Atlas (mythology)

Deity in Greek mythology / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In Greek mythology, Atlas (/ˈætləs/; Greek: Ἄτλας, Átlas) is a Titan condemned to hold up the heavens or sky for eternity after the Titanomachy. Atlas also plays a role in the myths of two of the greatest Greek heroes: Heracles (Hercules in Roman mythology) and Perseus. According to the ancient Greek poet Hesiod, Atlas stood at the ends of the earth in extreme west.[1] Later, he became commonly identified with the Atlas Mountains in northwest Africa and was said to be the first King of Mauretania (modern-day Morocco and west Algeria, not to be confused with the modern-day country of Mauritania).[2] Atlas was said to have been skilled in philosophy, mathematics, and astronomy. In antiquity, he was credited with inventing the first celestial sphere. In some texts, he is even credited with the invention of astronomy itself.[3]

Quick facts: Atlas, Abode, Personal information, Parents, ...
The Farnese Atlas, the oldest surviving representation of the celestial spheres.
AbodeWestern edge of Gaia (the Earth)
Personal information
Roman equivalentAtlas

Atlas was the son of the Titan Iapetus and the Oceanid Asia[4] or Clymene.[5] He was a brother of Epimetheus and Prometheus.[6] He had many children, mostly daughters, the Hesperides, the Hyades, the Pleiades, and the nymph Calypso who lived on the island Ogygia.[7]

The term Atlas has been used to describe a collection of maps since the 16th century when Flemish geographer Gerardus Mercator published his work in honour of the mythological Titan.

The "Atlantic Ocean" is derived from "Sea of Atlas". The name of Atlantis mentioned in Plato's Timaeus' dialogue derives from "Atlantis nesos" (Ancient Greek: Ἀτλαντὶς νῆσος), literally meaning "Atlas's Island".[8]