A Titan who stole fire from Olympus and gave it to humankind, for which Zeus chained him to a rock and sent an eagle to eat his liver, which grew back daily.
[Latin Promêtheus, from Greek.]
Prometheus, in Greek mythology, a Titan, known as the friend and benefactor of humanity. Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus were given the task of creating humans and animals and providing them with the endowments they would need to survive. Epimetheus gave the various animals gifts of courage, strength, swiftness, and feathers, fur, and other protective coverings. When it came time to create a being superior to all other creatures, Epimetheus had nothing left to bestow. Prometheus then fashioned humans in a nobler form and enabled them to walk upright. After he went to heaven and stole fire from the gods to give to humanity, he incurred the wrath of Zeus, who had Prometheus chained to a rock. There he was constantly preyed upon by an eagle until he was freed by the hero Hercules.
Ballet: The Creatures of Prometheus (Die Geschöpfe des Prometheus) 3/28 at Vienna's Royal and Imperial Theater, with music by Ludwig van Beethoven, choreography by Neapolitan ballet master Salvator Vizano, 31.
classical deities: Titan, Atlas, Prometheus
Prometheus is reaching out for the
stars with an empty grin on his face.
Arthur Koestler (1905-83), Hungarian-born British author. New York Times (21 July 1969), on the firstmoon-landing.
Man, became man through work, who
stepped out of the animal kingdom as transformer of the natural into the artificial,
who became therefore the magician,
man the creator of social reality,
will always stay the great magician, will always be Prometheus bringing fire
from heaven to earth, will always be Orpheus enthralling nature with his music.
Not until humanity itself dies will art die.
Ernst Fischer (1899-1972), Austrian editor, poet, critic. The Necessity of Art, ch. 5 (1959; tr. 1963).