By some accounts he and his brother Epimetheus were delegated by Zeus to create man. In all accounts, Prometheus is known as the protector and benefactor of man. He gave mankind a number of gifts including fire. He also tricked Zeus into allowing man to keep the best part of the animals sacrificed to the gods and to give the gods the worst parts.
For this Zeus punished Prometheus by having him chained to a rock with the Kaukasios Eagle tearing at his liver. He was to be left there for all eternity or until he agreed to disclose to Zeus which of Zeus children would try to replace him. This is well known. What is less well known is Prometheus’ second gift. In Aeschylus’ “Prometheus Bound,” the chained Titan is pitilessly interrogated by the chorus. They ask him whether he gave human beings anything else. Yes, he says, “I stopped mortals from foreseeing doom.” How did you do that, they ask? His response is revealing: “I sowed in them blind hopes (elpides)." The chorus replied saying, "This was a great benefit you gave to mortals." This was a reference to Pandora's jar, a curse concocted by Zeus to punish mankind for the theft of fire. Prometheus seems to be saying that he was the one who stayed Hope inside the jar, when the other evils escaped. He was eventually rescued by Herakles without giving in to Zeus.
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"The Titanes had children . . . Atlas who holds the sky on his shoulders, Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoitios whom Zeus struck with a thunderbolt in the Titane battle and confined to Tartaros, were all sons of Iapetos and Asia."
- Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 8 (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.)
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|Titans :||Okeanos • Hyperion • Koios • Krios • Iapetos • Kronos|
|Second Generation :||• Potamoi • Lelantos • Astraios • Pallas • Perses • Atlas • Prometheus • Epimetheus • Menoitios • Helios|
|Related Articles :||Titanomachy • Olympians • Gigantes • Demigods|