Publius Vergilius Maro called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues, the Georgics, the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets, his Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome since the time of its composition. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and reach Italy, where his descendants Romulus and Remus were to found the city of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante's Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory. Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius, Virgil's editor, incorporated into the biography by Suetonius and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry.
Although the commentaries no doubt record much factual information about Virgil, some of their evidence can be shown to rely on inferences made from his poetry and allegorizing. The tradition holds that Virgil was born in the village near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul. Analysis of his name has led to beliefs. Modern speculation is not supported by narrative evidence either from his own writings or his biographers. Macrobius says, he attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum and Naples. After considering a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry. According to Robert Seymour Conway, the only ancient source which reports the actual distance between Andes and Mantua is a surviving fragment from the works of Marcus Valerius Probus. Probus flourished during the reign of Nero. Probus reports. Conway translated this to a distance of 28 English miles. Little is known about the family of Virgil, his father belonged to gens Vergilia, his mother belonged to gens Magia. According to Conway, gens Vergilia is poorly attested in inscriptions from the entire Northern Italy, where Mantua is located.
Among thousands of surviving ancient inscriptions from this region, there are only 8 or 9 mentions of individuals called "Vergilius" or "Vergilia". Out of these mentions, three appear in inscriptions from Verona, one in an inscription from Calvisano. Conway theorized. Calvisano is located 30 Roman miles from Mantua, would fit with Probus' description of Andes; the inscription in this case is a votive offering to the Matronae by a woman called Vergilia, asking the goddesses to deliver from danger another woman, called Munatia. Conway notes that the offering belongs to a common type for this era, where women made requests for deities to preserve the lives of female loved ones who were pregnant and were about to give birth. In most cases, the woman making the request was the mother of a woman, pregnant or otherwise in danger. Though there is another inscription from Calvisano, where a woman asks the deities to preserve the life of her sister. Munatia, the woman who Vergilia wished to protect, was a close relative of Vergilia or Vergilia's daughter.
The name "Munatia" indicates that this woman was a member of gens Munatia, makes it that Vergilia married into this family. According to the commentators, Virgil received his first education when he was five years old and he went to Cremona and Rome to study rhetoric and astronomy, which he soon abandoned for philosophy. From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus' neoteric circle. According to Servius, schoolmates considered Virgil shy and reserved, he was nicknamed "Parthenias" or "maiden" because of his social aloofness. Virgil seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life and in some ways lived the life of an invalid. According to the Catalepton, he began to write poetry while in the Epicurean school of Siro the Epicurean at Naples. A group of small works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana, but are considered spurious by scholars.
One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen short poems, some of which may be Virgil's, another, a short narrative poem titled the Culex, was attributed to Virgil as early as the 1st century AD. The biographical tradition asserts that Virgil began the hexameter Eclogues in 42 BC and it is thought that the collection was published around 39–38 BC, although this is controversial; the Eclogues are a group of ten poems modeled on the bucolic hexameter poetry of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus. After his victory in the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, fought against the army led by the assassins of Julius Caesar, Octavian tried to pay off his veterans with land expropriated from towns in northern Italy including, according to the traditi
Scribonia (wife of Octavian)
Scribonia was the second wife of Octavian the Roman Emperor Augustus, the mother of his only natural child, Julia the Elder. Through her youngest daughter she was the mother-in-law of the Emperor Tiberius, great-grandmother of the Emperor Caligula and Empress Agrippina the Younger, great-great grandmother of the Emperor Nero. Scribonia's parentage is unclear, it is known for certain that the name of her mother was Sentia, whose ancestors had been directors of the mint. Her father is another matter; the most cited possibility was the praetor of that name of 80 BC. If this is so she was the younger sister of a brother of the same name, consul in 34 BC, whose daughter, another Scribonia, married Sextus Pompey. Another less common hypothesis was that she was a second daughter of the consul of 34 BC, rather than his sister, she was married three times. The name of the first is unknown, but it has been suggested that he was Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, consul 56 BC, because of the existence of an inscription that refers to freedmen of Scribonia and her son Cornelius Marcellinus after 39 BC.
This indicates she had a son from her first marriage, living with her after she was divorced from Octavian. Suetonius makes no mention of him, only acknowledging her children from her second and third marriages, indicating that the young Marcellinus died young, her second husband was a Publius Cornelius Scipio. The most proposed theory is Publius Cornelius Scipio, a consul suffect in 35 BC, descended from Scipio Aemilianus Africanus Numantinus and probable second-born or adopted son of Metellus Scipio, they had two children. In 40 BC Scribonia was forced to divorce her second husband and marry Octavian who in turn had divorced his wife Clodia Pulchra. Octavian's motive in marrying Scribonia was to cement a political alliance with Sextus Pompey, husband to Scribonia's niece; the marriage was unhappy. He wrote that he was "unable to put up with her shrewish disposition." He remarried to Livia Drusilla soon after. Scribonia herself never remarried and appears to have continued to be known as the wife of Caesar thereafter.
In 6 BC or 5 BC, Augustus arranged a marriage between their granddaughter, Julia the Younger, to Lucius Aemilius Paullus, Cornelia's son and Scribonia's grandson, demonstrating his desire to maintain connections with his second wife's family. Despite her reputation from some modern historians as being "tiresome" and "morose" based on Octavian's reasons for divorce, she appears to have been a figure of some repute and standing. In 16 BC, the same year that her son rose to the consulship, her daughter Cornelia died and became the subject of an elegy by Propertius, in which Scribonia is mentioned. Nor have I wronged you, mother, my sweet origin: what do you wish changed in me, except my fate? My mother’s tears and the city’s grief exalt me, my bones are protected by Caesar’s moans, he laments that living I was worthy sister to his daughter, we have seen a god’s tears fall. Suetonius notes Scribonia's affiliation with Scribonius Aphrodisius and pupil of Lucius Orbilius Pupillus, he was afterwards purchased by Scribonia to educate her children or herself, he was subsequently manumitted by her.
Based on this, it is possible that she encouraged others as a patroness. Aphrodisius is known to have written a now lost treatise on orthography, in opposition to Verrius Flaccus. In 2 BC, Julia was exiled to Pandateria for possible treason. Scribonia accompanied her voluntarily into exile. Around AD 4, Julia and Scribonia were allowed to return to the mainland and moved to Rhegium, where Augustus granted Julia property and a yearly income. Scribonia remained with her for the fifteen years Julia lived in exile. Julia died in AD 14, shortly after her father's own death. Contemporary historians are vague regarding the circumstances of her death. Scribonia appears to have returned to the family mansion in Rome. Scribonia's last known activity occurred around AD 16. Drusus took his life shortly after. Although Seneca disapproves of Scribonia's advice, referring to her as "gravis femina. 1. Gnaeus Cornelius Lentulus Marcellinus, consul 56 BC, died c. 49 BC. Cornelius Marcellinus, died young after 38 BC. 2.
Publius Cornelius Scipio, consul 35 BC. Publius Cornelius Scipio, consul 16 BC. Cornelia 3. Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Julia the Elder Her great-great-grandson, Marcus Junius Silanus Torquatus, was born during her lifetime. In the novel, I, Robert Graves incorrectly places Scribonia's death shortly before Augustus and Julia's, rather than after. In Alla
Augustus was a Roman statesman and military leader, the first emperor of the Roman Empire, reigning from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. His status as the founder of the Roman Principate has consolidated an enduring legacy as one of the most effective and controversial leaders in human history; the reign of Augustus initiated an era of relative peace known as the Pax Romana. The Roman world was free from large-scale conflict for more than two centuries, despite continuous wars of imperial expansion on the Empire's frontiers and the year-long civil war known as the "Year of the Four Emperors" over the imperial succession. Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus into an old and wealthy equestrian branch of the plebeian gens Octavia, his maternal great-uncle Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC, Octavius was named in Caesar's will as his adopted son and heir. Along with Mark Antony and Marcus Lepidus, he formed the Second Triumvirate to defeat the assassins of Caesar. Following their victory at the Battle of Philippi, the Triumvirate divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators.
The Triumvirate was torn apart by the competing ambitions of its members. Lepidus was driven into exile and stripped of his position, Antony committed suicide following his defeat at the Battle of Actium by Octavian in 31 BC. After the demise of the Second Triumvirate, Augustus restored the outward façade of the free Republic, with governmental power vested in the Roman Senate, the executive magistrates, the legislative assemblies. In reality, however, he retained his autocratic power over the Republic as a military dictator. By law, Augustus held a collection of powers granted to him for life by the Senate, including supreme military command, those of tribune and censor, it took several years for Augustus to develop the framework within which a formally republican state could be led under his sole rule. He rejected monarchical titles, instead called himself Princeps Civitatis; the resulting constitutional framework became known as the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. Augustus enlarged the Empire, annexing Egypt, Pannonia and Raetia, expanding possessions in Africa, completing the conquest of Hispania, but suffered a major setback in Germania.
Beyond the frontiers, he secured the Empire with a buffer region of client states and made peace with the Parthian Empire through diplomacy. He reformed the Roman system of taxation, developed networks of roads with an official courier system, established a standing army, established the Praetorian Guard, created official police and fire-fighting services for Rome, rebuilt much of the city during his reign. Augustus died in AD 14 at the age of 75 from natural causes. However, there were unconfirmed rumors, he was succeeded as emperor by his adopted son Tiberius. As a consequence of Roman customs and personal preference, Augustus was known by many names throughout his life: Gaius Octavius Thurinus: He received his birth name, after his biological father, in 63 BC. "Gaius" was his praenomen, "Octavius" was his nomen, "Thurinus" was his cognomen. His rival Mark Antony used the name "Thurinus" as an insult, to which Augustus replied, surprised that "using his old name was thought to be an insult".
Gaius Julius Caesar: After he was adopted by Julius Caesar, he adopted Caesar's name in accordance with Roman naming conventions. While he dropped all references to the gens Octavia, people colloquially added the epithet Octavianus to his legal name, either to differentiate him from his adoptive father or to highlight his more modest origins. Modern historians refer to him using the anglicized form "Octavian" between 44 BC and 27 BC. Gaius Julius Caesar Divi Filius: Two years after his adoption, he founded the Temple of Caesar additionally adding the title Divi Filius to his name in attempt to strengthen his political ties to Caesar's former soldiers, following the deification of Caesar. Imperator Caesar Divi Filius: From 38 BC, Octavian opted to use Imperator, the title by which troops hailed their leader after military success, his name is translated as "Commander Caesar, Son of the Divine". Imperator Caesar Divi Filius Augustus: Following his 31 BC defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra on his own insistence, the Roman Senate granted him the additional name, "Augustus", which he added to his previous names thereafter.
Historians use this name to refer to him from 27 BC until his death in AD 14. While his paternal family was from the town of Velletri 40 kilometres from Rome, Augustus was born in the city of Rome on 23 September 63 BC, he was born at Ox Head, a small property on the Palatine Hill close to the Roman Forum. He was given the name Gaius Octavius Thurinus, his cognomen commemorating his father's victory at Thurii over a rebellious band of slaves. Suetonius wrote: "There are many indications that the Octavian family was in days of old a distinguished one at Velitrae; this man was leader in a war with a neighbouring town..." Due to the crowded nature of Rome at the time, Octavius was taken to his father's home village at Velletri to be raised. Octavius mentions his father's equestrian family only in his memoirs, his paternal great-grandfather Gaius Octavius was a military tribune in Sicily during the Second Punic War. His grandfather had served in several lo
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The surviving portions of his two major works—the Annals and the Histories—examine the reigns of the emperors Tiberius, Claudius and those who reigned in the Year of the Four Emperors; these two works span the history of the Roman Empire from the death of Augustus, in 14 AD, to the years of the First Jewish–Roman War, in 70 AD. There are substantial lacunae in the surviving texts, including a gap in the Annals, four books long. Tacitus' other writings discuss oratory and the life of his father-in-law, the general responsible for much of the Roman conquest of Britain focusing on his campaign in Britannia. Tacitus is considered to be one of the greatest Roman historians, he lived in what has been called the Silver Age of Latin literature, is known for the brevity and compactness of his Latin prose, as well as for his penetrating insights into the psychology of power politics. Details about his personal life are scarce.
What little is known comes from scattered hints throughout his work, the letters of his friend and admirer Pliny the Younger, an inscription found at Mylasa in Caria. Tacitus was born in 57 to an equestrian family. One scholar's suggestion of Sextus has gained no approval. Most of the older aristocratic families failed to survive the proscriptions which took place at the end of the Republic, Tacitus makes it clear that he owed his rank to the Flavian emperors; the claim that he was descended from a freedman is derived from a speech in his writings which asserts that many senators and knights were descended from freedmen, but this is disputed. His father may have been the Cornelius Tacitus who served as procurator of Germania. There is no mention of Tacitus suffering such a condition, but it is possible that this refers to a brother—if Cornelius was indeed his father; the friendship between the younger Pliny and Tacitus leads some scholars to conclude that they were both the offspring of wealthy provincial families.
The province of his birth remains unknown, though various conjectures suggest Gallia Belgica, Gallia Narbonensis or Northern Italy. His marriage to the daughter of Narbonensian senator Gnaeus Julius Agricola implies that he came from Gallia Narbonensis. Tacitus' dedication to Lucius Fabius Justus in the Dialogus may indicate a connection with Spain, his friendship with Pliny suggests origins in northern Italy. No evidence exists, that Pliny's friends from northern Italy knew Tacitus, nor do Pliny's letters hint that the two men had a common background. Pliny Book 9, Letter 23 reports that, when he was asked if he was Italian or provincial, he gave an unclear answer, so was asked if he was Tacitus or Pliny. Since Pliny was from Italy, some infer that Tacitus was from the provinces Gallia Narbonensis, his ancestry, his skill in oratory, his sympathetic depiction of barbarians who resisted Roman rule have led some to suggest that he was a Celt. This belief stems from the fact that the Celts who had occupied Gaul prior to the Roman invasion were famous for their skill in oratory, had been subjugated by Rome.
As a young man, Tacitus studied rhetoric in Rome to prepare for a career in law and politics. In 77 or 78, he married daughter of the famous general Agricola. Little is known of their domestic life, save that Tacitus loved the outdoors, he started his career under Vespasian, but entered political life as a quaestor in 81 or 82 under Titus. He advanced through the cursus honorum, becoming praetor in 88 and a quindecimvir, a member of the priestly college in charge of the Sibylline Books and the Secular games, he gained acclaim as an orator. He served in the provinces from c. 89 to c. 93, either in command of a legion or in a civilian post. He and his property survived Domitian's reign of terror, but the experience left him jaded and ashamed at his own complicity, giving him the hatred of tyranny evident in his works; the Agricola, chs. 44–45, is illustrative: Agricola was spared those years during which Domitian, leaving now no interval or breathing space of time, but, as it were, with one continuous blow, drained the life-blood of the Commonwealth...
It was not long before our hands dragged Helvidius to prison, before we gazed on the dying looks of Mauricus and Rusticus, before we were steeped in Senecio's innocent blood. Nero turned his eyes away, did not gaze upon the atrocities which he ordered. From his seat in the Senate, he became suffect consul in 97 during the reign of Nerva, being the first of his family to do so. During his tenure, he reached the height of his fame as an orator when he delivered the funeral oration for the famous veteran soldier Lucius Verginius Rufus. In the following year, he wrote and published the Agricola and Germania, foreshadowing the literary endeav
The equites constituted the second of the property-based classes of ancient Rome, ranking below the senatorial class. A member of the equestrian order was known as an eques. During the Roman kingdom and the 1st century of the Roman Republic, legionary cavalry was recruited from the ranks of the patricians, who were expected to provide six centuriae of cavalry. Around 400 BC, 12 more centuriae of cavalry were established and these included non-patricians. Around 300 BC the Samnite Wars obliged Rome to double the normal annual military levy from two to four legions, doubling the cavalry levy from 600 to 1,200 horses. Legionary cavalry started to recruit wealthier citizens from outside the 18 centuriae; these new recruits came from the first class of commoners in the centuriate organisation and were not granted the same privileges. By the time of the Second Punic War, all the members of the first class of commoners were required to serve as cavalrymen; the presence of equites in the Roman cavalry diminished in the period 200–88 BC as only equites could serve as the army's senior officers.
After c. 88 BC, equites were no longer drafted into the legionary cavalry, although they remained technically liable to such service throughout the principate era. They continued to supply the senior officers of the army throughout the principate. With the exception of the purely hereditary patricians, the equites were defined by a property threshold; the rank was passed from father to son, although members of the order who at the regular quinquennial census no longer met the property requirement were removed from the order's rolls by the Roman censors. In the late republic, the property threshold stood at 50,000 denarii and was doubled to 100,000 by the emperor Augustus – the equivalent to the annual salaries of 450 contemporary legionaries. In the republican period, Roman senators and their offspring became an unofficial elite within the equestrian order; as senators' abilities to engage in commerce was limited by law, the bulk of non-agricultural activities were in the hands of non-senatorial equites.
As well as holding large landed estates, equites came to dominate mining and manufacturing industry. In particular, tax farming companies were all in the hands of equites. Under Augustus, the senatorial elite was given formal status with a higher wealth threshold and superior rank and privileges to ordinary equites. During the principate, equites filled the senior administrative and military posts of the imperial government. There was a clear division between jobs reserved for senators and those reserved for non-senatorial equites, but the career structure of both groups was broadly similar: a period of junior administrative posts in Rome or Italy, followed by a period of military service as a senior army officer, followed by senior administrative or military posts in the provinces. Senators and equites formed a tiny elite of under 10,000 members who monopolised political and economic power in an empire of about 60 million inhabitants. During the 3rd century AD, power shifted from the Italian aristocracy to a class of equites who had earned their membership by distinguished military service rising from the ranks: career military officers from the provinces who displaced the Italian aristocrats in the top military posts, under Diocletian from the top civilian positions also.
This reduced the Italian aristocracy to an idle, but immensely wealthy, group of landowners. During the 4th century, the status of equites was debased to insignificance by excessive grants of the rank. At the same time the ranks of senators were swollen to over 4,000 by the establishment of a second senate in Constantinople and the tripling of the membership of both senates; the senatorial order of the 4th century was thus the equivalent of the equestrian order of the principate. According to Roman legend, Rome was founded by its first king, Romulus, in 753 BC. However, archaeological evidence suggests that Rome did not acquire the character of a unified city-state until ca. 625 BC. Roman tradition relates that the Order of Knights was founded by Romulus, who established a cavalry regiment of 300 men called the Celeres to act as his personal escort, with each of the three Roman "tribes" supplying 100 horse; this cavalry regiment was doubled in size to 600 men by King Lucius Tarquinius Priscus.
That the cavalry was increased to 600 during the regal era is plausible, as in the early republic the cavalry fielded remained 600-strong. However, according to Livy, King Servius Tullius established a further 12 centuriae of equites, a further tripling of the cavalry, but this is anachronistic, as it would have resulted in a contingent of 1,800 horse, incongruously large, compared to the heavy infantry, only 6,000-strong in the late regal period. Instead, the additional 12 centuriae were created at a stage around 400 BC, but these new units were political not military, most designed to admit plebeians to the Order of Knights. Equites were provided with a sum of money by the state to purc
Glory is used to describe the manifestation of God's presence as perceived by humans according to the Abrahamic religions. Divine glory is an important motif throughout Christian theology, where God is regarded as the most glorious being in existence, it is considered that human beings are created in the Image of God and can share or participate, imperfectly, in divine glory as image-bearers, thus Christians are instructed to "let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, glorify your Father, in heaven." "Glory" is one of the most common praise words in scripture. In the Hebrew Bible, the concept of glory is expressed with several Hebrew words, including Hod and kavod; these original Hebrew Bible concepts for glory were translated in the Christian Testament as the Greek word doxa. The Hebrew word kavod has meant "importance", "weight", "deference", or "heaviness", but kavod means "glory", "respect", "honor", "majesty". In translating the Hebrew Bible, the Greek word used is δόξα, a word appearing extensively in the New Testament, written in Greek.
Doxa means "judgment, opinion", by extension, "good reputation, honor". St. Augustine rendered it as clara notitia cum laude, "brilliant celebrity with praise". In Exodus 33:19, Moses is told that no human being can see the glory of Yahweh and survive: And the Lord said to Moses, “This thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, I know you by name.” Moses said, “Please show me your glory.” And he said, “I will make all my goodness pass before you and will proclaim before you my name ‘The Lord.’ And I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, will show mercy on whom I will show mercy." But, he said, “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by me where you shall stand on the rock, while my glory passes by I will put you in a cleft of the rock, I will cover you with my hand until I have passed by. I will take away my hand, you shall see my back, but my face shall not be seen.” The prophet Ezekiel writes in his vision: And upward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were gleaming metal, like the appearance of fire enclosed all around.
And downward from what had the appearance of his waist I saw as it were the appearance of fire, there was brightness around him. Like the appearance of the bow, in the cloud on the day of rain, so was the appearance of the brightness all around; such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face, I heard the voice of one speaking. In the New Testament, the corresponding word is the Greek: δοξα, sometimes translated "brightness". For example, at the nativity of Christ: In the countryside close by there were shepherds out in the fields keeping guard over their sheep during the watches of the night. An angel of the Lord stood over them and the glory of the Lord shone round them, they were terrified. Look, I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared by the whole people.' In the event known as the Transfiguration of Jesus and Elijah appeared in glory with Jesus, the disciples who witnessed this revelation, Peter and John,'saw his glory'. In the gospel of John, Jesus says that His destiny begins to be fulfilled when Judas Iscariot sets out to betray Him: Now the Son of Man is glorified, God is glorified in Him (John 13:31.
Jesus subsequently addresses a long prayer to His Father in which he says: I have glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. Now, glorify me with that glory I had with you before the world existed. Catholic doctrine asserts. Catholic doctrine teaches, that God does not seek to be glorified for his own sake, but for the sake of mankind that they may know Him; the theologian C. S. Lewis, in his essay The Weight of Glory, writes "Glory suggests two ideas to me, of which one seems wicked and the other ridiculous. Either glory means to me fame, or it means luminosity." He concludes that glory should be understood in the former sense, but states that one should not desire fame before men, but fame before God. Glorification is the term used in the Orthodox Christian Church for the official recognition of a person as a saint of the Church; the Orthodox Christian term theosis is equivalent to the Protestant concept of glorification. It is in this sense that the resurrected bodies of the righteous will be "glorified" at the Second Coming.
As the soul was illuminated through theosis so the restored body will be illuminated by the grace of God when it is "changed" at the Parousia. This glorified body will be like the resurrected body of Jesus. In his dissertation "Concerning the End for which God Created the World", Jonathan Edwards concludes, "t appears that all, spoken of in the Scripture as an ultimate end of God's works is included in that one phrase, `the glory of God'." There are two events that occur during glorification, these are "the receiving of perfection by the elect before entering into the kingdom of heaven," and "the receiving of the resurrection bodies by the elect" Glorification is the third stage of Christian development. The first being justification sanctification, glorification. Glorification is the full reali
In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, culture hero, trickster figure, credited with the creation of man from clay, who defies the gods by stealing fire and giving it to humanity, an act that enabled progress and civilisation. Prometheus is known for his intelligence and as a champion of mankind and seen as the author of the human arts and sciences generally, he is sometimes presented as the father of the hero of the Greek flood story. The punishment of Prometheus as a consequence of the theft is a major theme of his mythology, is a popular subject of both ancient and modern art. Zeus, king of the Olympian gods, sentenced the Titan to eternal torment for his transgression; the immortal Prometheus was bound to a rock, where each day an eagle, the emblem of Zeus, was sent to feed on his liver, which would grow back overnight to be eaten again the next day. Prometheus is freed at last by the hero Heracles. In another myth, Prometheus establishes the form of animal sacrifice practiced in ancient Greek religion.
Evidence of a cult to Prometheus himself is not widespread. He was a focus of religious activity at Athens, where he was linked to Athena and Hephaestus, other Greek deities of creative skills and technology. In the Western classical tradition, Prometheus became a figure who represented human striving the quest for scientific knowledge, the risk of overreaching or unintended consequences. In particular, he was regarded in the Romantic era as embodying the lone genius whose efforts to improve human existence could result in tragedy: Mary Shelley, for instance, gave The Modern Prometheus as the subtitle to her novel Frankenstein; the etymology of the theonym prometheus is debated. The classical view is that it signifies "forethought," as that of his brother Epimetheus denotes "afterthought". Hesychius of Alexandria gives Prometheus the variant name of Ithas, adds "whom others call Ithax", describes him as the Herald of the Titans. Kerényi remarks that these names are "not transparent", may be different readings of the same name, while the name "Prometheus" is descriptive.
It has been theorised that it derives from the Proto-Indo-European root that produces the Vedic pra math, "to steal", hence pramathyu-s, "thief", cognate with "Prometheus", the thief of fire. The Vedic myth of fire's theft by Mātariśvan is an analogue to the Greek account. Pramantha was the tool used to create fire; the suggestion that Prometheus was in origin the human "inventor of the fire-sticks, from which fire is kindled" goes back to Diodorus Siculus in the first century BC. The reference is again to the "fire-drill", a worldwide primitive method of fire making using a vertical and a horizontal piece of wood to produce fire by friction; the oldest record of Prometheus is in Hesiod, but stories of theft of fire by a trickster figure are widespread around the world. Some other aspects of the story resemble the Sumerian myth of Enki, a bringer of civilisation who protected humanity against the other gods; that Prometheus descends from the Vedic fire bringer Mātariśvan was a suggestion made in the 19th century which lost favour in the 20th century but is still supported by some.
The first recorded account of the Prometheus myth appeared in the late 8th-century BC Greek epic poet Hesiod's Theogony. He was a son of the Titan Iapetus by Clymene, one of the Oceanids, he was brother to Menoetius and Epimetheus. Hesiod, in Theogony, introduces Prometheus as a lowly challenger to Zeus's omniscience and omnipotence. In the trick at Mekone, a sacrificial meal marking the "settling of accounts" between mortals and immortals, Prometheus played a trick against Zeus, he placed two sacrificial offerings before the Olympian: a selection of beef hidden inside an ox's stomach, the bull's bones wrapped in "glistening fat". Zeus chose the latter. Henceforth, humans would keep that meat for themselves and burn the bones wrapped in fat as an offering to the gods; this angered Zeus. In this version of the myth, the use of fire was known to humans, but withdrawn by Zeus. Prometheus, stole fire back in a giant fennel-stalk and restored it to humanity; this further enraged Zeus. The woman, a "shy maiden", was fashioned by Hephaestus out of clay and Athena helped to adorn her properly.
Hesiod writes, "From her is the race of women and female kind: of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who live amongst mortal men to their great trouble, no helpmeets in hateful poverty, but only in wealth". Prometheus is chained to a rock in the Caucasus for eternity, where his liver is eaten daily by an eagle, only to be regenerated by night, due to his immortality; the eagle is a symbol of Zeus himself. Years the Greek hero Heracles slays the eagle and frees Prometheus from his torment. Hesiod revisits the theft of fire in Works and Days. In it the poet expands upon Zeus's reaction to Prometheus's deception. Not only does Zeus withhold fire from humanity, but "the means of life" as well. Had Prometheus not provoked Zeus's wrath, "you would do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year without working.