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In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with The creationofmanfrom clay, and who defies the gods by stealingfire and giving it to humanity,an act that enabled progress and civilization. Prometheus isknown for his intelligence and as a champion of mankind.The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is a major theme of his mythology,andisa popular subject of both ancient and modern art. Zeus, king of the Olympiangods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for histransgression. The immortal Prometheuswas bound to a rock, where each day an eagle,the emblemofZeus, was sent tofeed on his liver, whichwould then grow back overnight to be eaten again the next day.
In some stories , Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles .In another of his myths, Prometheus establishes the form of animal sacrifice practiced in ancient Greek religion. Evidence of a cult to Prometheus himself is not widespread. He was a focus of religious activity mainly at Athens, where he was linked to Athena and Hephaestus, other Greek deities of creative skills and technology.In the Western classical tradition, Prometheus became a figure who represented human striving, particularly the quest for scientific knowledge, and the risk of overreaching or unintended consequences. In particular, he was regarded in the Romantic era as embodying the lone genius whose efforts to improve human existence could also result in tragedy: Mary Shelley, for instance, gave The Modern Prometheus as the subtitle to her novel Frankenstein .
Etymology The etymology of the theonym prometheus is debated. The classical view is that it signifies “forethought,” as that of his brother Epimetheus denotes “afterthought”. It has been theorized that it derives from the Proto-Indo-European root that also produces the Vedic pra math, “to steal,” hence pramathyu-s, “thief”, cognate with “Prometheus”, the thief of fire. The Vedic myth of fire’s theft by Mātariśvan is an analog to the Greek account. Pramantha was the tool used to create fire.
Myths and legends Oldest legends The four most ancient sources for understanding the origin of the Prometheus myths and legends all rely on the images represented in the Titanomachy, or the cosmological struggle between the Greek gods and their parents, the Titans. Prometheus, himself a Titan, managed to avoid being in the direct confrontational cosmic battle between Zeus and the other Olympians against Cronus and the other Titans. Prometheus therefore survived the struggle in which the offending Titans were eternally banished by Zeus to the chthonic depths of Tartarus, only to survive to confront Zeus on his own terms in subsequent climactic struggles.The greater Titanomachia depicts an overarching metaphor of the struggle between generations, between parents and their children, symbolic of the generation of parents needing to eventually give ground to the growing needs, vitality, and responsibilities of the new generation for the perpetuation of society and survival interests of the human race.
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