Q:

What is a symbol of Prometheus, the Greek god?

A:

Quick Answer

There is no specific symbol associated with Prometheus, but he is most closely associated with fire. Prometheus was the immortal who gave mankind the gift of fire in direct opposition to Zeus' will.

Know More
What is a symbol of Prometheus, the Greek god?
Credit: Marvin E. Newman Photographer's Choice Getty Images

Full Answer

In Greek mythology, Prometheus is one of the TItans, an earlier race of deities that ruled before being overthrown by the Olympian gods. The leader of the Olympians, Zeus, decided to withhold the gift of fire from humanity, but Prometheus hid the fire in a fennel-stalk and gave it to mankind. As punishment, Zeus had Prometheus chained to a rock, where every day his liver was eaten by an eagle. Every night, his liver regenerated, and being immortal, his torment was meant to be eternal. Heracles (better known as Hercules in Latin) found Prometheus, killed the eagle and freed him from his chains.

There are a number of other myths regarding Prometheus. One myth credits Prometheus with shaping the first humans out of clay, giving them their god-like shape. In another story, he tricks Zeus into accepting the bones and fat, rather than the meat, of a sacrificial animal. In all the stories, Prometheus is seen as a benefactor of humanity.

The theft of fire is a common trope in ancient mythology. Similar stories appear in Hebrew mythology, in the Hindu Vedas and in a large number of native American myths. It is reasonable to surmise that fire meant more to ancient people than just a useful tool. Fire also represented the divine spark of wisdom and creativity.

Learn more about Ancient Greece

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What was ancient Greek money called?

    A:

    The most common type of money that was used in Greece was called the drachma and was the official currency of Athens. Although it was Athens currency, it could be used in most of the cities of Greece because Athens had strong trade relations with the rest of the cities.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How did ancient Greek theatre begin?

    A:

    Ancient Greek theatre grew out of festivals honoring the gods and goddesses. Around 700 BC, at the same time ancient Athens rose to political and military power, it became the cultural center of the festival of Dionsysis, god of wine and religious ecstasies. Out of the Dionysia developed three dramatic genres: tragedy in the late 6th century BC, comedy in 486 BC and the satyr play.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What did all the Greek city-states have in common?

    A:

    All the ancient Greek city-states had a common culture, religion and language. Outsiders who did not speak Greek were considered to be barbarians.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the names of famous Greek mathematicians?

    A:

    There are many different Greek mathematicians including Anaxagoras, Apollonius, Archimedes, Archytas, Aristaeus, Aristotle, Bryson, Callippus, Chrysippus, Cleomedes, Conon, Democritus, Dinostratus, Eratosthenes, Euclid, Eutocius, Geminus, Heron, Hipparchus, Hippocrates, Hypatia, Menaechmus, Menelaus, Nicomachus, Nicomedes, Perseus, Plato, Posidonius, Pythagoras, Serenus, Thales, Theaetetus, Theon of Alexandria, Xenocrates and Zenodorus. The Greeks developed pure mathematics in the pre-Euclidean period.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore