How the Men's Friend Was Punished Jupiter's next action was to punish Prometheus for stealing fire from the sun. He commanded two of his slaves, Strength and Force, to take the brave Titan and transport him to the highest point of the Caucasus Mountains. There they were to be left alone, unaided, to suffer death or survival as God saw fit.
Prometheus was made immortal but could not escape the grip of Death. Each day he would wait for the coming of night, when his body would grow cold and die. This went on for many years until Zeus came up with a plan to free Prometheus. What happened next is one of the most famous stories in mythology. You may have heard it before - it includes features such as gods, humans, monsters, conflict, love, sacrifice, and justice - and it's still told today in books, movies, and other forms of media.
What do you think will happen to Prometheus? Will God save him?
Zeus was enraged at Prometheus' theft of fire and punished the Titan by transporting him far east, maybe to the Caucasus. Prometheus was bound to a rock (or pillar) here, and Zeus dispatched an eagle to devour the Titan's liver. Each day the bird returned without having eaten its prey, thus prolonging Prometheus' suffering.
This is one of many myths told about Prometheus and Zeus. The Greeks believed that mankind would be able to live in peace after Prometheus brought humanity knowledge enough to protect themselves from evil forces such as disease and starvation. However, both gods and humans were not happy with this state of affairs, so they decided to put an end to Prometheus' gift-giving by killing him. But because of this crime, he was forced to become the benefactor of mankind against his will. His body was placed in the Caucasus where it still can be seen today in a mountain called Mount Protohimous.
Prometheus has been portrayed in art numerous times over the years. Here are just a few examples:
Prometheus receiving punishment at the hand of Zeus - a Greek marble sculpture dating back to around 450 B.C.
The Prometheus Mythology Center features exhibits, films, and interactive displays that explore various aspects of this ancient myth.
In Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus was known as a cunning trickster, and he notably gave the human species the gifts of fire and metallurgy, for which he was punished by Zeus, who made sure that an eagle ate the Titan's liver every day while he was hopelessly tied to a pillar. This went on daily for ten years, until one day Prometheus decided to fight back. Using his cunning, he tricked the eagle into leaving its perch by making a snake out of grass and then cut the rope binding him to the pillar. The wounded bird fled in anger or pain or both, and Prometheus lived up to his name once more.
Metallurgy is said to have been invented around 10,000 years ago by miners in central Asia who wanted to make spears and knives more efficient. They discovered that by heating metal objects (iron mainly) they could improve their cutting ability. Before this discovery, people used stone tools, which were not very effective for killing large animals. Thus, metal tools enabled humans to kill far more food than they could before they got together and shared their knowledge!
Fire was another important tool used by humans at an early stage. It allowed them to cook their food faster and also help them ward off evil spirits. Without fire, humanity would have had no chance of surviving, as we know it today!
Why is Jupiter so adamant about denying humanity access to fire? Jupiter refuses to give humans fire one day because he is terrified that mankind may one day become stronger and smarter than the gods. Jupiter's retribution was to make humanity 10 times as wretched as they were before by putting sicknesses and concerns on them. Therefore, Jupiter has banned all forms of fire technology in an attempt to keep mankind weak and under his control.
Jupiter also refuses to give humans tools because he is afraid that they might use them to harm themselves. He wants humanity to suffer; therefore, he made sure that they were deprived of the ability to handle fire. Even though humans are not allowed to have fire, that doesn't stop them from trying. Every now and then, they develop new technologies that allow them to do things that Jupiter hasn't yet decided how to punish them for.
It's possible that Jupiter has given up hope of preventing mankind from learning how to create fire and simply treats them as doomed beings who will always be dependent on their gods for help.
Fire was such a vital part of human life that when it came time to create heaven and earth, God gave humanity both fire and water because he knew that they would never be able to survive without them.
Before fire, the only way for humans to destroy themselves or other creatures was with their bare hands or by using crude weapons.