Antaeos

in Greek mythology, was a gigantic wrestler, whose strength was invincible so long as he touched the earth; and every time he was lifted from it, was renewed by touching it again. (See Maleger.)

As once Antæos, on the Libyan strand,
More fierce recovered when he reached the sand.

Hoole's Ariosto, book iv.

It was Hercules who succeeded in killing this charmed giant. He
Lifts proud Antæos from his mother's plains,
And with strong grasp the struggling giant strains; Back falls his
panting head and clammy hair, Writhe his weak limbs and flits his life
in air.

Darwin: Economy of Vegetation.

Antecedents I know nothing of his antecedents—his previous life, character, or conduct. (Latin, antecedens, foregoing.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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