E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
To gather strength from the earth. The reference is to Antæos, son of Poseidon and Ge, a giant and wrestler of Libya (Africa). So long as he touched the earth his strength was irresistible. Herculs, knowing this, lifted him into the air and crushed him to death. Near the town of Tingis, in Mauritania, is a hill in the shape of a man, and called The hill of Antos. Tradition says it is the wrestlers tomb. (See MALEGEA.)