Prometheus was the wisest Titan. His name means "forethought" and he was able to foretell the future. According to Greek Mythology, he was the son of Iapetus, an old Titan and Clymene, a Nymph. Prometheus was the brother of Menoetius, Atlas and Epimetheus. He is depicted as an intelligent figure who had sympathy for humanity.
He fashioned mankind out of clay and when Zeus deprived them of fire he stole some fire from heaven, giving it to mortals for their use. For that, Zeus ordered him to be chained on top of the Caucasus and every day an eagle would come to eat his liver which would grow back each night. He is finally delivered from his torment by Heracles (Hercules)
In literature he is the subject of works by:
- Aeschylus - "Prometheus Bound" (translated by Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
- Robert Southey - "Prometheus the Firegiver"; a poem.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley - "Prometheus Unbound"; a "lyrical drama" in 4 acts.
- Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
- Promethium (an element of the periodic table named after Prometheus)