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The altar of Prometheus in the grove of the Academy was the point of origin for several significant processions and other events regularly observed on the Athenian calendar.

For the Panathenaic festival , arguably the most important civic festival at Athens, a torch race began at the altar, which was located outside the sacred boundary of the city, and passed through the Kerameikos , the district inhabited by potters and other artisans who regarded Prometheus and Hephaestus as patrons.

According to Pausanias 2nd century AD , the torch relay, called lampadedromia or lampadephoria , was first instituted at Athens in honor of Prometheus.

By the Classical period, the races were run by ephebes also in honor of Hephaestus and Athena. The wreaths worn symbolized the chains of Prometheus.

Pausanias recorded a few other religious sites in Greece devoted to Prometheus. Both Argos and Opous claimed to be Prometheus' final resting place, each erecting a tomb in his honor.

The Greek city of Panopeus had a cult statue that was supposed to honor Prometheus for having created the human race there. Prometheus' torment by the eagle and his rescue by Heracles were popular subjects in vase paintings of the 6th to 4th centuries BCE.

He also sometimes appears in depictions of Athena's birth from Zeus' forehead. A similar rendering is also found at the great altar of Zeus at Pergamon from the second century BCE.

The event of the release of Prometheus from captivity was frequently revisited on Attic and Etruscan vases between the sixth and fifth centuries BCE.

In the depiction on display at the Museum of Karlsruhe and in Berlin, the depiction is that of Prometheus confronted by a menacing large bird assumed to be the eagle with Hercules approaching from behind shooting his arrows at it.

The most significant detail added to the myth found in, e. According to these sources, Prometheus fashioned humans out of clay.

Although perhaps made explicit in the Prometheia , later authors such as Hyginus , the Bibliotheca , and Quintus of Smyrna would confirm that Prometheus warned Zeus not to marry the sea nymph Thetis.

She is consequently married off to the mortal Peleus , and bears him a son greater than the father — Achilles , Greek hero of the Trojan War.

Pseudo-Apollodorus moreover clarifies a cryptic statement —29 made by Hermes in Prometheus Bound , identifying the centaur Chiron as the one who would take on Prometheus' suffering and die in his place.

Other minor details attached to the myth include: Zahhak , an evil figure in Iranian mythology , also ends up eternally chained on a mountainside — though the rest of his career is dissimilar to that of Prometheus.

The three most prominent aspects of the Prometheus myth have parallels within the beliefs of many cultures throughout the world see creation of man from clay , theft of fire , and references for eternal punishment.

It is the first of these three which has drawn attention to parallels with the biblical creation account related in the religious symbolism expressed in the book of Genesis.

As stated by Olga Raggio, [52] "The Prometheus myth of creation as a visual symbol of the Neoplatonic concept of human nature, illustrated in many sarcophagi, was evidently a contradiction of the Christian teaching of the unique and simultaneous act of creation by the Trinity.

The imagery of Prometheus and the creation of man used for the purposes of the representation of the creation of Adam in biblical symbolism is also a recurrent theme in the artistic expression of late Roman antiquity.

Of the relatively rare expressions found of the creation of Adam in those centuries of late Roman antiquity, one can single out the so-called "Dogma sarcophagus" of the Lateran Museum where three figures are seen in representation of the theological trinity in making a benediction to the new man.

Another example is found where the prototype of Prometheus is also recognizable in the early Christian era of late Roman antiquity.

This can be found upon a sarcophagus of the Church at Mas d'Aire [54] as well, and in an even more direct comparison to what Raggio refers to as "a coursely carved relief from Campli Teramo [55] where the Lord sits on a throne and models the body of Adam, exactly like Prometheus.

In Georgian mythology, Amirani is a culture hero who challenged the chief god and, like Prometheus, was chained on the Caucasian mountains where birds would eat his organs.

This aspect of the myth had a significant influence on the Greek imagination. It is recognizable from a Greek gem roughly dated to the time of the Hesiod poems, which show Prometheus with hands bound behind his body and crouching before a bird with long wings.

In the often cited and highly publicized interview between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers on Public Television, the author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces presented his view on the comparison of Prometheus and Jesus.

The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland.

People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules [ Any world is a valid world if it's alive. The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.

Significantly, Campbell is also clear to indicate the limits of applying the metaphors of his methodology in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces too closely in assessing the comparison of Prometheus and Jesus.

Of the four symbols of suffering associated with Jesus after his trial in Jerusalem i the crown of thorns, ii the scourge of whips, iii the nailing to the Cross, and iv the spearing of his side, it is only this last one which bears some resemblance to the eternal suffering of Prometheus' daily torment of an eagle devouring a replenishing organ, his liver, from his side.

The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. It remains a continuing debate among scholars of comparative religion and the literary reception [61] of mythological and religious subject matter as to whether the typology of suffering and torment represented in the Prometheus myth finds its more representative comparisons with the narratives of the Hebrew scriptures or with the New Testament narratives.

In the Book of Job , significant comparisons can be drawn between the sustained suffering of Job in comparison to that of eternal suffering and torment represented in the Prometheus myth.

With Job, the suffering is at the acquiescence of heaven and at the will of the demonic, while in Prometheus the suffering is directly linked to Zeus as the ruler of Olympus.

The comparison of the suffering of Jesus after his sentencing in Jerusalem is limited to the three days, from Thursday to Saturday, and leading to the culminating narratives corresponding to Easter Sunday.

The symbolic import for comparative religion would maintain that suffering related to justified conduct is redeemed in both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament narratives, while in Prometheus there remains the image of a non-forgiving deity, Zeus, who nonetheless requires reverence.

Perhaps the most influential book of the Middle Ages upon the reception of the Prometheus myth was the mythological handbook of Fulgentius Placiades.

Both were used for the more lengthy and elaborate compendium by the English scholar Alexander Neckman — , the Scintillarium Poetarum , or Poetarius.

Continuing in this same tradition of the allegorical interpretation of the Prometheus myth, along with the historical interpretation of the Middle Ages, is the Genealogiae of Giovanni Boccaccio.

Boccaccio follows these two levels of interpretation and distinguishes between two separate versions of the Prometheus myth.

For Boccaccio, Prometheus is placed "In the heavens where all is clarity and truth, [Prometheus] steals, so to speak, a ray of the divine wisdom from God himself, source of all Science, supreme Light of every man.

Using a similar interpretation to that of Boccaccio, Marsilio Ficino in the fifteenth century updated the philosophical and more somber reception of the Prometheus myth not seen since the time of Plotinus.

In his book written in —77 titled Quaestiones Quinque de Mente , Ficino indicates his preference for reading the Prometheus myth as an image of the human soul seeking to obtain supreme truth.

As Olga Raggio summarizes Ficino's text, "The torture of Prometheus is the torment brought by reason itself to man, who is made by it many times more unhappy than the brutes.

It is after having stolen one beam of the celestial light [ After the writings of both Boccaccio and Ficino in the late Middle Ages about Prometheus, interest in the Titan shifted considerably in the direction of becoming subject matter for painters and sculptors alike.

Among the most famous examples is that of Piero di Cosimo from about presently on display at the museums of Munich and Strasburg see Inset.

Raggio summarizes the Munich version [66] as follows; "The Munich panel represents the dispute between Epimetheus and Prometheus, the handsome triumphant statue of the new man, modeled by Prometheus, his ascension to the sky under the guidance of Minerva; the Strasburg panel shows in the distance Prometheus lighting his torch at the wheels of the Sun, and in the foreground on one side, Prometheus applying his torch to the heart of the statue and, on the other, Mercury fastening him to a tree.

The same reference to the Genealogiae can be cited as the source for the drawing by Parmigianino presently located in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City.

This drawing is perhaps one of the most intense examples of the visualization of the myth of Prometheus from the Renaissance period.

Writing in the late British Renaissance, William Shakespeare uses the Promethean allusion in the famous death scene of Desdemona in his tragedy of Othello.

Othello in contemplating the death of Desdemona asserts plainly that he cannot restore the "Promethean heat" to her body once it has been extinguished.

For Shakespeare, the allusion is clearly to the interpretation of the fire from the heat as the bestowing of life to the creation of man from clay by Prometheus after it was stolen from Olympus.

The analogy bears direct resemblance to the biblical narrative of the creation of life in Adam through the bestowed breathing of the creator in Genesis.

Shakespeare's symbolic reference to the "heat" associated with Prometheus's fire is to the association of the gift of fire to the mythological gift or theological gift of life to humans.

The myth of Prometheus has been a favorite theme of Western art and literature in the post- renaissance and post- Enlightenment tradition and, occasionally, in works produced outside the West.

For the Romantic era , Prometheus was the rebel who resisted all forms of institutional tyranny epitomized by Zeus — church, monarch, and patriarch.

The Romantics drew comparisons between Prometheus and the spirit of the French Revolution , Christ , the Satan of John Milton 's Paradise Lost , and the divinely inspired poet or artist.

In Prometheus Unbound , a four-act lyrical drama, Percy Bysshe Shelley rewrites the lost play of Aeschylus so that Prometheus does not submit to Zeus under the Latin name Jupiter , but instead supplants him in a triumph of the human heart and intellect over tyrannical religion.

Lord Byron 's poem "Prometheus" also portrays the Titan as unrepentant. As documented by Olga Raggio, other leading figures among the great Romantics included Byron, Longfellow and Nietzsche as well.

Prometheus is a poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe , in which a character based on the mythic Prometheus addresses God as Zeus in a romantic and misotheist tone of accusation and defiance.

The poem was written between and It was first published fifteen years later in It is an important work as it represents one of the first encounters of the Prometheus myth with the literary Romantic movement identified with Goethe and with the Sturm und Drang movement.

The poem has appeared in Volume 6 of Goethe's poems in his Collected Works in a section of Vermischte Gedichte assorted poems , shortly following the Harzreise im Winter.

It is immediately followed by "Ganymed" , and the two poems are written as informing each other according to Goethe's plan in their actual writing.

Prometheus was originally planned as a drama but never completed by Goethe, though the poem is inspired by it. Prometheus is the creative and rebellious spirit rejected by God and who angrily defies him and asserts himself.

Ganymede , by direct contrast, is the boyish self who is both adored and seduced by God. As a high Romantic poet and a humanist poet, Goethe presents both identities as contrasting aspects of the Romantic human condition.

The poem offers direct biblical connotations for the Prometheus myth which was unseen in any of the ancient Greek poets dealing with the Prometheus myth in either drama, tragedy, or philosophy.

The intentional use of the German phrase " Da ich ein Kind war Goethe's Prometheus is significant for the contrast it evokes with the biblical text of the Corinthians rather than for its similarities.

In his book titled Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence , C. Kerenyi states the key contrast between Goethe's version of Prometheus with the ancient Greek version.

With this change from the traditional lineage the poet distinguished his hero from the race of the Titans. Percy Shelley published his four-act lyrical drama titled Prometheus Unbound in His version was written in response to the version of myth as presented by Aeschylus and is oriented to the high British Idealism and high British Romanticism prevailing in Shelley's own time.

Shelley, as the author himself discusses, admits the debt of his version of the myth to Aeschylus and the Greek poetic tradition which he assumes is familiar to readers of his own lyrical drama.

For example, it is necessary to understand and have knowledge of the reason for Prometheus's punishment if the reader is to form an understanding of whether the exoneration portrayed by Shelley in his version of the Prometheus myth is justified or unjustified.

The quote of Shelley's own words describing the extent of his indebtedness to Aeschylus has been published in numerous sources publicly available. The literary critic Harold Bloom in his book Shelley's Mythmaking expresses his high expectation of Shelley in the tradition of mythopoeic poetry.

For Bloom, Percy Shelley's relationship to the tradition of mythology in poetry "culminates in 'Prometheus'. The poem provides a complete statement of Shelley's vision.

Within the pages of his Introduction to the Chelsea House edition on Percy Shelley, Harold Bloom also identifies the six major schools of criticism opposing Shelley's idealized mythologizing version of the Prometheus myth.

In sequence, the opposing schools to Shelley are given as: The Greek origins of the Prometheus myth have already discussed the Titanomachia as placing the cosmic struggle of Olympus at some point in time preceding the creation of humanity, while in the New Testament synthesis there was a strong assimilation of the prophetic tradition of the Hebrew prophets and their strongly eschatological orientation.

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He no longer believes in the big bang. At it looks like Scott's former denials that the Xenomorphs would be back was also a fib, after this video featuring a certain spindley hand appeared on Twitter, captioned 'where it all begins'.

Scott has said that the film will serve as a "joining up" of Prometheus and the original Alien films, and we may have finally learned exactly how the classic Xenomorphs came into being.

The prologue video below reveals her work with David after they escape on the Engineers' ship, although things aren't looking good for her in the trailers A heap of new footage that we were lucky enough to see recently revealed some more secrets of what might be going on here, including giving us a good look at Michael Fassbender's other Android Walter as we see The Covenant and its crew happen upon a new planet where they discover the alien race, including a new spikey spider-rabbit type version of the alien.

Check out our full footage breakdown for more. Lost mastermind Lindelof took over Prometheus screenwriting duties from Jon Spaihts, transforming his more traditional Alien story into an "original" sci-fi idea.

So brutal was the fanboy backlash in the aftermath of Prometheus Lindelof has bailed on the sequel completely.

The new writers in Lindelof's place? Green is also the man behind the forthcoming Blade Runner sequel, so despite having a superhero turkey on his CV, he's obviously someone Scott trusts with the keys to his two sci-fi kingdoms.

Scott's Gladiator writer John Logan also has a 're-written by' credit. Covenant began in April , the shoot is taking place in Australia and New Zealand, with space cowboy Danny McBride announcing in July that the movie had wrapped.

If you're worried that Alien: Covenant means the end of the road for Neill Blomkamp's Sigourney Weaver-starring sequel then fear not — Scott says it'll still happen, but it's on hold until after his Prometheus follow-up.

It's more associated with Ripley, it's a completely different angle, it's more of a sequel. I'm coming in from the back end. What's more, Blomkamp's movie will ignore both Alien3 and Alien:

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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 The etymology of the theonym prometheus is debated.

The classical view is that it signifies "forethought," as that of his brother Epimetheus denotes "afterthought".

Pramantha was the tool used to create fire. 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.

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 as a whole.

Prometheus and his struggle would be of vast merit to human society as well in this mythology as he was to be credited with the creation of humans and therefore all of humanity as well.

The four most ancient historical sources for the Prometheus myth are Hesiod, Homer, Pindar, and Pythagoras. He was a son of the Titan Iapetus by Clymene , one of the Oceanids.

He was brother to Menoetius , Atlas , and Epimetheus. Hesiod, in Theogony , introduces Prometheus as a lowly challenger to Zeus 's omniscience and omnipotence.

In the trick at Mekone — , a sacrificial meal marking the "settling of accounts" between mortals and immortals, Prometheus played a trick against Zeus.

He placed two sacrificial offerings before the Olympian: Zeus chose the latter, setting a precedent for future sacrifices — Henceforth, humans would keep that meat for themselves and burn the bones wrapped in fat as an offering to the gods.

This angered Zeus, who hid fire from humans in retribution. In this version of the myth, the use of fire was already known to humans, but withdrawn by Zeus.

This further enraged Zeus, who sent the first woman to live with humanity Pandora , not explicitly mentioned. The woman, a "shy maiden", was fashioned by Hephaestus out of clay and Athena helped to adorn her properly — Hesiod writes, "From her is the race of women and female kind: Prometheus is chained to a rock in the Caucasus for eternity, where his liver is eaten daily by an eagle, [10] only to be regenerated by night, due to his immortality.

The eagle is a symbol of Zeus himself. Years later, the Greek hero Heracles Hercules slays the eagle and frees Prometheus from his torment — Hesiod revisits the story of Prometheus and the theft of fire in Works and Days 42— In it the poet expands upon Zeus's reaction to Prometheus's deception.

Not only does Zeus withhold fire from humanity, but "the means of life" as well Had Prometheus not provoked Zeus's wrath, "you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working; soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke, and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste" 44— Hesiod also adds more information to Theogony' s story of the first woman, a maiden crafted from earth and water by Hephaestus now explicitly called Pandora " all gifts " After Prometheus steals the fire, Zeus sends Pandora in retaliation.

Despite Prometheus' warning, Epimetheus accepts this "gift" from the gods Pandora carried a jar with her from which were released mischief and sorrow, plague and diseases 94— Pandora shuts the lid of the jar too late to contain all the evil plights that escaped but Hope is left trapped in the jar because Zeus forces Pandora to seal it up before Hope can escape 96— Angelo Casanova, [11] professor of Greek literature at the University of Florence, finds in Prometheus a reflection of an ancient, pre-Hesiodic trickster -figure, who served to account for the mixture of good and bad in human life, and whose fashioning of humanity from clay was an Eastern motif familiar in Enuma Elish.

As an opponent of Zeus he was an analogue of the Titans and, like them, was punished. As an advocate for humanity he gains semi-divine status at Athens, where the episode in Theogony in which he is liberated [12] is interpreted by Casanova as a post-Hesiodic interpolation.

According to the German classicist Karl-Martin Dietz , in Hesiod's scriptures, Prometheus represents the "descent of mankind from the communion with the gods into the present troublesome life.

The banishment of the warring Titans by the Olympians to the chthonic depths of Tartarus was documented as early as Homer's Iliad and the Odyssey where they are also identified as the hypotartarioi , or, the "subterranean.

They are used by Homer to designate an unlimited, violent insolence among the warring Titans which only Zeus was able to ultimately overcome. In the words of Kerenyi, "Autolykos, the grandfather, is introduced in order that he may give his grandson the name of Odysseus.

The duality of the gods and of humans standing as polar opposites is also clearly identified in the earliest traditions of Greek mythology and its legends by Pindar.

In the sixth Nemean Ode, Pindar states: In order to understand the Prometheus myth in its most general context, the Late Roman author Censorinus states in his book titled De die natali that, "Pythagoras of Samos, Okellos of Lukania, Archytas of Tarentum, and in general all Pythagoreans were the authors and proponents of the opinion that the human race was eternal.

Okellos, in his cosmology, further delineates the three realms of the cosmos as all contained within an overarching order called the diakosmesis which is also the world order kosmos , and which also must be eternal.

The three realms were delineated by Okellos as having "two poles, man on earth, the gods in heaven. Merely for the sake of symmetry, as it were, the daemons — not evil spirits but beings intermediate between God and man — occupy a middle position in the air, the realm between heaven and earth.

They were not a product of Greek mythology, but of the belief in daemons that had sprung up in various parts of the Mediterranean world and the Near East.

The two major authors to have an influence on the development of the myths and legends surrounding the Titan Prometheus during the Socratic era of greater Athens were Aeschylus and Plato.

The two men wrote in highly distinctive forms of expression which for Aeschylus centered on his mastery of the literary form of Greek tragedy, while for Plato this centered on the philosophical expression of his thought in the form of the various dialogues he had written and recorded during his lifetime.

Prometheus Bound , perhaps the most famous treatment of the myth to be found among the Greek tragedies , is traditionally attributed to the 5th-century BCE Greek tragedian Aeschylus.

The playwright's dependence on the Hesiodic source material is clear, though Prometheus Bound also includes a number of changes to the received tradition.

Before his theft of fire, Prometheus played a decisive role in the Titanomachy , securing victory for Zeus and the other Olympians.

Zeus's torture of Prometheus thus becomes a particularly harsh betrayal. The scope and character of Prometheus' transgressions against Zeus are also widened.

In addition to giving humanity fire, Prometheus claims to have taught them the arts of civilization, such as writing, mathematics, agriculture, medicine, and science.

The Titan's greatest benefaction for humanity seems to have been saving them from complete destruction. In an apparent twist on the myth of the so-called Five Ages of Man found in Hesiod's Works and Days wherein Cronus and, later, Zeus created and destroyed five successive races of humanity , Prometheus asserts that Zeus had wanted to obliterate the human race, but that he somehow stopped him.

Moreover, Aeschylus anachronistically and artificially injects Io , another victim of Zeus's violence and ancestor of Heracles, into Prometheus' story.

Finally, just as Aeschylus gave Prometheus a key role in bringing Zeus to power, he also attributed to him secret knowledge that could lead to Zeus's downfall: Prometheus had been told by his mother Themis , who in the play is identified with Gaia Earth , of a potential marriage that would produce a son who would overthrow Zeus.

Fragmentary evidence indicates that Heracles, as in Hesiod, frees the Titan in the trilogy's second play, Prometheus Unbound.

It is apparently not until Prometheus reveals this secret of Zeus's potential downfall that the two reconcile in the final play, Prometheus the Fire-Bringer or Prometheus Pyrphoros , a lost tragedy by Aeschylus.

Prometheus Bound also includes two mythic innovations of omission. The first is the absence of Pandora 's story in connection with Prometheus' own.

Instead, Aeschylus includes this one oblique allusion to Pandora and her jar that contained Hope The larger scope of Aeschylus as a dramatist revisiting the myth of Prometheus in the age of Athenian prominence has been discussed by William Lynch.

For Lynch, modern scholarship is hampered by not having the full trilogy of Prometheus by Aeschylus, the last two parts of which have been lost to antiquity.

Significantly, Lynch further comments that although the Prometheus trilogy is not available, that the Orestia trilogy by Aeschylus remains available and may be assumed to provide significant insight into the overall structural intentions which may be ascribed to the Prometheus trilogy by Aeschylus as an author of significant consistency and exemplary dramatic erudition.

Harold Bloom, in his research guide for Aeschylus, has summarized some of the critical attention that has been applied to Aeschylus concerning his general philosophical import in Athens.

For generations, scholars warred incessantly over 'the justice of Zeus,' unintentionally blurring it with a monotheism imported from Judeo-Christian thought.

The playwright undoubtedly had religious concerns; for instance, Jacqueline de Romilly [28] suggests that his treatment of time flows directly out of his belief in divine justice.

But it would be an error to think of Aeschylus as sermonizing. His Zeus does not arrive at decisions which he then enacts in the mortal world; rather, human events are themselves an enactment of divine will.

According to Thomas Rosenmeyer regarding the religious import of Aeschylus, "In Aeschylus, as in Homer, the two levels of causation, the supernatural and the human, are co-existent and simultaneous, two ways of describing the same event.

For a critic to construct an Aeschylean theology would be as quixotic as designing a typology of Aeschylean man.

The needs of the drama prevail. In a rare comparison of Prometheus in Aeschylus with Oedipus in Sophocles, Harold Bloom states that "Freud called Oedipus an 'immoral play,' since the gods ordained incest and parricide.

Oedipus therefore participates in our universal unconscious sense of guilt, but on this reading so do the gods" [ Karl-Martin Dietz states that in contrast to Hesiod's, in Aeschylus' oeuvre, Prometheus stands for the "Ascent of humanity from primitive beginnings to the present level of civilization.

Olga Raggio in her study "The Myth of Prometheus" for the Courtauld Institute attributes Plato in the Protagoras as an important contributor to the early development of the Prometheus myth.

As summarized by Raggio, "After the gods have moulded men and other living creatures with a mixture of clay and fire, the two brothers Epimetheus and Prometheus are called to complete the task and distribute among the newly born creatures all sorts of natural qualities.

Epimetheus sets to work but, being unwise, distributes all the gifts of nature among the animals, leaving men naked and unprotected, unable to defend themselves and to survive in a hostile world.

Prometheus then steals the fire of creative power from the workshop of Athena and Hephaistos and gives it to mankind. For Plato, only the virtues of "reverence and justice can provide for the maintenance of a civilized society — and these virtues are the highest gift finally bestowed on men in equal measure.

In his dialogue titled Protagoras , Plato contrasts Prometheus with his dull-witted brother Epimetheus , "Afterthinker". As no physical traits were left when the pair came to humans, Prometheus decided to give them fire and other civilizing arts.

It is understandable that since Prometheus was considered a Titan and not one of the Olympian gods that there would be an absence of evidence, with the exception of Athens, for the direct religious devotion to his worship.

Despite his importance to the myths and imaginative literature of ancient Greece, the religious cult of Prometheus during the Archaic and Classical periods seems to have been limited.

Athens was the exception. The altar of Prometheus in the grove of the Academy was the point of origin for several significant processions and other events regularly observed on the Athenian calendar.

For the Panathenaic festival , arguably the most important civic festival at Athens, a torch race began at the altar, which was located outside the sacred boundary of the city, and passed through the Kerameikos , the district inhabited by potters and other artisans who regarded Prometheus and Hephaestus as patrons.

According to Pausanias 2nd century AD , the torch relay, called lampadedromia or lampadephoria , was first instituted at Athens in honor of Prometheus.

By the Classical period, the races were run by ephebes also in honor of Hephaestus and Athena. The wreaths worn symbolized the chains of Prometheus.

Pausanias recorded a few other religious sites in Greece devoted to Prometheus. Both Argos and Opous claimed to be Prometheus' final resting place, each erecting a tomb in his honor.

The Greek city of Panopeus had a cult statue that was supposed to honor Prometheus for having created the human race there. Prometheus' torment by the eagle and his rescue by Heracles were popular subjects in vase paintings of the 6th to 4th centuries BCE.

He also sometimes appears in depictions of Athena's birth from Zeus' forehead. A similar rendering is also found at the great altar of Zeus at Pergamon from the second century BCE.

The event of the release of Prometheus from captivity was frequently revisited on Attic and Etruscan vases between the sixth and fifth centuries BCE.

In the depiction on display at the Museum of Karlsruhe and in Berlin, the depiction is that of Prometheus confronted by a menacing large bird assumed to be the eagle with Hercules approaching from behind shooting his arrows at it.

The most significant detail added to the myth found in, e. According to these sources, Prometheus fashioned humans out of clay.

Although perhaps made explicit in the Prometheia , later authors such as Hyginus , the Bibliotheca , and Quintus of Smyrna would confirm that Prometheus warned Zeus not to marry the sea nymph Thetis.

She is consequently married off to the mortal Peleus , and bears him a son greater than the father — Achilles , Greek hero of the Trojan War. Pseudo-Apollodorus moreover clarifies a cryptic statement —29 made by Hermes in Prometheus Bound , identifying the centaur Chiron as the one who would take on Prometheus' suffering and die in his place.

Other minor details attached to the myth include: Zahhak , an evil figure in Iranian mythology , also ends up eternally chained on a mountainside — though the rest of his career is dissimilar to that of Prometheus.

The three most prominent aspects of the Prometheus myth have parallels within the beliefs of many cultures throughout the world see creation of man from clay , theft of fire , and references for eternal punishment.

It is the first of these three which has drawn attention to parallels with the biblical creation account related in the religious symbolism expressed in the book of Genesis.

As stated by Olga Raggio, [52] "The Prometheus myth of creation as a visual symbol of the Neoplatonic concept of human nature, illustrated in many sarcophagi, was evidently a contradiction of the Christian teaching of the unique and simultaneous act of creation by the Trinity.

The imagery of Prometheus and the creation of man used for the purposes of the representation of the creation of Adam in biblical symbolism is also a recurrent theme in the artistic expression of late Roman antiquity.

Of the relatively rare expressions found of the creation of Adam in those centuries of late Roman antiquity, one can single out the so-called "Dogma sarcophagus" of the Lateran Museum where three figures are seen in representation of the theological trinity in making a benediction to the new man.

Another example is found where the prototype of Prometheus is also recognizable in the early Christian era of late Roman antiquity. This can be found upon a sarcophagus of the Church at Mas d'Aire [54] as well, and in an even more direct comparison to what Raggio refers to as "a coursely carved relief from Campli Teramo [55] where the Lord sits on a throne and models the body of Adam, exactly like Prometheus.

In Georgian mythology, Amirani is a culture hero who challenged the chief god and, like Prometheus, was chained on the Caucasian mountains where birds would eat his organs.

This aspect of the myth had a significant influence on the Greek imagination. It is recognizable from a Greek gem roughly dated to the time of the Hesiod poems, which show Prometheus with hands bound behind his body and crouching before a bird with long wings.

In the often cited and highly publicized interview between Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers on Public Television, the author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces presented his view on the comparison of Prometheus and Jesus.

The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there's no doubt about it. The world without spirit is a wasteland. People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules [ Any world is a valid world if it's alive.

The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.

Significantly, Campbell is also clear to indicate the limits of applying the metaphors of his methodology in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces too closely in assessing the comparison of Prometheus and Jesus.

Of the four symbols of suffering associated with Jesus after his trial in Jerusalem i the crown of thorns, ii the scourge of whips, iii the nailing to the Cross, and iv the spearing of his side, it is only this last one which bears some resemblance to the eternal suffering of Prometheus' daily torment of an eagle devouring a replenishing organ, his liver, from his side.

The dragon and his angels fought back, but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.

It remains a continuing debate among scholars of comparative religion and the literary reception [61] of mythological and religious subject matter as to whether the typology of suffering and torment represented in the Prometheus myth finds its more representative comparisons with the narratives of the Hebrew scriptures or with the New Testament narratives.

In the Book of Job , significant comparisons can be drawn between the sustained suffering of Job in comparison to that of eternal suffering and torment represented in the Prometheus myth.

With Job, the suffering is at the acquiescence of heaven and at the will of the demonic, while in Prometheus the suffering is directly linked to Zeus as the ruler of Olympus.

The comparison of the suffering of Jesus after his sentencing in Jerusalem is limited to the three days, from Thursday to Saturday, and leading to the culminating narratives corresponding to Easter Sunday.

The symbolic import for comparative religion would maintain that suffering related to justified conduct is redeemed in both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament narratives, while in Prometheus there remains the image of a non-forgiving deity, Zeus, who nonetheless requires reverence.

Perhaps the most influential book of the Middle Ages upon the reception of the Prometheus myth was the mythological handbook of Fulgentius Placiades.

Both were used for the more lengthy and elaborate compendium by the English scholar Alexander Neckman — , the Scintillarium Poetarum , or Poetarius.

Continuing in this same tradition of the allegorical interpretation of the Prometheus myth, along with the historical interpretation of the Middle Ages, is the Genealogiae of Giovanni Boccaccio.

Boccaccio follows these two levels of interpretation and distinguishes between two separate versions of the Prometheus myth.

For Boccaccio, Prometheus is placed "In the heavens where all is clarity and truth, [Prometheus] steals, so to speak, a ray of the divine wisdom from God himself, source of all Science, supreme Light of every man.

Using a similar interpretation to that of Boccaccio, Marsilio Ficino in the fifteenth century updated the philosophical and more somber reception of the Prometheus myth not seen since the time of Plotinus.

In his book written in —77 titled Quaestiones Quinque de Mente , Ficino indicates his preference for reading the Prometheus myth as an image of the human soul seeking to obtain supreme truth.

As Olga Raggio summarizes Ficino's text, "The torture of Prometheus is the torment brought by reason itself to man, who is made by it many times more unhappy than the brutes.

It is after having stolen one beam of the celestial light [ After the writings of both Boccaccio and Ficino in the late Middle Ages about Prometheus, interest in the Titan shifted considerably in the direction of becoming subject matter for painters and sculptors alike.

Among the most famous examples is that of Piero di Cosimo from about presently on display at the museums of Munich and Strasburg see Inset. Version Other Link 23 Play Movie.

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