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Fic: Prometheus vs. Zeus

Title: Prometheus vs. Zeus
Author: Pinigir
Fandom: Greek Mythology
Characters/Pairing: Prometheus, Zeus.
Rating: Gen?
Warnings: Nothing, really. Zeus is not shown to be a nice god.
Summary: Zeus's actions towards mankind as seen through the eyes of Prometheus.
Disclaimer: I wish I owned the whole of Greek mythology, but I don't. To be fair, no one really owns it.
Notes: No beta, so all mistakes are mine. If you see them, point them out to me, and I will probably correct them. Also, reviews are much appreciated.

Prometheus vs. Zeus

When the gods had wished to populate the earth, they had come to him and his brother. The two of them had come up with a plan and had quickly started to work. They had created the animals and then they had topped it off with their masterpiece: the humans. These creatures hadn’t been given any of the natural benefits any of the animals had, but they had gotten something better. Prometheus and Epimetheus had created the humans in the image of the gods and had given them a mind to go with it.

Apparently, Zeus had felt threatened by these new, godlike beings, who had almost been equal to the gods. He had wanted them to be the servants of the gods. This was why Zeus had arranged a meeting at which all gods and humans would be present. In this meeting, he had meant to separate gods and humans once and for all. He had planned to do this by dividing the meat both groups would receive from sacrificial animals.

It had been clear to Prometheus that Zeus would have chosen the best parts of the meat for the gods and that he would have left the bad parts behind for the humans. Prometheus just couldn’t let that happen. He had resolved to trick Zeus by covering up the good meat with bones and skin, while covering up the bad meat with fat.

Prometheus’s plan had worked, but Zeus had not been pleased when he had found out he had been tricked. In his anger, Zeus had taken away the gift of fire from humankind. Without fire, humans wouldn’t have been able to survive very long.

Again, Prometheus had had to come up with a ruse. The gift of fire had needed to be returned to the humans. Eventually, Prometheus had done this by stealing fire from the sun, and carrying it back to earth in a tube of fennel. All had been well, until Zeus had found out what had happened.

Zeus had conceived of a new way to punish both the humans and Prometheus. He had given Hephaestus the assignment of creating a woman (the first one), while other gods had been told to give her all the gifts that she needed to be a plague to humankind. The woman thus created had been Pandora, bringer of all gifts.

Prometheus had told his brother not to accept any gift from the gods, but his brother wasn’t much of a thinker. When he had seen the gift they had left on his doorstep, he had forgone all caution and taken her in. Soon, Pandora’s “gifts” had become apparent: all kinds of trouble had been unleashed upon mankind.

Zeus’s mistreatment of humankind hadn’t ended there. After he had already put an end to the Golden Race and the Silver Race, he had planned to bring an end to the Race of Bronze. Because of the misdeeds these humans had done, Zeus had wanted to use a great flood to purge the earth of everything that lived on it.

A new race of humans was to replace the last, in the hope that it would be better than the one before. Prometheus had known that it was never going to work: instead of better, each new race had only seemed to become progressively worse. Zeus hadn’t been susceptible to reason and had proceeded to go ahead with his plans.

In that time, Prometheus had had a son, Deucalion, who had been married to Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora. They had been pious all their lives; they hadn’t deserved to die in this disaster. This was why Prometheus had warned his son about the coming deluge and had told him to build a boat.

It had been a horrible sight to see all the bloated corpses of humans and animals floating in the water, but he could not help but feel relieved when he had discovered that Deucalion and Pyrrha had survived.

Zeus had been irate when he had seen the survivors. Since it had been pointed out to him that Deucalion and Pyrrha had always been pious, Zeus had finally decided to spare them. Prometheus had been very grateful.

In the end, Prometheus hadn’t been spared from Zeus’s wrath. Prometheus had been chained to a mountain in the Caucasus. As if that hadn’t been enough, every day a great eagle would come and feast on his liver, which would grow back over the course of a day. After centuries of this torture, it had been Heracles, Zeus’s son no less, who had freed him.

Prometheus could conclude that even though Zeus was be the king of the gods, he wasn’t the good king others made him out to be. Zeus’s treatment of human beings was proof of this. It seemed funny to him that he himself had been painted as the bad guy, while he had tried to do everything he could to help mankind.


That was it. Tell me what you think!

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
storiwr
Apr. 2nd, 2009 06:55 pm (UTC)
Nice origin/grudge match story. I totally approve of it when gods bicker. lol

I had forgotten about the part where he was chained up to the rock ... and when I got to that part, I started having flashes of how Loki was chained up to a rock, with that snake dripping poison on him.
pinigir
Apr. 2nd, 2009 09:29 pm (UTC)
Yeah, Prometheus has more than a few similarities to Loki. And there is more. Azazel from the Bible/Book of Enoch taught humanity all sorts of (evil) arts and was thrown into a pit for it. There's something like that in Persian mythology as well, but I'm not really familiar with it, so I can't say how far these similarities go.

Enki/Ea, from the Mesopotamian pantheon, has very much in common with Prometheus, but he wasn't chained, as far as I know. There are indications that Prometheus and his myths were at least partially inspired by the myths around Enki. (Enki is one of my favorite gods as well.)

Hm, I really love comparing myths and related ideas to each other.
storiwr
Apr. 2nd, 2009 11:13 pm (UTC)
I really love comparing myths and related ideas to each other.

It really is super fun.
pinigir
Apr. 3rd, 2009 12:01 am (UTC)
It is. And I'm really glad my studies allow me to indulge in this interest somewhat. :D (Not that it has anything to do with writing fiction about it.)
storiwr
Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:24 am (UTC)
Knowledge for knowledge's sake really is pretty awesome, whether you use if for something later on, or just do it for your own gratification. Heck, the braingasims are enough for me to check stuff out sometimes.
pinigir
Apr. 3rd, 2009 10:09 pm (UTC)
Yeah, getting to know and learn new things can be really great.

Nice icon, by the way.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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