeus and three Gigantes, drawing based on the Zeus Pergamon Altar.