Essential Library for DWJ fans, and, Homeward Bounders.

JOdel at JOdel at
Tue Apr 17 23:57:41 EDT 2001

In a message dated 4/17/01 6:50:17 PM, sodgers at writes:

>He stole fire from the gods (I think he was a god, but fire was a State
>Secret) and gave it to humankind. For betraying his people (gods) he was
>chained to the rock with an eagle eating his liver, which renewed every day.

Not exactly. 

One of the best (to me) retellings of the Greek creation/hero myths I've ever 
encountered is Leon Garfield & Edward Blishen's The God Beneath the Sea/The 
Golden Shadow  which rather elegantly make a major point of featuring both 
Prometheus's crime/punishment and his eventual unbinding. But then I am nuts 
for the sort of decadently overwritten prose which is a Garfield specialty. 
This is a paraphrase of their version.

Promethius and Epimethius (Foresight and Hindsight) were not Gods, but two of 
the last of the Titans (who had preceded the Gods). The Gods were wary of 
them, but did not care to actively oppose them so long as the brothers' 
actions did not threaten themselves. But Promethius took it upon himself to 
start creating humans. And this worried the Gods. Promethius had his people 
agree to offer sacrifice in worship of the Gods in order to appease them and 
gain their favor and protection, but the intended message was inadvertantly 
garbled and the verdict was that humanity was forbidden the use of fire. 
Promethius realized that without fire, his creations would not survive. So he 
went up to Olympus and stole fire from Hephestus's forge ('Fes let him take 
it) and gave it to humanity. The punishmet is as stated although some 
versions have the bird as a vulture, or a raven even. I can't recall 
Garfield's version. 

The Gods then neutralized Epimethius by sending him Pandora and her dubious 
dowery. Their children intermarried with Promethius's humans which is why 
human nature is not Devine, but Titanic.  

The Golden Shadow, which is a collection of Hero tales builds to its 
climax/cumulation in the unbinding of Promethius by the demigod Heracles.
To unsubscribe, email dwj-request at with the body "unsubscribe".
Visit the archives at

More information about the Dwj mailing list