The gods have returned to Earth following a decree from Zeus to become relevant again. As old wounds are opened and new alliances are formed, their stories are laid bare across multiple platforms.
D.M. White contributes at InThePantheon.com as scribe to the Titan, Prometheus. Check out the website for further information, or sign up to the blog to get Prometheus’ story delivered straight to your inbox.
You can follow Prometheus on Twitter @Pro_The_Creator.
The Rise of Man; the Fall of Gods
Current wisdom suggests that the first complex organism evolved many moons ago (600 million years or so, give or take) by two single cells bumping heads, and joining together.
Imagine that; over two billion years of single cells – gizillions of them – going about their daily business, and then, for no apparent reason, two of them get stuck together. It must have sent shockwaves through the cell community. Never before – anywhere in the universe as far as we know – had such an event occurred. What a brazen leap!
And then the damned thing had the cheek to started reproducing. Suddenly we have plants, and then fish, amphibians, mammals, lizards and birds. A short six million years ago our first human ancestor appears. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Sounds pretty fanciful, doesn’t it? Evolution. If it weren’t supported by years of research and study, you wouldn’t believe it. But there it is, the details may be tweaked and clarified, but we can be fairly certain that the deep foundations of the evolutionary principles will stand the test of time.
It is not surprising that the ancient Greeks – without our wisdom and insight – had other views regarding how man came to be. What they believed was something, perhaps, more tangible; that man was made from clay, and that we have the Titan, Prometheus, to thank for our existence.
Prometheus is the grandson of Uranus and the first cousin of Zeus. The first time we properly hear about him is during the Titanomachy. His name means ‘Forethought’, and so it is perhaps not surprising that he became a turncoat and fought against the Titans, including his father (Iapetus – known as the Piercer), and his brothers Atlas and Menoetius, during the war thus playing a fairly sizeable part in sentencing most of his immediate family to eternal damnation in Tartarus.
Prometheus has something of a love/hate relationship with Zeus. In the early days they were close, but both men were ambitious and considered themselves natural leaders, and it no doubt chided Prometheus that it was his cousin who rose to the highest honours in the Pantheon with his charm and superior skill-set. It was Zeus who won all the accolades from the other gods, whilst Prometheus remained side-lined.
After the Titanomachy, Zeus gave Prometheus the task of creating man, which he did using clay. It was Prometheus’ piece de resistance, but Zeus was unimpressed. He was ‘meh’. And his indifference irritated Prometheus, driving a wedge between their relationship.
The strain of the relationship was evident at Mecone. When the gods and men were disputing with one another, Zeus ordered that man must sacrifice a portion of each food to the gods. Prometheus was outraged and decided that he would trick Zeus. He divided a bull into two parts and asked Zeus which portion of food should be sacrificed. Unbeknown to Zeus, Prometheus had wrapped the best parts and the intestines in the skin with the stomach dumped on top (making it look quite revolting). In the second pile Prometheus had placed the bull’s bones which were covered with fat. Zeus picked the bones (thus allowing man to eat the meat). Upon realising that he had been deceived, Zeus was furious and he ordered that fire should be withheld from man as punishment.
Prometheus knew that man would struggle to progress without fire and it pained him to see his children suffering. Unable to watch it any more, Prometheus did the unthinkable and stole fire from the gods to give to man. Zeus, so enraged by the betrayal, then condemned Prometheus to the most savage and cruel punishment he could think up; Prometheus would be chained to a rock in Scythia and have his liver eaten by an eagle. To make his suffering stretch further, each night his liver would magically restore itself, only for the eagle to return the following day. And so Prometheus sacrificed himself so that man could prosper.
Zeus didn’t stop with Prometheus though, he also punished man by creating Pandora and gifting her to Prometheus’ brother, Epimetheus (who had joined Prometheus during the Titanomachy and was now living with man). Prometheus had warned his brother not to accept any gifts from the gods, but such was the beauty of Pandora, Epimetheus could not resist. Pandora brought with her a jar and a warning that the jar should never be opened. Curiosity, however, overcame Pandora, and she opened the jar unleashing all of the evils into the world. Prometheus, tied to his rock, could only watch the pain and suffering of his children.
Despite that, and with the benefit of fire, man did prosper. Man learnt how to communicate and farm, develop societies and create rules and codes. Before long man’s attention turned away from the gods; they didn’t need them anymore and so the gods faded away. Unwanted. Unloved.
As for Prometheus, well Heracles eventually found him in chains on Mount Caucasus and – having obtained Zeus’ consent – killed the eagle and freed the Titan. It is there that his story comes to an abrupt end. For now.
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I can hear tittering in the crowd as they spot me making my way towards the entrance. Goliath is crouching down in the corner of the cage. He looks at me as I enter and gives me a sinister smile. I smile back… Sweat hangs heavy in the stale air, and excited murmuring echoes aroundContinue reading “Goliath”
Eros and Atë turn to have a conversation, and Clio and Erebus talk amongst themselves, leaving me standing awkwardly between them. I wish I’d brought my phone, at least then I could pretend to be talking to someone on it and could excuse myself. I consider disappearing to the toilet when a loud bell sounds.Continue reading “A Pawn, or a King?”
Why would she be looking for me? “I’m here on business,” I say. “I’d heard they’d let you out. I would have visited, but, well, you know…” I look Atë up and down and raise my eyebrows. The outfit hugs her figure, accentuating her curves, and I don’t need to use my skills to knowContinue reading “Ruin or Mischief? Part II”
The door slams open, and there is a marked change in the atmosphere. My senses tingle, but I refrain from looking at the newcomer. A frosty silence hangs in the air. I’m sure there was music playing a few moments ago. I hear stilettos crossing the floor. Slow and steady. The entire bar holds itsContinue reading “Ruin or Mischief? Part I”
“He was only a child when Heracles bludgeoned him to death, but that doesn’t excuse his actions. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind…“ “Welcome back, Avenger,” I say as Alastor stirs. He propels himself forward, only to discover that I’ve bound him to a chair. The ropes cut into him, and heContinue reading “The Avenger (Part II)”
“That’s right, follow your family tree back far enough and you’ll find that you’re related to a lump of clay. Most of mankind has evolved since then, thanks to fire. What can I say except, you’re welcome. I say most because there are still a few humans out there with the IQ of a plantContinue reading “The Avenger (Part 1)”
“It looks like a firefly, and it pings around the cave like a pinball machine, and then flies straight at me and disappears into my abdomen. Fire burns inside of me. It runs through my veins like lava. The pain is excruciating, and I’m sure I must explode. My eyes bulge, my muscles tense, andContinue reading “X Marks the Spot (Part III)”
Nestled between a ribcage and a skull is a wooden box about two hands long. Unremarkable yet mystifying. It looks familiar, but I can’t think why. Why is this box so important? Duncan’s back is an ugly thing, a swamp of hairs and cuts and moles. The map of Tiverna Isle drawn onto it isContinue reading “X Marks the Spot (Part II)”
I watch Captain Rackham’s face carefully and see a flicker of recognition. It is there briefly. I’m sure of it, and then he scowls at the ground. “Plenty of places you can get a wooden box. You need not travel to Tiverna Isle for that.” The wind greets me as I walk onto the deckContinue reading “X Marks the Spot (Part I)”
“I scroll through what’s on offer, and it makes me feel sick. There’s stuff on there that would have you screaming for Freddy Krueger to come back.“ My body aches. I pop six painkillers into a glass of water and watch them fizz aggressively. I never thought I would need mortal medicine, but they seemContinue reading “Answers (Part 3)”
“Welcome back, Pro,” he says jovially and jumps off me. I let out a gasp as my body breathes freely again. “You’ve been out for quite a while. I was worried we might have lost you, and that would have ruined my fun.” “Alastor,” I mumble and peel my left eye open a few millimeters.Continue reading “Answers (Part 2)”
“I enter his mind to see his thoughts and feelings, and it feels like I’ve fallen into quicksand. Entering the minds of mortals is easy, but Heracles is no mere mortal, and he’s pushing me away, although he does not know it.“ It’s a sleep I don’t want to wake up from, but I knowContinue reading “Answers (Part 1)”
“Someone’s playing me, and whoever it is, they’re managing to stay one step ahead of me all of the time. It’s not a position I’m used to; I’m supposed to be the God of Forethought!“ “Police are investigating the death of a family of four discovered on the same day a man’s body was foundContinue reading “A Rock and a Hard Place”
“Whoever “A” is, they are literally playing with fire. First the beak of Koraki, now a load of dead mortals. I will find out who it is, and I will make them suffer.“ “You cannot simply dig into the…the…” “Underworld!” “…the ‘Underworld’ as you put it, without appropriate permissions in place. Building. Planning. There’s aContinue reading “Playing with Fire”
“Then a second dog slowly plods its way into the room, limping on its right paw. It’s a black and white border collie with a shiny coat and wolf-like eyes.”
“When it finished, it would look up at me, its face and beak covered in my blood, and then fly off with a promise to return the same time the next day.”
“Father, do you really require the entire Titan force to take on a few children? I would have thought that Atlas alone could deal with the issue.”
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