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Something to Share at Poolside in the Desert
You will of course recall that for making the gift of fire to men–among other things, I now find–Zeus tortured Prometheus on the rocks. Accounts of the precise nature of that torture vary from reporter to reporter. (You’ll commonly have that.) According to one reporter, however, the gift of fire to men was only a “throw-in.” It was another gift from Prometheus to humankind that brought about his eternal agony, else he might have suffered for only a set term had the fire thing been all there was to it.
Prometheus had allied himself with Zeus in that god’s successful rebellion against old Kronos that resulted in Zeus ascending to the position of god of gods. One might say that Prometheus was Zeus’s chief strategist in that endeavor. Upon his ascension to the throne, Zeus not only meted out various superpowers to other gods but also intended the obliteration of humankind to make way for a new race of his own creation. It was this plan that Prometheus thwarted with his gifts to humankind.
What was that other critical gift? This is Aeschylus’s dialogue on the subject between the Chorus and Prometheus amid his torment:
Chorus: Did you perhaps go further than you have told us?
Prometheus: Yes, I stopped mortals from foreseeing doom.
Chorus: What cure did you discover for that sickness?
Prometheus: I sowed in them blind hopes.
Chorus: That was a great help that you gave to men.