Prometheus

Prometheus was the offspring of the Titan Iapetus and the Ocean nymph Clymene. He was also the sibling of Atlas, Epimetheus and Menoetius. Many years later, he became the father of Deucalion.

It is important to note that Roman mythology is significantly inspired by the Greek tales, although in many cases the personalities of the deities are quite different.

Traits

Prometheus is generally depicted as being chained and with an eagle emerging from his liver or heart. This is the delineation of the punishment that was inflicted on him since he defied the wishes of Zeus. However, since Prometheus had the power of immortality, his liver eventually grew back, although the eagle would consume it for an eternity, such was the severity of his retribution.

Furthermore, when it comes to his positive attributes, Prometheus had the power of forethought. His brother, Epimetheus, on the other hand was gifted with the benefit of afterthought. In ancient mythology, Prometheus is credited with the creation of man from a combination of water and earth. He also stole fire from the Gods and gave it to mankind.

Despite his trials and tribulations, Prometheus is regarded as one of the strongest titans in Roman mythology. He had an uncompromising nature due to which he was often in conflict with other titans.

Trials

It is believed that Prometheus was not only responsible for the creation of mankind, but that he befriended them later on as well. He even gave mankind the gift of fire, albeit without the approval of Zeus. As a consequence, Prometheus was punished severely.

To chasten Prometheus for his transgressions, Zeus chained him to a rock on the peak of a mountain. Like we mentioned earlier, an eagle decimated his body and ate his liver every day. Once it would heal overnight, the eagle would devour it once again. Although Prometheus still had immortality, he suffered significantly.

This punishment lasted for thousands of years. Even though other titans pleaded with Zeus to exercise clemency, he refused to budge. It was much later that Zeus was benevolent enough to forgive Prometheus in exchange for vital information.

Prometheus informed Zeus that Thetis, a sea nymph, would eventually bear a son that would be outrageously powerful and supersede them. Therefore, Zeus arranged for Thetis to be betrothed to a mere mortal in order to change their son’s destiny.

On the other hand, Zeus assigned Hercules the responsibility of terminating the eagle that had tortured Prometheus for a millennia and undo his shackles too. As a reward for setting him free, Prometheus advised Hercules how to acquire the golden Apples of Hesperides. This feat would go on to become one of a dozen labours that Hercules was able to achieve.

The abject state of Prometheus when he was ostracised by Zeus formed a pivotal part of his legacy. This inspired artists and authors for a number of centuries.

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