The Most Epic Myths from Around the World
The Most Epic Myths from Around the World

The Most Epic Myths from Around the World

Larry Holzwarth - April 30, 2021

The Most Epic Myths from Around the World
The tale of Prometheus and his torment is repeated in several mythologies, though with some differences. Wikimedia

20. Prometheus and the creation of humanity

Prometheus is remembered as the god who gifted humanity with fire, incurring the wrath of Zeus. But what is often overlooked is the belief among the ancient Greeks that Prometheus was the Titan who created humanity out of clay. He is just one of many of the ancients credited with the creation of humanity, and some tales tell of Zeus destroying all humanity at least five times. Another tale credits Hephaestus with creating the first woman, Pandora, out of clay. When Pandora introduced the ills of the world by opening her box, Prometheus was credited with restoring hope. Throughout the legends which describe Prometheus he is presented as a divine benefactor of humanity, inclined to risk the wrath of the gods to protect human creatures and ease their burdens on Earth.

His theft of fire so enraged Zeus that he was sentenced to be chained to a rock, tortured by an eagle (a symbol of Zeus) which ate his liver. The ancient Greeks believed the liver to be the repository of emotions. Each night the liver regrew, to be torn out again the following day. Heracles, in Roman mythology known as Hercules, eventually freed Prometheus. Similar tales of theft of fire and the revenge of the gods abound in the mythologies of several cultures around the world, including in the Caucasus, India, North and South America, and Egypt. They all include a god or heroic figure opposed to the selfishness of the gods acting for the benefit of humanity, regardless of the price to themselves.


Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“The Great Flood: Comparisons”. Article, Online

“Romulus and Remus”. Brittany Garcia, World History Encyclopedia. April 18, 2018

“Did the Trojan Horse exist? Classicist tests Greek ‘myths'”. Matt Pickles, Oxford Arts. July 25, 2014

“Japan’s Kamikaze Winds, the Stuff of Legend, May Have Been Real”. Devin Powell, National Geographic. November 5, 2014

“Was Nero Responsible for the Great Fire of Rome?” Article, Sky History. Online

“Christopher Columbus: Five things you thought you knew about the explorer”. Andrew Mach, The Christian Science Monitor. October 10, 2011

“Leif Eriksson: The First Orthodox Christian in America”. Abbot Tryphon, Journey to Orthodoxy. September 10, 2015

“Spices in Medieval Europe”. Marie Josephe Moncorge, (Translated by Jean-Marc Bulit). Maitrait Chiquart. Online

“When was Jesus born?” Article, Inews. December 24, 2019. Online

“Cesarian Section: A Brief History”. Article, History of Medicine, National Library of Medicine (US). Online

“First Council of Nicaea”. Article, Britannica Online. Online

“Why the humble cow is India’s most polarising animal”. Soutik Biswas, BBC News. October 15, 2015

“Beowulf and the Celtic Tradition”. Martin Puhvel. 1979

“Legends of the Sun: From Solar Gods to Flying Chariots”. Luke Doyle, Ancient Origins, mythology. June 2, 2018

“Japanese Creation Story”. Article, Lumen learning World Religions, mythology. Online

“African Mythology”. Article, Online

“How the story of ‘Moana’ and Maui holds up against cultural truths”. Doug Herman, Smithsonian Magazine. December 2, 2016

“Inuit Myth and Legend”. James Houston, Canadian Encyclopedia. February 7, 2006. Online

“Prometheus”. Article, Greek Online