|Abode||Western edge of "Gaia (the Earth)|
|Children||The "Hesperides, the "Hyades, "Hyas, the "Pleiades, "Calypso, "Dione and Maera|
|Parents||"Iapetus and "Asia or "Clymene|
In "Greek mythology, Atlas ("//; "Ancient Greek: Ἄτλας) was a "Titan condemned to hold up the sky for eternity after the "Titanomachy. Although associated with various places, he became commonly identified with the "Atlas Mountains in northwest Africa (modern-day "Morocco, "Algeria and "Tunisia). Atlas was the son of the Titan "Iapetus and the "Oceanid "Asia or "Clymene. He had many children, mostly daughters, the "Hesperides, the "Hyades, the "Pleiades, and the nymph "Calypso who lived on the island "Ogygia. According to the ancient Greek poet "Hesiod, Atlas stood at the ends of the earth towards the "west.
The "etymology of the name Atlas is uncertain. "Virgil took pleasure in translating etymologies of Greek names by combining them with adjectives that explained them: for Atlas his adjective is durus, "hard, enduring", which suggested to George Doig that Virgil was aware of the Greek τλῆναι "to endure"; Doig offers the further possibility that Virgil was aware of "Strabo's remark that the native North African name for this mountain was Douris. Since the Atlas mountains rise in the region inhabited by "Berbers, it has been suggested that the name might be taken from one of the "Berber, specifically ádrār 'mountain'.
Traditionally historical linguists etymologize the Ancient Greek word Ἄτλας ("genitive: Ἄτλαντος) as comprised from copulative α- and the "Proto-Indo-European root *telh₂- 'to uphold, support' (whence also τλῆναι), and which was later reshaped to an nt-stem. However, "Robert Beekes argues that it cannot be expected that this ancient Titan carries an Indo-European name, and that the word is of "Pre-Greek origin, and such words often end in -ant.
Sources describe Atlas as the father, by different goddesses, of numerous children, mostly daughters. Some of these are assigned conflicting or overlapping identities or parentage in different sources.
Atlas and his brother "Menoetius sided with the Titans in their war against the "Olympians, the "Titanomachy. When the Titans were defeated, many of them (including Menoetius) were confined to "Tartarus, but "Zeus condemned Atlas to stand at the western edge of "Gaia (the Earth) and hold up the sky on his shoulders, to prevent the two from resuming their primordial embrace. Thus, he was Atlas Telamon, "enduring Atlas," and became a doublet of "Coeus, the embodiment of the celestial axis around which the heavens revolve.
A common misconception today is that Atlas was forced to hold the Earth on his shoulders, but Classical art shows Atlas holding the "celestial spheres, not a "globe; the solidity of the marble globe borne by the renowned "Farnese Atlas may have aided the conflation, reinforced in the 16th century by the developing usage of atlas to describe a corpus of "terrestrial maps.
In a late story, a giant named Atlas tried to drive a wandering "Perseus from the place where the "Atlas mountains now stand. In "Ovid's telling, Perseus revealed "Medusa's head, turning Atlas to stone (those very mountains) when Atlas tried to drive him away, because Perseus, who went there accidentally and asked Atlas for hospitality, named himself a son of Zeus and a prophecy said that a son of Zeus would steal the golden apples from Atlas' orchard. As is not uncommon in myth, this account cannot be reconciled with the far more common stories of Atlas' dealings with "Heracles, another son of Zeus, who was Perseus' great-grandson and who sought for the golden apples.
According to "Plato, the first king of "Atlantis was also named Atlas, but that Atlas was a son of "Poseidon and the mortal woman Cleito. A "euhemerist origin for Atlas was as a legendary Atlas, king of Mauretania, an expert astronomer.
One of the "Twelve Labors of the hero "Heracles was to fetch some of the golden apples which grow in "Hera's garden, tended by Atlas' daughters, the "Hesperides, and guarded by the dragon "Ladon. Heracles went to Atlas and offered to hold up the heavens while Atlas got the apples from his daughters.
Upon his return with the apples, however, Atlas attempted to trick Heracles into carrying the sky permanently by offering to deliver the apples himself, as anyone who purposely took the burden must carry it forever, or until someone else took it away. Heracles, suspecting Atlas did not intend to return, pretended to agree to Atlas' offer, asking only that Atlas take the sky again for a few minutes so Heracles could rearrange his cloak as padding on his shoulders. When Atlas set down the apples and took the heavens upon his shoulders again, Heracles took the apples and ran away.
The identifying name Aril is inscribed on two 5th-century Etruscan bronze items, a mirror from "Vulci and a ring from an unknown site. Both objects depict the encounter with Atlas of "Hercle, the Etruscan "Heracles, identified by the inscription; they represent rare instances where a figure from "Greek mythology is imported into "Etruscan mythology, but the name is not. The Etruscan name aril is etymologically independent.
Atlas' best-known cultural association is in "cartography. The first publisher to associate the Titan Atlas with a group of maps was the print-seller "Antonio Lafreri, on the engraved title-page he applied to his ad hoc assemblages of maps, Tavole Moderne Di Geografia De La Maggior Parte Del Mondo Di Diversi Autori (1572); however, he did not use the word "atlas" in the title of his work, an innovation of "Gerardus Mercator, who dedicated his "atlas" specifically "to honour the Titan, Atlas, King of "Mauretania, a learned philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer"; he actually depicted the "astronomer king.
In psychology, Atlas is used metaphorically to describe "the personality of someone whose childhood was characterized by excessive responsibilities.
Nautilus Cup. This drinking vessel, for court feasts, depicts Atlas holding the shell on his back. The Walters Art Museum.
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