Creating the First Creatures to Live on Earth
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The Greek mythology story of creation on Earth begins with the story of Prometheus and Epimetheus, the Titan children and grandsons of Mother Earth. Prometheus was born with the special power of prophecy. He could see the future and therefore knew that Zeus and the Olympians would defeat the Titans. He tried to warn the Titans, hoping that they would change their battle plans but they ignored him. Knowing that the Titans were doomed, Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus pledged their loyalty to Zeus and the Olympians instead.
After the Olympians did in fact defeat the Titans, Zeus rewarded Prometheus and Epimetheus for their loyalty and gave them the job of creating the first creatures to live on Earth. First, Epimetheus formed the animals and sculpted them using dirt, clay, and water. He made sure to give every creature special skills and or ways to protect themselves from danger. For example, the turtle was given a hard shell, the bear was given warm fur, wings were given to birds to fly, the cheetah received the gift of speed, lions and tigers were given sharp claws and teeth and so on. The only thing that Epimetheus didn’t think of was that these special skills and forms of protection would eventually run out, which is exactly what happened before man was created.
While Epimetheus was quick to create all of the other creatures, Prometheus took his time molding man. He wanted to make them look like the gods. He taught man how to plant crops and tame animals but could give them no additional ways to protect themselves since Epimetheus had given all of the forms of protection away.
Prometheus knew man needed some form of protection and asked Zeus if he could let man have fire. Zeus refused. Fire was only for the gods. Prometheus ignored Zeus and gave man fire anyway. He stole it from the gods by lighting his torch in the sun and smuggling it down to Earth. Fire gave manpower. They could now cook food, warm their homes, and make metal tools and weapons. Once Zeus noticed the flames on Earth he became outraged and captured Prometheus. He tied him with chains to a rock far away in the Caucasus Mountains where nobody would find him. Every day Zeus sent an eagle to feast upon Prometheus’ liver, which grew back every day so that Prometheus would have to endure the torture for the rest of time.
Zeus had it out for Prometheus not just because he gave fire to man but also because Prometheus knew a secret about Zeus. Zeus heard a prophecy that one of his sons would overthrow him and he wanted to know who the mother of that son would be. Remember, Prometheus could see into the future and knew who it was. After being tortured for some time, Prometheus finally agreed to tell Prometheus who it was. The mother of the child that would overthrow Zeus was Metis. After he was told the secret, Zeus agreed to set Prometheus free. Zeus devises a plan that would make his favorite son, Heracles, a hero. Heracles, while traveling found Prometheus and killed the eagle and let Prometheus go.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston