Greek Chronicles II: The Gift of Fire

Greek Chronicles II: The Gift of Fire

Man was experiencing his baby steps, he was like a child marvelled by everything the world had to offer, Zeus had been happy since he found renewed purpose as a god, to rule over them, Prometheus out of love for man stayed behind on Earth, teaching them new things. The other gods and immortals found great joy in interacting with them, all was truly well, it was truly a period of great tranquillity.


The first generation of mankind truly lived in a utopia, there was no suffering, the bountiful mother earth, nourished by Demeter, had ample food. They knew no suffering, disease, famine or war. It was truly a golden age. Perhaps this time period is what set the standard for the utopian ideals lot of philosophers preached. All the gods and titans would shape themselves into their size and would go and interact with them, they all loved man, but none could love man more than their creator Prometheus.

Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus were so involved in the lives of man that they spent more time there than on Olympus. The titan was sad that he could not create their female counterpart, which was monotonous, they could not breed and parent their own kind. He sought something that elevate the status of his man befitting what they truly are, creations of god, for that, he decided they should be given fire. Fire would help man reach his pinnacle, man would climb tremendous heights and would do great things.

The Sin of Prometheus

Zeus had warned him explicitly not to give man fire, but Prometheus wanted man to seek greatness, he might have bantered with Zeus and humoured him, Zeus was also his friend, but he was greater than that, he was the King, he knew he was guaranteed to face the wrath of Zeus, but he still chose to go ahead with this journey to get man fire. We can see how much he loved man, he was willing to lose everything so man can seek fulfilment and greatness, his godlike status, his friendship with Zeus, the code of the gods. Everything.

The Perilous Journey

Prometheus had made up his mind. He decided to climb the tallest peak of Olympus, Mytikos. Shade from the peak would conceal his ascent, as he climbed he hardened his resolve, he knew he loved mankind more than his friendship with Zeus, it was worth incurring the wrath of Zeus. He could hear the gods marrying music being played, Apollo strumming his lyre. He reached the forge of Hephaestus, he took a fennel stalk from nearby and lit it from the forge’s fire. But he couldn’t stop a spark from falling on the Cyclope who was sleeping there, the cyclopes groaned in pain, before the Cyclope could realize what was happening, he had ran got down from the mountain with the fire, while breathing on it gently occasionally to nourish its glow, He ran all the way down to the human settlement where he and his brother had made their house. He gifted fire to man.

It can be speculated that he could have just thought man to strike two stones together to create fire, but this was not just a fire which would burn indiscriminately. This was fire from heaven, divine fire. This was a fire which would ignite the fire in man’s heart, which would give him ambition, the fire which would tell man that fire can be made by striking two stones with strength.

Man and Fire

Prometheus showed humans fire, at first they were scared for they never felt the burning feeling. But after he showed them what it was capable of, they were elated, they saw fire as their ally. Prometheus felt a sense of fulfilment since he knew he had done everything for his creations and prepared himself for his retribution.

It did not take long for Zeus to notice the flickering orange dots, his wrath knew no bounds, and his rage was unparalleled. He did not need to know who was responsible for this, his agony had no rival, not even Ouranos displayed such anger, Ouranos was taken down by a son he had no regard for, but Prometheus was someone he considered a true friend, someone who he could confide with as Zeus, not as the king of gods, It was Betrayal of the highest order.