"Prometheus, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire ... but I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction." [Zeus to Prometheus 1. Hesiod, Works and Days 55 - Greek Epic C8th-7th BC]
"Sh! sh! Don't call me by my name; you will be my ruin, if Zeus should see me here. But, if you want me to tell you how things are going in heaven, take this umbrella and shield me, so that the gods don't see me." [Prometheus to Pisthetairos, Aristophanes Birds 1494 – Greek Comedy C5th BC]
Prometheus (proh-mee'-thee-uhs) was a rebel. And though he was a god before Zeus and fought for Zeus against Kronos, he feared that the new Olympians had no compassion for each other or the mortals, his own beloved creations.
Zeus believed knowledge and divine gifts would only bring misery to man. But despite Zeus’ warning, Prometheus stole fire from Zeus and gave it to the mortals in their dark caves. The gift of divine fire unleashed a flood of creativeness, progress and respect for the immortal gods in the rapidly developing mortals.
For his crime, Zeus shackled Prometheus to the side of a crag, high in the Caucasus Mountains. Each day, Zeus’ eagle would torment him by tearing at his liver. Each night, the torn flesh would mend so the eagle could begin anew the next day. There, Prometheus remained thirteen generations until Herakles freed him.
Prometheus means forethought, or gift of mind, and it is his gift of fire that symbolizes man's development of art and civilization, indeed, progress. Prometheus gave us technology with its promise to better our lives, but not without respect for it and the gods. Have we forgotten Prometheus’ Promise?
Image of ancient Greek pottery painting courtesy of www.Theoi.com.
This site contains samples of my poetry and prose, a little bit of philosophy, art, business, history and even science, commentary on life as we know it. Hopefully, the contents here will make you think and just as importantly, make you feel. It will be updated monthly as newer pieces replace those that have "seen the light of day." Feel free to email me your thoughts and suggestions at the link below.
- Prometheus Promise
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