Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Suggestive of a Cyclops.
  • adjective architecture Of a style of ancient masonry where walls are fitted together of huge irregular stones; ancient and roughly composed.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From the German after the Cyclops, mythical primitive race.

Examples

  • Hellenes, who ascribed them to a race of giants called Cyclops; hence the name Cyclopean that also attaches to them.

    General History for Colleges and High Schools

  • The name Cyclopean, attached to those desolate remains of buildings which were older than Greek history itself, attests their romantic influence over the fancy of the people who thus attributed them to a superhuman strength and skill.

    Greek Studies: a Series of Essays

  • Black basalt of the kind the Greeks called Cyclopean—smooth, immensely high, and impervious to rams or siege towers.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Black basalt of the kind the Greeks called Cyclopean—smooth, immensely high, and impervious to rams or siege towers.

    Antony and Cleopatra

  • Mycenaean architecture, called Cyclopean, is characterized by use of enormous stones.

    d. The Late Helladic Period: The Mycenaean Age

  • The Tullianum stood in the lap of the Arx hill just beyond the Steps of Gemortia, a very tiny grey edifice built of the huge unmortared stones men all over the world called Cyclopean; it was only one storey high and had only one opening, a doorless rectangular gap in the stones.

    The First Man in Rome

  • Other and more reliable traditions, however, attribute to them a knowledge of agriculture, and some little acquaintance with navigation; while there is a strong probability that they were the authors of those huge structures commonly called Cyclopean, remains of which are still visible in many parts of Greece and Italy, and on the western coast of Asia Minor.

    Mosaics of Grecian History

  • Above the town, where the cemetery now stands, is a likely site for a citadel, and on examining it from the sea I noticed, sure enough, a few blocks of prehistoric structure of the so-called Cyclopean type underneath a corner of the cemetery wall.

    Alone

  • It was built of large stones carefully fitted together, like the architecture that I remembered to have seen called Cyclopean in architectural histories of Greece.

    Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton, B. A. Of Trinity College, Cambridge Extracted From His Letters And Diaries, With Reminiscences Of His Conversation By His Friend Christopher Carr Of The Same College

  • It was built of large stones carefully fitted together, like the architecture that I remembered to have seen called Cyclopean in architectural histories of Greece.

    Memoirs of Arthur Hamilton B A Of Trinity College Cambridge

Comments

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  • No mention of Cyclopean would be complete without something from H. P. Lovecraft. This is from his 1931 novella At the Mountains of Madness.

    "Before we left the rampart we photographed it carefully, and studied its mortarless Cyclopean masonry with complete bewilderment. We wished the Pabodie were present, for his engineering knowledge might have helped us guess how such titanic blocks could have been handled in that unbelievably remote age when the city and its outskirts were built up."

    February 28, 2010