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The Good Titan



By Tiya Munjal

Son of the Titans, Iapteus and Oceanid Clymene, Prometheus, the Titan god played a big part in starting humanity according to Greek mythology. Prometheus was one of the few Titans who supported and fought alongside Zeus (the king of the gods and the thunder god) with one his brothers, Epimetheus, against the evil Titan, Kronos, in the Titanomachy. His brothers, Atlas and Menoetius and his father, Iapteus sided with Kronos.

Ten years later, Zeus won.

Therefore, Prometheus and Epimetheus were allocated the job of creating animals and naming them. They made creatures out of clay and Zeus breathed life into them. Finally, the time came for the creation of man and all the characteristics Zeus had given them were over.

So, secretly, Prometheus went into the workshop of the gods. In the rooms of Athena, he found wisdom and reason and so, he stole it and gave it to man. Prometheus knew he angered Zeus with his actions. So, in order to pacify him, he volunteered to show man how to make sacrifices to the gods of Olympus. Prometheus had man divide a prime bull in two piles.

One pile had all the best meat and the other had bones. Prometheus, who wanted the best for man, disguised the pile with bones by putting some fat over it. When Zeus asked which one should be sacrificed, though Zeus knew which one had what, he chose the second pile, therefore deciding that the second best part of the animal should be given to the gods. Knowing that Prometheus had tricked him and gone through with it, Zeus was furious.

Hence, he took fire from man. Prometheus then set out to retrieve fire. He did succeed and further angered Zeus. As punishment, Zeus chained Prometheus to a pillar while an eagle ate his liver every day.

Prometheus was also the brother-in-law of the infamous Pandora who owned the box of greed, envy, war, hunger, etc. Zeus thought that it wasn’t all that punishing to make Prometheus feel that pain. Further, he sent a beautiful woman that could attract the attention of Epimetheus. They soon got married and as a wedding gift, Zeus gave her a box and warned her to keep it shut. However, Pandora was made to be curious and she finally opened it. Out came all the horrible things it stored.

Prometheus lived in pain for several years until the great Greek hero Heracles was celebrating the completion of his labours. He killed the eagle, freed Prometheus from his punishment. Prometheus was worshipped in Athens, the city of the goddess Athena, especially by potters who needed fires to craft wonderful pieces of art. There was an annual torch race in honour of the great Prometheus.