s it, his transgression - of lending fire to the humans he is credited with having created - was punished by Zeus in the form of a notoriously cruel curse. Prometheus would be bound to a rock in the Caucasus and an eagle would eat his liver all day; whatever had been consumed during the day would regenerate overnight and the eagle would be back the next day, continuing this cycle of torture ad infinitum. Prometheus was finally freed from this curse by Zeus’s son, the hero Heracles, and was later allowed to regain his position as god, though still bound by a symbolic ring and a piece of the rock he was tied to as a reminder of his punishment (Grimal 1996).
The poet Hesiod’s account of the Prometheus myth in his Theogony is considered one of its most authoritative versions. In his version, the story of Prometheus’s first notable deception of Zeus - the incident where Prometheus disguises the ox bones with fat and the flesh with the ox hide and fools Zeus into choosing the apparently valuable but actually worthless bones - is described in clearly partisan terms. Prometheus is referred to as “devious and wily” while Zeus is called “far-seeing” and his wisdom is repeatedly praised - “Zeus, whose wisdom is immortal”; “Zeus in his wisdom” and so on. (Morford and Lenardon 2003). We are also told in this version that Zeus “was not unaware of this [Prometheus’s] trick.”
The illustration Atlas and Prometheus, from a 6th century BCE engraving on a Laconian cup, is also interesting in its suggestions (Morford and Lenardon 2003). Atlas is pictured as looking on helplessly, while his brother, Prometheus, is attacked by the eagle. Prometheus is seen tied to a column and Atlas with the weight of the skies on his shoulder. There is also a snake on the extreme left which appears to be attacking Atlas. The representation of both these tormented Titans in the same panel emphasizes the might and wrath of Zeus and may have been a common image among