P is for Prometheus.
Prometheus is the Titan God who brought fire to mankind.
He also brought to us the art of Crafts, which he himself invented.
But before these things, Prometheus created mankind.
Born of Iapetus and Clymene, Prometheus was a bit of a rebel.
He scorned the Gods and ridiculed Zeus.
Though, during the Titanomachy (A war between the Old Gods and the new), he was one of the Titans that fought alongside the Gods.
Prometheus’ trouble started with the creation of mankind.
Under the orders of Cronos, Prometheus and his brother, Epimetheus, carefully crafted creatures from clay, which they made in the image of The Gods.
Athena then took the figures and breathed life into them, thus creating man.
Epimetheus’ creations became the beasts of the wild, and when given life, turned on their creator and savagely attacked him.
Zeus was not at all happy with these creations and forbid Prometheus teaching them the ways of civilization, so mankind was left in a very primitive state.
A meeting was set between The Gods and man, in order to set some ground rules.
Firstly, Zeus demanded sacrifice from these new beings.
Trying to lend a hand to his beloved creations, Prometheus slew an ox, and divided the spoils into two piles.
In one pile he took the meat and most of the fat and covered it with the awful looking stomach and entrails, in the other he laid the bones and dressed them artfully with the remaining fat.
Zeus saw through this trickery and decided to turn it into his gain.
He knew if he picked the pile of bones, he would then have an excuse to vent his anger onto man and in doing so, get back at Prometheus for creating them in the first place.
So Zeus chose the pile of bones.
(This is also where the origin of sacrifice comes from, where the humans get the meat and the Gods the bones.)
Zeus now had an excuse to be angry, now that mankind had tricked him, and he denied them the secret of fire.
Prometheus loved his creations, and it hurt his heart to watch them shivering and cowering throughout the winter and dark of night.
He made the decision to go against Zeus and help mankind to better themselves.
This was to be a big mistake, for him at least.
One night, while The Gods slept, Prometheus crept into the workshop of Hephaestus, and stole the fire from his forge.
He hid the flame inside the hollow of his staff and set out to Earth from Olympus, where he gave this wonderful gift to his loved creations.
No longer cold, hungry and focused only on survival, mankind began a path to enlightenment and civilization.
This treachery made Zeus furious, as one God cannot take back what another has given and he now took out his anger on Prometheus as well as mankind.
For mankind, he cursed them to a life of suffering and torment, such evil that they would long for death.
For Prometheus he devised a horrendous torture.
Zeus had Prometheus carried to Mount Caucasus and chained to a rock.
There, he set upon him an eagle, by the name of Ethon.
Thus began 30 000 years of torment for the Titan God.
Ethon would spend the day tearing Prometheus apart and picking at his liver.
At night he would cease the torture, allowing Prometheus to heal and regenerate.
The next day, the tearing and rending would begin anew.
This would have been the eternal fate of poor Prometheus, had not Heracles come along, on one of his twelve labors.
Heracles shot the eagle with an arrow, ending the torment of the Titan.
The years had calmed Zeus’ anger and he now invited Prometheus to return to Olympus, on condition that he still carried the rock he had been chained to.
So even though Prometheus had been freed, he carried with him always the weight of his crime.
But Zeus was not yet finished with mankind.
He asked Hephaestus to collect and mingle together the best and worst of life experience.
Mud and pure snow, the love of a mother and the savagery of the beast, the bloom of a rose and poisonous venom, all these things and more did Hephaestus forge together.
This creation of love and hate was then molded into substance and given the shape of a girl.
Zeus took this model and breathed life into her.
She held the beauty of a Goddess, yet contained all that Hephaestus had mixed together to create her.
Zeus gave her the name of Pandora.
Zeus sent this beautiful creation to Prometheus’ brother, Epimetheus, Creator of Beasts, and he quickly fell in love with this beautiful woman.
At their wedding the Gods showered them with gifts, among them, a box, given by Zeus, with instruction that it may never be opened.
Unfortunately, Pandora was also endowed with an innate sense of curiosity.
It soon got the better of her and she opened the box, unleashing all the sadness and horror known to man.
Realizing what she had unleashed, Pandora quickly closed the box, trapping the last thing it contained inside.
That thing was Hope, and hope remained trapped in the box, withheld from mankind, until Prometheus bestowed his last kindness upon man.
Prometheus opened the box, for the second and final time, and freed Hope.
The following video is a Wendy Rule song, entitled Prometheus.
Wendy Rule is an Australian Witch, with a very enchanting voice.
This song covers the torment of Prometheus, capturing the feel of the myth perfectly.