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Atlas, the God of Astronomy

Last Update: 06 Apr 2021

Atlas was punished by the Olympian gods to carry the Heavens upon his shoulders

Family of Atlas

Atlas was the son of Titan Iapetus and Oceanid Clymene and brother of Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. He was married to the Titaness Pleione, who gave birth to the seven sea deities called Pleiades ("the Sailing Ones") and special Nymphs called "Hesperides," also known as the "Daughters of the Evening."

The Punishment of Atlas

Unlike his brothers, Atlas sided with the Titans during the war with the Olympian Gods and acted as their leader, constantly threatening the Olympians. However, the Olympian Gods managed to dethrone the Titans and threw all the Titans into Tartarus, the depths of the underworld. Only Atlas was singled out and received the harshest punishment from King Zeus: he was condemned to hold up the heavens with his bare hands and carry their weight on his shoulders forever. In this way Atlas became the first to know that the earth was spherical.

Furthermore, Atlas must have had a close relationship with the sea, as he knew all the secrets of the ocean floor.

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