Prometheus creating the first man.
Graeco-Roman ringstone, 30 BC-200
Chalcedony. 1,3 x 1,2 cm
Inventory number: I85
On the right of this gem a man can be seen holding a chisel and facing a skeletal figure. The motif represents a scene from Greek mythology. The man sitting there is the Titan Prometheus. He is creating the first man, who was given the name of Pharenon. Prometheus was the defender of mankind, which irritated Zeus, who therefore prevented human beings from gaining access to fire and heat. However, Prometheus stole fire and gave it to mankind. As a punishment, Zeus had Prometheus chained naked to a rock, where an eagle ate part of his liver each day. The liver grew again each night so that he could undergo the same painful punishment day after day. Zeus punished mankind by creating the first woman, Pandora. He sent her to the world of human beings with the famous Pandora’s Box which – when it was opened – released evil and sickness into the world.