Article

Prometheus

Ken Dowden

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics


Published online March 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199381135.013.5363

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Prometheus, divine figure associated with the origin of *fire and with *Hephaestus, developed by *Hesiod into a figure of greater weight. The name, of unknown significance, was given the sense ‘Forethought’ by Hesiod, who added a contrasting figure Epimetheus (‘Thinking after the event’). His father is *Iapetus.Local Myth and Cult: (1) At Athens Prometheus and Hephaestus are worshipped by potters (because of the firing of clay?) and in the *Academy. A torch-race in honour of Prometheus probably formed part of a ritual renewal of fire (Deubner, Attische Feste, 211–12, cf. Nilsson, Feste, 173–4). (2) In *Thebes (1) (Paus. 9. 25. 6) one of the *Cabiri is named Prometheus and his son is Aetnaeus (‘of Mt. Etna’, where Hephaestus and the *Cyclopes worked as smiths). (3) *Deucalion is the son of Prometheus (Hes. fr. 2, Acusilaus FGrH 2 F 34, Pind. Ol.

Article.  658 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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