Giants: fact or fancy?

An investigation of the mythological, historical and archaeological evidence for the presence of giant human beings on earth


The Bible tells us "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). This is not the only reference to giants in the Bible. In Numbers 13:33 we may read: "And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." Deuteronomy 3:11 even gives the dimensions of these giant human beings. "For only Og king of Bashan remained of the remnant of giants; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbath of the children of Ammon? nine cubits was the length thereof, and four cubits the breadth of it, after the cubit of a man."

The Biblical cubit (which is based on the ancient Egyptian cubit) is generally thought to have been between 17 to 20 inches in length. Based on the size of his bed, King Og would probably have stood between 12 and 15 feet tall. This is very close to the size of some of the skeletons of giants which have been excavated throughout the world during the past 200 years, as we discuss in our afterword. In all, there are no less than 11 references to giants in the Bible. Are these accounts the result of fancy, or historical facts? Many would have us believe they are mythological, a word which has now become a synonym for all that is unreal, untrue and fanciful. But as we have pointed out in our articles on Symbolism and the Mystery Language, Myth was not a means of falsifying history in that way, but the earliest method of communicating certain facts in nature, occult laws or truths in a symbolic manner. Not that this will convince the average sceptic or the average scientist, who know about as much about symbolism as a monkey knows about algebra, unless it is the symbol for pounds or dollars—these they understand very well!

If you should doubt us, we invite you to turn to that fountainhead of scientific rectitude and political correctness—Wikipedia—to see what it has to say about giants. Almost the whole article consists of nothing more than a lengthy résumé of the folklore and mythology surrounding giants. Only at the very end are we favoured with a paragraph of just eight lines on the 'alleged' (sic) fossil evidence for giants! Well, well, well. . .But if we peek behind the scenes and look at the 'Talk' page associated with this article we find a lone voice raised in protest against this travesty of so-called 'unbiased' information! We quote: "This entire page refers to all giants as being 'mythological creatures', which is dishonest. There is far too much archaeological evidence as well as recorded eyewitness accounts to call it a 'myth." This comment was contributed on 5th August 2018. It was answered the same day with the characteristic smugness of scientific orthodoxy: "then you won't have any problems finding academic sources for the archaeological evidence. Can we please see some?"

By 'academic' sources, this pundit no doubt meant the general scientific consensus that giants never walked the earth and that all evidence to the contrary has either been fabricated by a whole regiment of malicious busybodies hell bent on pulling the legs of the clever scientists, or is mythological, meaning fairy tales fit only for foolish children. We shall see who is right as we develop our theme, but before we do so, it is worth drawing the reader's attention to a particularly large and inconvenient elephant in the hallowed halls of academia. This is the overwhelming amount of archaeological and fossil evidence for the existence of giants in the distant past, a tiny fraction of which we review in our afterword. Clearly, the editors of Wikipedia must be unaware of this. That at least would be the charitable view.

Giants—then and now

Science denies that man has ever been much larger than the average of the tall and powerful specimens of humanity one meets with occasionally today. Ancient buildings are often cited as evidence that our earliest ancestors were not much larger than we are, the doors being no higher then than they are now. The tallest man known to us from recorded history was the Roman Emperor Maximus, who is said to have been only seven and a half feet tall. Nevertheless, in modern times there have been many men much taller than this. Robert Wadlow, dubbed the 'Alton Giant' was nearly 9 feet tall at his death in 1922. Ukrainian Leonid Stepanovych Stadnyk, who died as recently as 2014, was 8 feet five inches tall. Neil Fingleton (1980-2017), was an English actor and basketball player who was over 7 feet five inches tall. The writer of this article is six feet tall and has met with men and women who are a good head taller than he is. Those who agree with Charles Darwin's statement that "the species of animals which result from cross breeding always betray a tendency to revert to the original type," ought to apply the same law to mankind. In short, had there been no giants in ancient times, there would be none now.

All this applies only to the historic period we have some knowledge of. If the skeletons of the prehistoric ages we discuss in our afterword have so far failed to prove to the satisfaction of science that giants once existed on earth, the day must come when further evidence makes their position untenable. Moreover, the giants of Atlantis and Lemuria are all buried under the oceans, and hundreds of thousands of years of constant friction by water would reduce to dust and pulverize a brazen, far more a human skeleton. What we do have is the testimony of well-known classical writers, of philosophers and men who had no reason for trying to pull the wool over the eyes of future generations. Let us also bear in mind that as little as 200 years ago almost nothing was known of the remains of men preserved in fossils, for archaeology complacently ignored their existence.

The Church Father, Tertullian, assures us that in his day a number of giants were found at Carthage. The second century Greek sophist Philostratus, mentions a giant skeleton twenty-two cubits long, as well as of another of twelve cubits, seen by his own eyes. In volume VII of his Natural History, Pliny speaks of a giant in whom he thought he recognised Orion. Plutarch declares that Sertorius saw the tomb of Antaeus, the giant; and Pausanias vouches for the actual existence of the tombs of Asterius and of Geryon, or Hillus, son of Hercules—all giants, Titans and mighty men. Finally, the Abbé Pegues, in his Le j Volcans de Grèce (The Volcanoes of Greece), says that in the neighbourhood of the volcanoes of the isle of Thera (modern Santorini), in the Aegean, giants with enormous skulls were found laid out under colossal stones, the erection of which must have required enormous labour.

In the same work the good Abbé wonders why in the Bible the Gibborim, (the Giants, or mighty ones) the Rephaim (the spectres or phantoms), the Nephilim (the fallen ones) are all indiscriminately lumped together as "mighty men which were of old, men of renown." Only Occult Science can unravel and explain the mystery. These names, which belong by right only to the four preceding Root Races of Man and the earliest beginning of the Fifth, allude very clearly to the first two Phantom (astral) Races; to the fallen one—the Third; and to the race of the Atlantean Giants—the Fourth—after which men began to decrease in stature to their present size.

The Seven Root Races of Man

We do not have the time to go deeply into the complex subject of Root Races in this investigation, which, you will recall, is about giants, not the origins and history of man. However, a few words may not be out of place at this point for the benefit of those readers who know little or nothing about them. Those who wish for a fuller explanation should consult The Secret Doctrine. Here is a very condensed summary of the subject.

The first thing we wish to say is that the Seven Root Races of Occult Science have nothing whatsoever to do with the mad racial theories of Hitler and his deluded followers. As we mentioned in our article about the calumnies heaped upon H. P. Blavatsky during and after her lifetime, our present Aryan Fifth Root Race evolved from the fifth sub-race of the Fourth (Atlantean) Root Race, known as the Semitic. Hence, Hitler's 'blue-eyed', blond 'übermenschen' were the direct descendants of Semites, or JEWS if you prefer! Unfortunately, those who insist on reading racist ideologies into the occult scientific scheme of the Root Races which Blavatsky first revealed to the West in The Secret Doctrine, have never read her books, or if they have, prefer to interpret what she wrote in their own ignorant fashion.

The second thing we wish to say is that each of the Seven Root Races lasts for untold millions of millions years, and each overlaps the other. With the exception of the first Root Race, which had no physical bodies, and the second, whose bodies were more astral than physical, the subsequent Root Races contained white, black, yellow and red peoples among their sub-divisions. For each Root Race branches out into seven sub-races, which in turn produce countless family races, and it is from these that the various present peoples and nations of the earth are descended. H. P. Blavatsky likened the Root Races to a cactus 'tree' of seven main stems, each of which is a Root Race. Each stem has seven shoots—its sub-races, while the family races of each sub-race constitute the countless spines of the tree. So you see that the subject bristles with complexity, as we said earlier! Moreover, when we tell you that each sub-race—such as our present 'European' group of nations and peoples—endures for roughly 250,000 years, you will gain some idea of the immense time periods covered by each of the Root Races, and how each overlaps the next, eventually merging and mingling with it.

This will also demonstrate the utter stupidity of the modern obsession with 'colour', for whether an individual is white, black, brown, yellow, red, or sky-blue pink is no indication of their physical, mental or spiritual superiority. There are just as many feckless, ignorant, bigoted and thoroughly un-civilized white people as there are black or yellow, to name just three colours out of the five which currently exist today. Having said this, the various sub- and family races vary in their physical, mental and spiritual characteristics and capabilities, just as the individual members of a family do, though born of the same parents. In this context, as in so many others, the Hermetic axiom "as above—so below" applies. Let us also jettison the fashionable modern idea of 'equality'. The Root and sub-races are as unequal in their physical, mental and spiritual characteristics and capabilities as individual human beings are. Please do not confuse equality of opportunity with equality of soul, mind and body. They are not the same thing. We shall not repeat these important qualifications!

The First Root Race was the so-called Adamic or Astral Race of Man. They were huge and indefinite of form; spiritual within and ethereal without. The Second Root Race was called the Hyperborean. It had the same appearance as the First Root Race, but it was psycho-spiritual mentally, and ethero-physical bodily. It is impossible to locate the spot on our earth where First Root Race lived, but in Occult terminology it is called the 'Sacred Imperishable Land'. The Second Root Race lived in the Hyperborean continent, after which it is named, part of which was situated in what is now known as Northern Asia. The Second Root Race evolved the Third, or Lemurian Race, which lived in the vanished Lemurian continent which stretched from the Indian Ocean to Australia, of which New Zealand is a remnant. It lived an inner life in which the psycho-spiritual element was interfered with in no way by the hardly nascent physiological senses. Its two front eyes looked before them without seeing either past or future; but the third eye embraced Eternity.

Gigantic in size, the Lemurians were androgynes or hermaphrodites during the earlier parts of their evolution, but later on they differentiated into distinctly male or female forms. Some remnants of the Third Root Race still exist in the forms of the aborigines of Australia, the Andaman Islanders, and other primitive peoples. The Third Root Race gave birth to the next, which were the Atlanteans, though all the Races overlap in time as we said earlier. The Chinese and Japanese are descendants of the Fourth Root Race. The Seven Sub-Races of the Fourth Root Race, of which the Toltecs were the most important, were: The Rmoahal, the Tlavatli, the Toltec, the Turanian, the Semitic, the Akhadian and the Mongolian sub-races. There is no definite information about the sub-races of the previous three Root Races.

The Fifth Root Race, as we said earlier, is the Aryan. Its progenitors were taken from the fifth Atlantean sub-race, the Semitic. Once established, it migrated to the plains of Northern India some 850,000 years ago, warring against the indigenous people, the Titans, Daityas and the Rakshasas, as recorded in the Hindu sacred books. Five of the seven sub-races of the Fifth Root Race have already appeared on Earth and run their course, these are:

  1. The Indo-Aryan
  2. The Aryo-Semitic
  3. The Iranian
  4. The Keltic
  5. The Teutonic or European

The sixth Sub-race, called by some occultists, the 'American-Australian', 'Euro-American', etc., is in the process of being formed in America, Europe and Australia, and will succeed to the present fifth sub-race in about another 250,000 years.

Atlantean giants

"Ye shall be as gods," says the serpent of Genesis to Eve. This has led some scholars to regard the 'original sin' of our 'parents' as the cause of subsequent universal idolatry which laid the first germ of the worship of false divinities, or the cult and adoration of images, of anthropomorphized or human figures. It is only in the Fourth Atlantean Race that men, who had lost all right to be considered divine, resorted to worshipping their own bodies. Till then, they had been truly gods, as pure and as divine as their progenitors. The allegorical serpent which 'tempted' Eve, does not refer to the physiological fall of men, but to the acquisition of the knowledge of good and evil, which knowledge came to them prior to their so-called 'fall'.

In the Stanzas of Dzyan, reproduced in The Secret Doctrine, we are told that: "They (the Atlanteans) built great images, nine yatis high (27 feet)—the size of their bodies. Lunar fires had destroyed the land of their fathers (the Lemurians). Water threatened the Fourth (Race)." Should the reader regard this as 'mythological' in the modern meaning of the word discussed earlier, it is worth pointing out that most of the gigantic statues discovered on Easter Island by Captain Cook are all between 20 and 33 feet high. Almost all measure 27 feet in height, and eight feet across the shoulders. We are well aware that modern archaeologists believe these stone statues, now called 'Moai', are no more than 500 to 800 years old. Their deduction is based on radiocarbon dating of wood, bone, and shell found buried in and around the statues and the quarry from which the stone to construct them was taken. This presupposes that the statues are coeval with their environment and ignores the very real possibility that the material which has been dated may very well have been placed there long after the statues had been carved. Moreover, carbon 14 has been shown to decay at very variable rates, as we discussed in our article on The Mystery of Stonehenge. So we may safely dismiss these speculative dates as another example of the arbitrary decisions of modern scientists.

Not that we blame the scientists for their scepticism. The Stanzas of Dzyan are generally regarded as a work of fiction at best, and forgery at worst. So when these ancient writings speak of a race of giants nine yatis, or 27 feet high, it is not surprising that the scientists should demand, as the editor of Wikipedia referred to earlier, did, "where are your proofs?" History and tradition Occult Science answers. Stories and tales about giants occur in almost all ancient cultures and civilisations. We can find them in the mythologies of the ancient world, in Greek, Norse, Germanic, Indian, and Indo-European legend and history, as well as in the new world in the traditions of the Maya, Aztecs and Incas; but most importantly in almost all the sacred books of antiquity.

Giants in mythology and ancient tradition

Traditions about a race of giants in days of old are universal and exist in oral and written lore. India had her Danavas and Daityas; Ceylon had her Rakshasas; Greece, her Titans; Egypt, her colossal Heroes; Chaldea, her Izdubars (Nimrod); and the Jews their Emims of the land of Moab, with the famous giants, the sons of Anak mentioned in Numbers 13:33. Moses speaks of Og, the king of Bashan, who was nine cubits tall (15 ft. 4 in.) and four wide (Deuteronomy 3:11), and we are told that Goliath was six cubits and a span in height (1 Samuel 17:4) or 10 feet 7 inches. The only difference between the references to giants in the Bible and the evidence furnished to us by Herodotus, Diodorus Siculus, Homer, Pliny, Plutarch, Philostratus and other ancient writers is that while the pagans mention only the skeletons of giants, dead untold ages before, relics that some of them had personally seen, the Bible interpreters unblushingly demand that geology and archaeology should believe that several countries were inhabited by such giants in Moses' time and still existed in the days of Joshua and David. Unfortunately their own chronology is at odds with the archaeological evidence. Both cannot be true; either the Biblical chronology or the giants have to be ditched. There are no prizes for guessing which we favour; our readers must reach their own conclusions!

In his Histories Herodotus describes how the Spartans uncovered in Tegea the body of Orestes which was seven cubits long (10 feet), whilst Plutarch tells us in The Comparison of Romulus with Theseus how the Athenians uncovered the body of Theseus, which was of more than ordinary size. The Greek geographer Pausanias, who flourished in the second century, wrote that Ajax, the hero of the Trojan War, was around 14 feet tall. In his work On Heroes, published around 230 A.D., the sophist Philostratus affirms the general belief current in his times that the ancient heroes all averaged more than 10 cubits in height, equivalent to more than 12 feet. Philostratus also mentions the discovery of enormous bones in the places where the heroes' tombs were traditionally assumed to lie. According to Homer, Achilles—the greatest warrior of the Trojan War—was 33 feet tall. And so we could go on, citing one ancient source after another, all of whom affirm the existence of giant human beings in the distant past.

bamian statues

The Bamian 'Buddhas'

If we now turn to the east—to Afghanistan—and the ancient city of Bamian (also spelled Bamiyan), we find some of the tallest and most colossal statues of human beings ever constructed. No one knows who cut them out of the solid limestone, or when. Most archaeologists see representations of Gautama Buddha in the largest of these statues, but they are mistaken as we shall see. Writing in The Secret Doctrine more than 130 years ago, H. P. Blavatsky described Bamian as "a small, miserable, half-ruined town in Central Asia, half-way between Cabul and Balkh, at the foot of Kobhibaba, a huge mountain of the Paropamisian (or Hindu-Kush) chain, some 8,500 feet above the level of the sea. The whole valley is hemmed in by colossal rocks, which are full of partially natural and partially artificial caves and grottoes, once the dwellings of Buddhist monks who had established in them their viharas."

Bamian is even more 'miserable' today, thanks to the depredations of the Taliban who overran the area in 2001 and used the caves once inhabited by pious monks to store their weapons and ammunition. During their occupation of the valley they destroyed the largest of the statues with a gleeful ferocity unmatched in recent history. After failing to destroy the work of the ancient craftsmen which had stood for thousands of years with anti-aircraft and tank fire, the Taliban brought a lorry load of dynamite from Kabul, and blew them up. Fortunately, we have Blavatsky's eyewitness account of what she saw when she visited Bamian in the 1860's, so can gain some idea of what these majestic ruins looked like before the Taliban effaced them forever; we quote:

"The largest statue is 173 feet high, or seventy feet higher than the Statue of Liberty. The famous Colossus of Rhodes itself, between whose limbs passed easily the largest vessels of those days, measured only 120 to 130 feet in height. The second statue, cut out in the rock like the first one, is only 120 feet. The third statue is only 60 feet high—the two others still smaller, the last one being only a little larger than the average tall man of our present race. The first and largest of the Colossi represents a man draped in a kind of toga." It is the general appearance of the figure, the physiognomy of the head, the drapery, and especially the large drooping ears, which led the first archaeologists who saw it to conclude that it represented the Buddha. This remains the prevailing view today. But let Madame Blavatsky continue.

"Notwithstanding the fact that most of the now existing figures of the Buddha, represented in the posture of Samadhi, have large drooping ears, this is a later innovation and an afterthought. The primitive idea was due to esoteric allegory. The unnaturally large ears symbolize the omniscience of wisdom, and were meant as a reminder of the power of Him who knows and hears all, and whose benevolent love and attention for all creatures nothing can escape. Gautama Buddha was an Aryan Hindu, and an approach to such ears is found only among the Mongolian Burmese and Siamese, who, as in Cochin, distort them artificially. The Buddhist monks, who turned the grottos of the Miaotse into Viharas (monasteries) and cells, came into Central Asia about or in the first century of the Christian era."

A Chinese Buddhist monk, Xuanzang, who visited Bamian in the seventh century, wrote: "the shining of the gold ornamentation that overlaid the colossal statue dazzled one's eyes." But no trace of this gilding remained in modern times before the Taliban destroyed the statue in 2001. The drapery, in contrast to the figure itself, which was cut out in the standing rock, was made of plaster and modelled over the stone image. Captain Milo Talbot, who made a detailed survey of the statues of Bamian for the British Army in 1885, concluded that the drapery belonged to a far later epoch. So who carved these colossal figures out of the solid rock and what do they represent, if not the Buddha? Madame Blavatsky tells us in The Secret Doctrine that tradition, corroborated by written records, answers the question and explains the mystery. The explanations in square parenthesis are ours.

"The Buddhist Arhats and Ascetics found the five statues, and many more, now crumbled down to dust, and as the three were found by them in colossal niches at the entrance of their future abode, they covered the figures with plaster, and, over the old, modelled new statues made to represent Lord Tathagata [Gautama Buddha]. The interior walls of the niches are covered to this day [this refers to the 1880's] with bright paintings of human figures, and the sacred image of Buddha is repeated in every group. These frescoes and ornaments—which remind one of the Byzantine style of painting—are all due to the piety of the monk-ascetics, like some other minor figures and rock-cut ornamentations. But the five statues belong to the handiwork of the Initiates of the Fourth Race, who sought refuge, after the submersion of their continent [Atlantis], in the fastnesses and on the summits of the Central Asian mountain chains. Moreover, the five statues are an imperishable record of the esoteric teaching about the gradual evolution of the races.

"The largest is made to represent the First Race of mankind, its ethereal body being commemorated in hard, everlasting stone, for the instruction of future generations, as its remembrance would otherwise never have survived the Atlantean Deluge. The second—120 feet high—represents the sweat-born [early Third Root Race]; and the third—measuring 60 feet—immortalises the race that fell [the Fourth, or Atlantean Root Race], and thereby inaugurated the first physical race, born of father and mother, the last descendants of which are represented in the statues found on Easter Isle; but they were only from 20 to 25 feet in stature at the epoch when Lemuria was submerged, after it had been nearly destroyed by volcanic fires. The Fourth Race was still smaller, though gigantic in comparison with our present Fifth Race, and the series culminated finally in the latter."

These are the 'giants' of antiquity, the ante- and post-diluvian Gibborim mentioned in the Bible. Blavatsky goes on to tell us that "they lived and flourished one million rather than between three and four thousand years ago. The Anakim of Joshua, whose hosts were as 'grasshoppers' in comparison with them, are thus a piece of Israelite fancy, unless indeed the people of Israel claim for Joshua an antiquity and origin in the Eocene [56-34 million years ago], or at any rate in the Miocene age [23-5 million years ago], and change the millenniums of their chronology into millions of years." These figures, though approximate, give us some idea of the immense time periods that have elapsed since the largest giants walked the earth.


Here we must regretfully conclude our brief survey of the history and mythology of giants. Whilst we ourselves have no doubts whatsoever of the truth of the facts we have put before you in this investigation, we leave our readers to consider this and the wealth of evidence discussed in our afterword and so reach their own conclusions.


© Copyright Article published 6 January 2019. Updated 12 April 2024.

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