Prometheus was a titan who, in one story, molded man from clay. In another he rebelled against the Gods and helped overthrow the tyrannical Kronos.
Prometheus tricked and stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mankind. In his fury Zeus had his servants Force and Violence seize him and take him to Caucasus, where they bound him to the rock peak in adamantine chains that none could break.
In his early days on Caucasus, Prometheus was visited by a girl, Io:
Io: ‘Who are you, sufferer, that speak the truth to one who suffers?’
P:’You see Prometheus who gave mortals fire’
Io: ‘You – he who succored the whole race of men? You, that Prometheus, the daring, the enduring?’
Prometheus, whose name means forethought, was very wise, wiser than even the Gods…
Zeus knew fate had decreed, that someday a son would be born to him who would dethrone him and drive the Gods from their home. P. knew who the mother of the son would be. So Hermes was sent to P. to bid him disclose the secret. P. told him: ‘Go and persuade the sea-wave not to break. You will persuade me no more easily’.
Hermes warned him, that if he persisted in his stubborn silence, he would suffer still more terrible things: ‘An eagle red with blood shall come, a guest unbidden to your banquet. All day long he will tear to rags your body, feasting in fury on the blackend liver’.
But nothing, no threat, nor torture could break P. His body was bound, but his spirit was free. He refused to submit to cruelty and tyranny. P told Hermes: ‘there is no force which can compel my speech. So let Zeus hurl his blazing bolts, and with the white wing of the snow, with thunder and with earthquake, confound the reeling world. None of all this will bend my will.’
His name has stood through all the centuries, from Greek days to our own, as that of the great rebel against injustice and the misuse of authority of power.
(from ‘Mythology – timeless tales of gods and heroes’, by Edith Hamilton. Her sources are two poets, Aeschylus (greek) and Ovid (roman))
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