Who was Atlas?
Atlas was the second generation of Titan gods and was worshipped as the god of endurance. He was condemned by Zeus to bear the weight of the heavens on his shoulders for the role he played in the Battle of the Titans against the victorious Zeus. The god was also associated with astrology as it was he who turned the heaven on their axis, causing the stars to revolve. He was one of the extraordinary number of gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. The Titans were the descendents of the first gods or divinities, called the primordial or primeval gods, who were born out of Chaos. The children of the Titans included the famous Olympian gods who included Zeus, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Poseidon and are shown on the Titans Family tree. The legend and myth about Atlas, the god of endurance, and the Titans has been passed down through the ages and plays an important role in the history of the Ancient World of Greece and the study of the Greek classics - refer to the mythical story of the Labors of Heracles and The Eleventh Labor of Hercules, the Apples of the Hesperides .
Facts about Atlas
Atlas features in the Creation myth of the ancient Greeks which are based on the idea that these supernatural beings resembled mortals but possessed great magical and mystic powers. The following information, facts and profile provides a fast overview of Atlas:
Role & Function: The function of Atlas is described as being the god of endurance, he was condemned to holding the blue heavens above the earth upon his shoulders.
Status: A god in the second dynasty of Titans
Name of Consorts: Hesperis
Name of Father: Iapetus
Name of Mother: Clymene
Names of Brothers: Menoetius, Epimetheus and Prometheus.
Names of Sisters: None
Names of Children: The Hesperides by Hesperis & the Pleiades and Hyas by Pleione
The Children of Atlas
The most famous children of Atlas the Greek god of endurance was associated with two lovers, Hesperis and Pleione. His children were the Hesperides by Hesperis, a goddess of the evening star and & the Pleiades, Calypso, the Hyades, and Hyas by Pleione.
The Hesperides were beautiful nymphs that inhabited and tended a beautiful garden that contained a tree bearing the golden apples of immortality. Their names were Hespera, Aegle and Erytheis.
The Pleiades were nymphs who were the seven sisters of the stars
The Hyades were celestial nymphs, the 7 half-sisters of the Pleiades
Hyas was a spirit of seasonal rains
Calypso was the the beautiful nymph who lived on the island of Ogygia, where she kept Odysseus prisoner for a number of years - refer to the Myth of Odysseus, Calypso and the Sirens
Atlas and the Battle of the Titans
Atlas fought on the side of the old Titan gods, in the Battle of the Titans, also called the Titanomachy, which was a power struggle between the elder Titan gods and the younger generation of gods who became known as the Olympians. He supported and fought for the Othrysians (the Titan gods who were based on Mount Othrys) with his father Iapetus and his brother Menoetius. Their adversities included his two other brothers, Epimetheus and Prometheus. As both sides of the war were immortal, no permanent casualties were possible and Atlas was subsequently condemned by Zeus to eternally hold the heavy weight of the earth upon his shoulders.