Copyright - 1993 Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc.



In Greek mythology, Prometheus ("Forethought") was the TITAN who stole fire from the gods and gave it to humans, along with all human arts and civilization. He was also variously regarded as the creator of man (from clay), the first mortal man (along with his brother Epimetheus), and humanity's preserver against the threats of Zeus, whom he greatly offended by his actions. In Hesiod's version, Zeus' punishment was the creation of PANDORA, the first woman, who unleashed on the world all its woes. In the Aeschylean version, Prometheus Bound, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock on Mount Caucasus, where an eagle ate away at his liver, starting afresh each day after the liver had grown back during the night. One source has Prometheus eventually freed by Hercules and brought to Olympus to join the gods he had defied.

Robert E. Wolverton

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There are numerous variations of all the myths. At a ceremony attended by mortals and immortals, Prometheus presided over the carving of the carcas. He divided it in two but additionally divided the flesh from the fat and bone. In one half of the carcas he kept all the meat for mankind and in the other half for the Gods he put all the fat and bone, dressing it up to look like meat! Needless to say the Gods were fuming. "Right, you can have all the meat you want but not the fire to cook it with" - and so the Gods deprived us of fire. Prometheus, aided and abetted by Athena, Goddess of Science, wisdom and knowledge, stole it back. This led to his punishment together with ours, akin to the story of our ejection from Eden when we would have to battle with thorns in the growing of our crops etc. In the Prometheus myth the earth was subjected to winter (after Hiroshima it takes little imagination to find the nature of the fire of the Gods which was capable of giving us winter) and Athena, the Goddess of Science together with Hephaestus, the engineer, were instructed to make woman.


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