Euclidian Losers
All over the ancient world there were stories of gods having children with human mate. Sure, the most common stories come from the Greeks and their tag-alongs, the Romans, but the ancient Israelites got in on the action as well. Funny thing is, not only did the prophets of Old Israel know about the coming of Jesus of Nazareth, but Prometheus knew and willingly hid the knowledge from Zeus and the rest of the Olympians.
The best way to understand the melodrama that made up the Classical world is to give a quick and dirty synopsis and introduce the major characters. To make a long story short, a race of Titans came into being., and as with most ruling parties, the Titans engaged in a lot of incest (If you thought the hemophilia caused by the inbreeding of Europe's ruling class was bad, image having children with a hundred heads and one eye). Cronos ruled the Titans, the Titans ruled the Multiverse, the monsters mucked about the earth, and a merry time was had by all. All that is, except Cronos' children. You see, Gaia had told Cronos that one of his children would one day overthrow him. Cronos had always been a picky eater...well, he pick his children, at any rate. One by one, his children disappeared down his gullet like some hellish game of Shoots and Ladders. The only one who escaped becoming a delectable little morsel was Zeus, who eventually tricked his father into regurgitating all his siblings.
Prometheus, a Titan and technically Zeus' first cousin, never could break through the glass ceiling and become a full member of the Olympians, even though he aided Zeus in seizing power from Cronos. It appears that in order to be an Olympian, one had to either be swallowed, threatened with being swallowed, or come into being out of various body parts or fluids.
Anyway, Prometheus was a bit of a thorn in Zeus' side, particularly when it came to humans. Where Zeus wanted nothing better than to see those silly bipeds huddling in caves, Prometheus had better ideas. He taught man how to cloth himself in the flesh of animals for warmth, how to write, read, sail.... In short, he taught man the basics of civilization. All this was bad enough, but when Prometheus secretly gave man fire, the shit hit the fan.
To punish man for accepting the gift of fire, Zeus had Pandora and her famous jar (why it has become thought of as a box is beyond me) made. But for Prometheus, Zeus became downright medieval.
He ordered Prometheus bound in chains to a mountain, but nothing Zeus did could cause the prideful Titan to recant. To add insult to injury, Zeus discovered that Prometheus knew of a prophesy: If Zeus were to have a child with a particular human female, the child would grow to be greater than Zeus and would overthrow all the Olympians. This child would eat lightning and fart thunder. In short, he would be the king of men and gods. Zeus demanded that Prometheus disclose the secret, but the Titan stood firm, even when a great eagle was sent to attack the Titan and eat his liver every day of his immortal existence.
In time, as men became calmer, so did the gods. The myths allowed the eagle to be killed by Hercules (with Zeus' approval) and, in time, an older and mellower Zeus released Prometheus. In gratitude, Prometheus named the woman, who Zeus smartly avoided. Yet, the name Prometheus means "Forethought", and all those years chained to a cold mountain, with an eagle ripping at your organs could conceivably lead to a clever plan, or at least a very bitter individual.
Why tell Zeus the truth? Zeus caused all the evils in Pandora's Jar to be created, tried to drown humanity in a flood (yup. Nearly everyone in the Mediterranean had a flood story); he just wasn't very concerned with humanity (contrary to popular belief, the gods do not play cerebral games like chess. They like games where the contestants have no chance of winning. Go to Hell. Go strait to Hell. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200). In short Prometheus lied. Here's a myth you probably won't find in any book:
One day, while Zeus was checking out the eastern lands of the Mediterranean, his eye fell on a beautiful virgin who dedicated her life to some god Zeus had never actually met, but heard good things about. Very ambitious, heading right up the corporate ladder. Up, up, up.
Anyway, Zeus always did have a liking for virgins, so he came to her and, well... when he left, she was pregnant. After a time, the child was born, grew up, did some miracles, the Romans nailed him to a tree, he died, came back from the dead, and set into motion events that made the Olympians tremble.
You see, Prometheus said that Zeus' son, a son of god, would destroy the Olympians...and that's exactly what Jesus did.