Zues obtains the hundred-handers' assistance
since from the first their father Ouranos was angry at heart with
Briareos, Kottos, and Gyges, he bound them in bondage secure,
for their overpowering strength, the shapes of their bodies, their hugeness
 held him in awe; he kept them under the wide-wayed earth,
sitting at earth's end, at the great earth's ultimate limits,
being for a long time in much anguish, having great grief in their hearts.
But then Zeus, son of Kronos, and the other immortal gods
 whom the lovely-haired Rhea bore of her union with Kronos,
following Gaia's advice, led them back to the light,
for she had told them all that would happen, the course of events,
how with these aiding them they would win victory and glorious fame.
Now for a long time they had been fighting in heart-rending battle,
 coming against each other in mighty encounters of war,
they the immortal Titans and they who are children of Kronos,
they who fought from lofty Mount Othrys, the illustrious Titans,
they who fought from Olympus, the gods who are givers of good things,
whom the lovely-haired Rhea bore of her union with Kronos.
 These had fought with each other for ten continuous years,
striving in heart-rending battle and never relenting at all;
and for this difficult strife there was no solution or end in
either side's favor in sight; the balance of battle seemed equal.
But when he had regaled them with the appropriate nourishment
 of ambrosia and nectar, which are the foods of the gods,
and the spirit of courage had grown in the breasts of them all
from having eaten of nectar and of delicious ambrosia,
then the Father of Gods and of Men addressed them as follows:
"Listen to me, O glorious children of Gaia and Ouranos,
 while i say what the heart in my breast is urging upon me.
Now for a very long time we have fought for victory and mastery,
coming against each other in battle day after day,
they the immortal Titans and we who are children of Kronos.
Come, I beg you, and show your mighty power to the Titans,
 show your invincible hands against them in terrible warfare;
think of my kindness, my friendship to you, how after much suffering
you have returned to the light from torturous bondage below and
risen out of invisible darkness because I devised it."
Thus he spoke, and noble Kottos immediately answered him:
 "What are you saying? We acknowledge your claim. We by experience
know of ourselves your superior mind, your superior sagacity.
You have become a shield for immortals from chilling disaster;
by your careful devising out of invisible darkness
we have returned, we have been freed from bondage secure,
 we, unexpectedly blessed, are here, O Lord, Son of Kronos.
So now in purpose unbending, with spirits eager to help you
we shall grant your power our strength in terrible warfare,
fighting against the Titans in might encounters of battle."
Thus he spoke, and the gods, the givers of good things, applauded,
 hearing his words; and now their spirits were eager for war
more than ever before. On that day they all together
stirred up horrible battle, both the males and the females,
they the immortal Titans and they who are children of Kronos and
those whom Zeus had brought to the light from below earth in Erebos,
 who were frightening, mighty, of overpowering strength.
Each of them had one hundred arms which shot from his shoulders -
so many each of them had - and each of them had fifty heads
growing out of his shoulders over his powerful limbs.
Since he first saw them, their father Ouranos had been angry with his sons Briarios, Kottos, and Gyges. He locked them away in secure bondage, because their overpowering strength, their huge forms, and the shapes of their bodies held him in awe; he kept them under the earth, at earth's end, at the ultimate limit, causing them much grief and anguish.
But then Zeus and the other gods, who were the children of Kronos and Rhea, led them back to the surface, out of their bondage, following Gaia's advice. Gaia had told them that this would happen, told them the course of events; how, with these creatures aiding them, they would win victory over the Titans, and gain glorious fame.
Now, they had been fighting for a long time, coming against each other in mighty and ferocious battles, the immortal Titans and the gods. They who fought from Mount Othrys, the Titans, and they who fought from Mount Olympus, the gods who give all good things, the children of Kronos and Rhea.
These two groups had fought for ten continous years, both striving to overcome the other and never relenting. For this war, there was no end in sight; they were too evenly matched.
When Zeus had fed the Hundred-Handers with Ambrosia and Nectar (the foods of the gods), and the spirit of courage had grown in their breasts, Zeus said to them "Listen to me, Oh glorious children of Gaia and Ouranos, while i tell you what I feel in my heart. For a very long time, we have fought for victory against the Titans and for mastery over our foes, fighting against each other in battle day after day. Come, I beg you, show your mighty power to the Titans, show them your invincible hands in terrible warfare. Think of my kindness, my friendship, how I released you from your bondage and brought you back into the light through my wisdom."
Noble Kottos immediately answered "What are you saying? We acknowledge your claims. We know you posses superior intelligence, superior cleverness. You are now a shield for immortals against disaster. by your shrewdness we have been freed from our bondage. We have been blessed unexpectedly; we are here because of you, Oh Zeus. Now in return, we will lend you our power and strength in war, we will help you fight against the Titans in battle."
Hearing this, the gods, who give all good things, applauded, and their spirits were heartened, and they were eager for war more than ever before. That day, they all stirred up horrible battle together; The immortal Titans, and the gods, the children of Kronos and Rhea, and the frightening and mighty Hundred-Handers whom Zeus had brought to the light from Erebos.
Each of them had a hundred arms, which shot from the shoulder (so many each of them had!) and each of them had fifty heads growing out of the shoulders, over their powerful limbs.
Frazer's Comment ::
We turn somewhat abruptly from the bondage of Prometheus at the end of the last passage to the bondage of the Hundred-Handers (a link is provided, as West points out, by the motif of bondage) and so back to the Succession Myth. On the advice of Gaia (a prophetic power) Zeus frees the Hundred-Handers after the gods and Titans have been fighting for ten long years.
That zeus needs the Hundred-Handers in order to defeat the Titans seems to throw a shadow on his power. But perhaps their role is owing to an epic motif according to which, in a long, evenly fought battle, one side finally wins by taking the advice of an oracle and bringing in aid from the outside. We can compare the store of how the gods finally defeated the Giants by bringing in the aid of Herakles on the advice of an oracle; compare Apollodoros Bibliotheka 1.6.1. Hesiod mitigates the fact of Zeus's dependency on the Hundred-Handers by emphasizing that they owe their freedom to his superior wisdom.
Line 668 is a repetition of lines 631 and 648: "they the immortal Titans and they (we) who are children of Kronos." But the earlier occurrences are used to describe the fighting as equally balanced, wheras here the Hundred-Handers are added (669), thus tipping the balance in favor of the gods.
The battlefield is the plain of Thessaly, at the north of which is Mount Olympos from which the gods fight, and at the south of which is Mount Othrys from which the Titans fight. On a clear day Mount Olympos is visible from Mount Othrys about seventy miles away.
this part is confusing, with all the repetition, ne? oh man.
so, the hundred-handers's NAMES are Briareos, Kottos, and Gyges (bree-are-ee-ohs, koh-toes, and guy-jeez), and they have 50 arms coming out of each shoulder blade, and 50 heads on those huge shoulders.
do they ever disagree? making a pizza order must be hell.