Prometheus Invents striking fire. A.M. 2317.

WAG 7664


This is part of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. Prometheus was a Titan and the son of Iapetus and Clymene. He is presented as a protector and benefactor of mankind because of two famous tricks he played on Zeus. Firstly, he made him set a precedent about what mortals should sacrifice to the gods when he coerced Zeus to choose bones disguised in fat rather than meat. From then on, humans sacrificed bones to the gods and kept the meat for themselves. Secondly, when as a punishment for this Zeus decided to hide fire from mortals, Prometheus was able to steal it back for them. Even more angry at this, Zeus then had the first woman, Pandora, created so she could wreak havoc on the lives of men. He also had Prometheus chained to a rock where his liver was eaten by eagles every day only to regenerate each night.