greek mythology


Prometheus the Titan

Prometheus was a Titan and creator of mankind, son of the Titan Laepethus and Oceanus daughter Clymene or Themis. His name means "he who thinks first".
His brother was Epimetheus ("afterthought"), and together they had the task to create the human beings and give them what they would need to survive. Prometheus made the humans out of clay and stole the fire from Zeus and brought it to them. He also gave them the best part of the sacrifice, wich upset the gods so much that he was tied to a rock in Caucasus, the edge of he world, where an eagle came to pick his liver each day. He was finally saved by Heracles.
Zeus was also angered at the humans, and to punish them he gave them Pandora - the first woman. Prometheus tried to save the humans, but they had become so depraved that Zeus sent a flood to drown them all.
Only Prometheus good son Deuchalion made it since he told him to make an ark.
The story states that this distribution of knowledge and talents by Prometheus to man angered Zeus, especially when they began to surpass the gods in their wisdom. Zeus was further incensed from a cunning deception by Prometheus which again favoured man above the gods. The gods had met with all the people of the earth to decide which sacrificial rights belonged to the gods and which to man. Prometheus was given the responsibility of dividing up the sacrificial ox and portioning it out, some to men and some to the gods. After slaughtering the beast, Prometheus cut its skin into two halves. In one half he placed the meat and succulent edible parts, wrapping them in the coarse skin of the ox. In the other skin he put the carcass, inedible parts and the bones and wrapped them up but placed on top of the skin a rich layer of white fat. He then asked Zeus to choose which portion of the sacrifice he would like the gods to have as a divine offering. Tricked by the sight of the juicy fat, the greedy Zeus chose the one containing the bones allowing Prometheus to then give the meat to man.

This, it is said, is how the form of sacrifices to gods by humans was established. Man would burn the fat and bones as an offering to the gods and then keep the meat to eat.
Zeus’ retaliation to this trick of Prometheus was to deny fire to mankind. However, the wise and benevolent Prometheus travelled to the forge of Hephaestus, blacksmith of the gods, on the isle of Lemnos and stole a few of the embers from the eternal sacred flame, giving them to man so that they did not have to eat their meat raw.

Zeus then directed his attention to punishing mankind for their acceptance of fire and the knowledge that should rightly be only known to the gods. He ordered Hephaestus to create a mortal woman as beautiful as a goddess from clay and water. Zeus named her Pandora and once she had been adorned and blessed with passion and gracefulness by the goddesses of Olympus, Zeus sent her as a wife to Epimetheus. However, Epimetheus had been forewarned by his brother not to accept gifts from Zeus because they would only bring bad fortune and suffering. At this Zeus was furious and decided to rid himself of Prometheus once and for all. Thus he expelled him to the eastern extremities of the earth where he was tied to a stake at the top of the Caucasus Mountains. There, each morning, an eagle would swoop down and tear at his torso until his liver was revealed. The eagle would then eat his liver which, overnight regenerated only to be eaten again the next day. So Prometheus was condemned to a life of perpetual torture and agony until, thirty years later, Heracles released him by killing the eagle with his arrows.