Definitions for PROMETHEUSprəˈmi θi əs, -θyus
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(Greek mythology) the Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to mankind; Zeus punished him by chaining him to a rock where an eagle gnawed at his liver until Hercules rescued him
The Titan chiefly honored for stealing fire from Zeus in the stalk of a fennel plant and giving it to mortals for their use. The god of fire and craft.
A moon of the planet Saturn.
Origin: From Προμηθεύς, from πρό + μήδεα
the son of Iapetus (one of the Titans) and Clymene, fabled by the poets to have surpassed all mankind in knowledge, and to have formed men of clay to whom he gave life by means of fire stolen from heaven. Jupiter, being angry at this, sent Mercury to bind Prometheus to Mount Caucasus, where a vulture preyed upon his liver
Origin: [L., fr. Gr. , from to have forethought for.]
In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, culture hero, and trickster figure who is credited with the creation of man from clay and the theft of fire for human use, an act that enabled progress and civilization. He is known for his intelligence and as a champion of humanity. The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is a major theme of his mythology, and is a popular subject of both ancient and modern art. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression. The immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, which would then grow back to be eaten again the next day. In some stories, Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles. In another of his myths, Prometheus establishes the form of animal sacrifice practiced in ancient Greek religion. Evidence of a cult to Prometheus himself is not widespread. 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 Nuttall Encyclopedia
a Titan, the son of lapetus and Klymene, and the brother of Epimetheus (q. v.), who, when the gods, just installed on Olympus, met with men at Mekone to arrange with them as to their dues in sacrifice, came boldly forth as the representative and protector of the human race and slew a bullock in sacrifice, putting the flesh of it in one pile and the entrails with the bones in another, veiled temptingly with fat, and invited Zeus to make his choice, whereupon, knowing well what he was about, Zeus chose the latter, but in revenge took away with him the fire which had been bestowed by the gods upon mortals. It was a strife of wit versus wit, and Prometheus, as the defender of the rights of man, was not to be outwitted even by the gods, so he reached up a hollow fennel stalk to the sun and brought the fire back again, whereupon the strife was transformed into one of force versus force, and Zeus caught the audacious Titan and chained him to a rock on Mount Caucasus, where an eagle gnawed all day at his liver which grew again by night, though, in inflicting this punishment, Zeus was soon visited with a relenting heart, for it was by express commission from him that Hercules, as a son of his, scaled the rock and slew the eagle. The myth is one of the deepest significance, reflecting an old belief, and one which has on it the seal of Christ, as sanctioned of Heaven, that the world was made for man and not man for the world, only there is included within it an expression of the jealousy with which Heaven watches the use mankind make of the gifts that, out of her own special store, she bestows upon them. Prometheus is properly the incarnation of the divine fire latent from the beginning in the soul of man.
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