CREATION OF MAN PROMETHEUS

Prometheus and Epimetheus,
two Titans,
were spared imprisonment in Tartarus after
the Titanomachy,
the War between the Titans and
the Olympians,
because they had not fought alongside the other Titans.
Instead, they were given the task of creating man. Prometheus shaped
man out of mud, and Athena breathed
life into his clay figure.
Prometheus assigned Epimetheus with
the task of giving the creaturesof
the earth their various qualities, such as swiftness, cunning, strength, fur,
wings. Unfortunately, by the time he got to man, Epimetheus had
given all the good qualities out and there were none left for man. So Prometheus decided
to make man stand upright just like the gods did and to give them fire.
Prometheus loved
man more than the Olympians,
who had banished most of his family to Tartarus.
So when Zeus decreed
that man must sacrifice a portion of each food to the gods, Prometheus decided
to trick Zeus.
He created two piles, one with bones wrapped in juicy fat, and another with the
finest meat hidden inside a hide. He then asked Zeus to
choose one of the piles; Zeus,
unaware, chose the bones and since he had given his word, was forced to accept
the bones as his share for future sacrifices. In his anger over the trick, he
took fire away from man. However, Prometheus lit
a torch from the sun and
brought it back again to man. Zeus was
enraged that man again had fire. He decided to inflict a terrible punishment on
both man and Prometheus.
To punish
man, Zeus had Hephaestus create
a mortal of stunning beauty. The gods gave the mortal many gifts of wealth. He
then had Hermes give
the mortal a deceptive heart and a lying tongue. This creation was Pandora,
the first woman. A final gift was a jar which Pandora was
forbidden to open. Thus, Zeus sent Pandora to Epimetheus,
who had decided to live amongst men.
Prometheus had
warned Epimetheus not
to accept gifts from Zeus,
but Pandora‘s
beauty was too great; so, he let her stay. Eventually, Pandora‘s
curiosity about the forbidden jar overwhelmed her; she opened it, releasing all
evils upon the earth. Only one thing was left in the jar when Pandoramanaged
to close the lid again – hope.
Zeus was
angry at Prometheus for
three things: being tricked on sacrifices, stealing fire for man, and for
refusing to tell Zeus which
of Zeus‘s
children would dethrone him. Zeus commanded
his servants, Force and Violence, to seize Prometheus,
take him to the Caucasus Mountains, and chain him to a rock with unbreakable,
diamond chains. There, he was tormented day and night by a giant eagle tearing
at his liver. Zeus gave Prometheus two
ways out of this torment. He could tell Zeus who
the mother of the child that would dethrone him was. Or meet two conditions:
first, that an immortal must volunteer to die for Prometheus.
And second, that a mortal must kill the eagle and unchain him.
Eventually, Chiron the Centaur agreed
to die for him and Heracles killed
the eagle and unbound him.
Source: Greek Mythology

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