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This article is about the Greek . For other uses, see Prometheus (disambiguation).
Prometheus depicted in a sculpture by Nicolas-Sébastien Adam, 1762 (Louvre) In Greek mythology, Prometheus (Greek: Προμηθεύς, pronounced [promɛːtʰeús]) is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization. He is known for his intelligence, and as a champion of humanity. The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is a major theme of his mythology, and is a popular subject of both ancient and modern art. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression. The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, which would then grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles (Hercules). 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 (1818). Contents * 1 Etymology * 2 Mythology * 2.1 Hesiod * 2.2 Aeschylus * 2.3 Other authors * 3 Religious cult * 4 In Greek art * 5 Comparative mythology * 6 Classical tradition * 6.1 Literature * 6.2 Classical music, opera, and ballet * 6.3 In painting * 6.4 In landscape painting * 6.5 In sculpture * 7 Science * 7.1 Liver regeneration * 8 See also * 9 Notes * 10 References * 11 Further reading * 12 External links
The ancients believed that the name Prometheus derived from the Greek pro (before) + manthano (learn) and the agent suffix -eus, thus meaning "Forethinker". Plato contrasts Prometheus with his dull-witted brother Epimetheus, "Afterthinker". Writing in late antiquity, the Latin commentator Servius explains that Prometheus was so named because he was a man of great foresight (vir prudentissimus), possessing the abstract quality of providentia, the Latin equivalent of Greek promētheia (ἀπὸ τής πρόμηθείας). Modern scientific linguistics suggests that the name derived 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. Mythology
The Twelve Titans:
Oceanus and Tethys,
Hyperion and Theia,
Coeus and Phoebe,
Cronus and Rhea,
Children of Oceanus:
Oceanids, Potamoi, Calypso
Children of Hyperion:
Helios, Selene, Eos
Daughters of Coeus:
Leto and Asteria
Sons of Iapetus:
Sons of Crius:
Astraeus, Pallas, Perses
* v * t * e
The Prometheus myth first appeared in the late 8th-century BC Greek epic poet Hesiod's Theogony (lines 507–616). He was a son of the Titan Iapetus by Clymene, one of the Oceanids. He was brother to Menoetius, Atlas, and...
References: * Alexander, Hartley Burr. The Mythology of All Races. Vol 10: North American. Boston, 1916.
* Beall, E.F., Hesiod 's Prometheus and Development in Myth, Journal of the History of Ideas, Vol. 52, No. 3 (Jul. – Sep., 1991), pp. 355–371
* Dougherty, Carol
* Erdoes, Richard and Alfonso Ortiz, edds. American Indian Myths and Legends. New York, 1984.
* Fortson, Benjamin. Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing, 2004.
* Judson, Katharine B. Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest. Chicago, 1912.
* Lamberton, Robert. Hesiod, Yale University Press, 1988. ISBN 0-300-04068-7
* Swanton, John
* Verdenius, Willem Jacob, "A Commentary on Hesiod: Works and Days, Vv. 1–382", Brill, 1985, ISBN 90-04-07465-1
* West, M.L., "Hesiod, Theogony, ed
* Williamson, George S. The Longing for Myth in Germany: Religion and Aesthetic Culture from Romanticism to Nietzsche (Chicago, 2004).
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