Facts about Prometheus
Prometheus 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.
Role & Function: The function of Prometheus is described as being the god of forethought and the creator of mankind
Status: A god in the second dynasty of Titans
Name of Father: Iapetus
Name of Mother: Clymene
Names of Brothers: Menoetius, Atlas and Epimetheus
Names of Sisters: None
Who was Prometheus?
Prometheus was the second generation of Titan gods and was worshipped as the god of forethought and the creator of mankind. He was viewed as a clever, trickster figure in ancient Greek mythology. His attempts to better the lives of his creation brought him into dangerous, direct conflict with Zeus. 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. Prometheus angered Zeus by giving fire to mortals and had him chained on a mountain where he sent an eagle to pick and tear at his liver everyday, whilst every night the wound healed afresh. Hercules eventually released the old Titan from his torture by killing the Caucasian Eagle. The legend and myth about Prometheus, the god of forethought and the creator of mankind, 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 following myth stories: Prometheus, Prometheus the Titan and Prometheus the Fire Giver.
Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus - The Creation of Men & Animals
The brothers Prometheus and Epimetheus were given the task of populating the world, and providing their creations with natural gifts. Clever, thoughtful, Prometheus shaped some earth in the image of the gods' image and named his creation Man. Epimetheus, the foolish, thoughtless one, gave little thought to his work when creating the animals and squandered many of the powerful gifts on the animals. He gave powerful teeth and claws to animals such as lions and bears, he gave wings to birds giving them the power of flight, and swift legs to horses. No gifts remained to give to man. However, Prometheus invented a new gift that he gave it to the human race. It was Intelligence and it gave men superiority over the animals. He also gave them the gift of fire, which he stole from Zeus, arming mortals against wild animals.
Prometheus and the Battle of the Titans
Prometheus fought on the side of the Olympian gods, in the Battle of the Titans, which was called the Titanomachy, a power struggle between the elder Titan gods and the younger generation of gods who became known as the Olympians. The Titan gods were called the the Othrysians as they were based on Mount Othrys and were joined by his father Iapetus and his brothers Atlas and Menoetius. Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus took the side of Zeus. As both sides of the war were immortal, no permanent casualties were possible and Menoetius and Iapetus were subsequently banished to Tartarus, the infernal region of hell in the Underworld. Atlas was condemned to bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. For stealing fire from Zeus, Prometheus was condemned to being tormented by the Caucasian Eagle. He warned his brother Epimetheus not to accept any gifts but was ignored leading to the mythical story of Pandora unleashing the Troubles of the World.