Mythology Monday: Local Titan Steals Fire, Receives Disproportionate Punishment


Here’s another entry for the “Zeus is an asshole” files. Today, we’re going to talk about Prometheus, and how Zeus punished him for making sure humanity doesn’t freeze to death.

So, to start off with, we have this dude named Prometheus. Prometheus is one of the Titans, being the people who ran things before the Olympians came around and took over. Now, Prometheus is a pretty chill dude, who is quite find of all these new little humans who are running around.

He’s not super happy about the fact that they have to sacrifice all the best parts of the cow to Zeus, however, and decides to go about rectifying this. So he goes up to Zeus and gives him two options, and asks him which one he’d rather have as a sacrifice. Option number one is some actually pretty choice beef in a really gross-looking ox stomach. Option number two is just a bone wrapped in fat that looks tasty, but isn’t really edible.

Zeus, as you can imagine, picks option number two. Which was the wrong choice, since it now means that people get to keep the actual meat and only have to burn bones and fat in offering.

So, because Zeus is a petty bitch, as we’ve established, he decides punishment is in order. But rather than punish the dude who tricked him, Zeus decides to take his ire out on humanity by revoking their fire privileges.

This does not stand with Prometheus, since humans need fire to do things like cook food and not freeze to death, so he does the only thing he can do. He heads back up to Olympus with a fennel stalk and uses it to steal the fire back.

Now this really pisses off Zeus. So he finds Prometheus, chains him to a mountain, and has a giant eagle eat his liver. However, because of the whole immortality thing, Prometheus’s liver grows back during the night. Which is then eaten again by the eagle in the morning, and grows back again, and I think you can probably see where this is going.

This cycle goes on for a ridiculously long time, until Heracles swings by and releases Prometheus.

And the lesson that we’ve learned here is that Zeus is a giant prick who takes his rage issues out on both those who piss him off and people who have nothing to do with it. But I think we already knew all that.

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