The "German Giant" claimed a height of nine feet six inches. On August 15,1664, Pepys went to Charing Cross, "and there saw the great Dutchman that is come over, under whose arm I went with my hat on, and could not reach higher than his eyebrows with the tip of my fingers. He is a comely and well-made man, and his wife a very little but pretty comely Dutch woman." Pepys then adds: "It is true, he wears pretty high-heeled shoes, but not very high, and do generally wear a turban, which makes him show yet taller than he really is." One of his handbills reads: "The true Effigies of the German Giant, now to be seen at the Swan, near Charing Cross, whose stature is nine foot and a half in height, and the span of his hand a cubit compleat. He goes from place to place with his wife, who is but of an ordinary stature, and takes money for the shew of her husband."48
Giants Who Became Gods
The Celtae, especially the princes who commanded them, says Paul Pezron, "exceeded all others in bulk and strength of body; and hence it is that they have been looked upon to be terrible people, and as it were Giants."49 The names of Celt and Gaul, he adds, came from Celtic words meaning about the same thing, with both signi-fying a "potent, and valiant man."50
Pezron, who traced the Gomarian giants' early entrance into the European provinces, discovered they came by two routes. The Cimbrians entered from the north. These people, explains the Celtic historian, "were better known unto the Greeks by the name of Cimmerians.... I have clearly enough proved that these last were called Sacae, while they continued in the Upper Asia, and I have shewn there were two sorts of them, viz. the more civilized Sacae, who coalesced into societies in Bactriana and the adjacent countries, and the vagrant and wild Sacae, who were known by the name Nomades."51
The wild Nomadan Sacae at first dwelled near the rise or spring of the Jaxartes, not far from Mount Imaus. When the land became not big enough to bear their ever-growing numbers, they followed die example of their Gomarian Sacae cousins who had earlier fallen upon Armenia. But the Nomadan Sacae made their great push in the opposite direction, i.e., toward the northern parts of Asia, then westward. After "many rovings and inroads," they settled for a time above the Euxine or Black Sea, toward the Palus Maeotidis. "There it was, in all probability," thinks Pezron, "that they changed their name, and assumed that of Cimbrians or Cimmerians." In Latin, he goes on to say, Cimbri "properly signifies Warriors, or rather Men of War. . . . But the Greeks, especially the poets, whose business it was to soften these barbarous names, gave them that of Cimmerians. Being thus settled about the Palus Maeotidis, and having fixed their habitations, they communicated their name to that famous straight,52 which has since then been called the Cimbrian or Cimmerian Bosphorus."53
Pezron invites those inclined to doubt this to check the ancient historians, such as Poseidonius, Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, and Plutarch. Poseidonius, for example, mentions that the Cimbrians derived from gug and guas, this word means giant in their tongue and signifies a "proud, insolent, arrogant, haughty" man were great rovers, that they loved to plunder, and that they carried their arms as far as the Palus Maeotidis. He also confirms that the Cimmerian, that is, Cimbrian Bosphorus, was called according to their name.
Moreover, continues Pezron, "we may be confident, and that upon very good grounds, that this colony of the Cimbrians, or rather Nomadan Sacae, was very ancient, since it preceded the time of Inachus, who reigned in Greece about 2000 years before the nativity of our Saviour. Further, I have met with some ancient fragments, which may be produced elsewhere, wherein the Cimmerians acknowledge themselves, they were originally shepherds, descended of those Scythians, called Sacae; that they formerly dwelt in Asia. . . . These Cimbrians, the offspring of the Asiatick Sacae, were without dispute the true Celtae, as those historians, who have wrote of them, sufficiently intimate."54
While the Cimbri followed this northern route into Europe, their gigantic cousins, the Gomarian Sacae, advanced along the southern route. Having filled Hircania, Margiana, and Bactriana, these giants soon irrupted into greater Armenia. They afterward invaded Syria, settled colonies as far as Arabia, and became neighbors of the Chaldeans. Yet, for all these expansions, many Gomarians remained unsatisfied. "This nation," explains Pezron, "besides that it was naturally inclined to war, was moreover, as it hath always been, of a roving, uneasie and ambitious nature. And therefore the people resolved to make their way yet farther, and to enter into the provinces of western Asia, called Asia the Lesser."55 In the first wave of this expansion, they overran Cappadocia and Pontus. Strabo, a native of that country, reports that many of these Sacae afterward settled around the southern shores of the Black Sea.56
Though these migrations occurred in dim antiquity, the names of the principal chieftains involved in the southern advance have amazingly survived. While going through the books of the most ancient historians, Pezron learned that a prince named Acmon, the son of Maneus, headed the plundering giants, and that he had a brother named Doeas, who accompanied him on all his campaigns.
After seizing Cappadocia and Pontus, Acmon for some little while gloried in his conquestsbut apparently not for long. "The warlike humor of that prince," says Pezron, "excited ... by his ambition, would not let him rest quiet there; to say nothing of the riches and fruitfulness of the neighboring provinces, which were powerful motives to a people that loved to make new incursions, and frequently to change their habitation. Acmon therefore and his brother, having passed the river Halis, made his way into the Greater Phrygia."57
Following his conquests in Asia Minor, Acmon and his tall subjects built at least two cities. Probably the first was Themicyra, on the southern shores of the Black Sea. Acmon named this place in honor of Themis, his granddaughter. "For Thamisker, or Themisker," remarks Pezron, "still signifies the city of Themis, in the Celtick language.... It was this Themis, by the way, that the ignorant and superstitious Greeks have made to be the goddess of justice; whereas she was no other than a famous she-magician, or heathen prophetess, who spoke the truth without flattery, and whom they had set up to administer justice; for this was common enough among the Scythians."58 Soon after they became masters of Phrygia, the Sacae also founded Acmonia. According to the Argonauts of Apollonius, and some other authors, this city was located near the river Thermodon. Both Stephen of Byzantium and Alexander Poly histor identify its builder as Acmon, son of Maneus. It became a well-known city in antiquity, and for a long time it preserved that prince's name. "Cicero somewhere speaking of it, calls it Acmona," remarks Pezron. "And what is still more, we find it noted in Ptolemy's Geography, and the medals of some Roman emperors."59
The first historians also left evidence that the Gomarian giants who followed Acmon into Asia Minor worshipped him and possibly his brother Doeas as gods. Both in Cappadocia and Phrygia, woods and groves were consecrated to this prince, as to a god or hero. And in Cappadocia, not far from Themicyra, comments Pezron, there still exist vast plains "called Doeantes, according to his brother Doeas ... who accompanied him in this expedition."60
After the Sacae entered into Upper Phrygia, relates Pezron, they began calling themselves Titans and gave Acmon the title of Most High. The Phoenician historian Sanchoniathon61 confirms that this prince was addressed as the Most High, or Elion in the Phoenician tongue, and Altissimus in the Greek. He also mentions that the Most High came to a violent end on a hunt when, with an "overforwardness," he encountered some wild beasts. After his death, however, Acmon's people still reckoned him "among the Number of the Gods," and his children continued to offer sacrifices and oblations to him. He was succeeded in all his dominions by his giant son Uranus, who by the Titans was also worshipped as a god. And so it happened that when the Greeks of ancient times came under the dominance of the Titans, they enthusiastically embraced the giants' religious beliefs and also bowed themselves down to Uranus, wor-shipping him as a Man of Heaven.62
Now, continues Pezron, there is no question but that Uranus descended from Acmon. For evidence he cites Sanchoniathon's test-mony that Elion, that is, the Most High, fathered Uranus.63 In his book De Natura Deorum, Phornutus also speaks of Uranus as the son of Acmon.64 And "Simias of Rhodes, an ancient and famous author, in his book de Alls, gives Uranus the name of Acmonides, as being the son of Acmon." Furthermore, Hesychius himself held this opinion. An accurate and learned grammarian, he defined the name Acmonides in this manner: "It signifies Uranus; for as much as that this person was the son of Acmon."65
Oddly enough, notes Pezron, from this single family of giant Gomarian princes came "those who have passed for the greatest and ancientest gods of the heathen world. Tho' in reality they were no other than mortal men, and even men that were guilty of horrible irregularities, amidst all their power and authority: For who has not heard of the shameful disorders, both of Saturn, who was the son of Uranus, and of Jupiter, whom they revered as his grandson? Lo, these were the great deities of Athens and Rome; these the omnipotent and sovereign gods of the Greeks and Romans: Such was the blindness of mankind in those ignorant and obscure ages of the world."66
Now in his history, Sanchoniathon reveals that after the giant Uranus succeeded Acmon, he married his own sister. "She was called Terra," explains Pezron; "for her true name, which the Grecians have happily preserved for us, was Titea, in Latin Titaea: But this word, which signifies earth or earthly, is also taken from the Celtick language: For tit among them signified earth, as well as among the Hebrews. . . . But here I must note, that as Titea in the Celtick language signifies Earth, so Uran and Uren is as much as to say, a Man of Heaven; for in this language Ur is a man . . . and en even at this very day signifies heaven: And that which is singular, is [by] the Grecians called the heavens from this prince's name, as Sanchoniathon hath very well observed.
"Moreover, 'tis not without reason that this prince of the Titans has been called Uranus, A Man of Heaven: For ancient historians inform us, that he was given to the study of astronomy, and to know the nature influences, revolutions, with the several motions of the stars: That he had by the help of this science, as well as that by augury and divination, foretold strange surprizing events to his people. And as they were much taken up in admiration and astonishment, they looked upon him to be an Heavenly Man, who in some sort participated in the nature of the gods. But as this prince might be learned this way, it may be said of him, he was no less ambitious in his nature, and 'twas this noble ardour of mind which formed the heroes of old, that made them undertake great enterprizes: For we find by history that this put him upon enlarging the bounds of his dominions, which were yet confined within Phrygia, and some other provinces of the Lesser Asia."
So, looking for new worlds to conquer, Uranus and his giants passed the Bosphorus and overran Thrace and Greece. He also brought the Isle of Crete under his power. Still not satisfied, "he fell furiously upon the other provinces of Europe, and carried all before him even to the utmost boundaries of Spain." Diodorus Siculus says he even invaded the west coast of Africa, taking control of Mauritania. Instead of satiating Uranus' ambition, these conquests served only to swell it. In later campaigns, he made further inroads into the northern provinces and extended his rule over other parts of Europe to the south. "So that it's no wonder," declares Pezron, "that the people bordering the Atlantic, whose history Diodorus gives us, say that Uranus was their prince, and ruled over them, and affirm that this hero reduced a great part of the world under his empire, and especially of those countries that lay to the west and north: Besides which, Sanchoniathon makes it manifest enough to us, that his father and he were masters of Syria and Phoenicia."67