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Ἄτλας). “Bearer” or “Endurer.” The son of the Titan Iapetus and Clymené (or, according to another account, Asia), brother of Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus. In Homer ( Od. i. 52) he is called “the thinker of mischief,” who knows the depths of the whole sea, and has under his care the pillars which hold heaven and earth asunder. In Hesiod he stands at the western end of the earth, near where the Hesperides dwell, holding the broad heaven on his head and unwearied hands. To this condition he is forced by Zeus, according to a later version, as a punishment for the part which he took in the battle with the Titans. By the ocean nymph Pleioné he is father of the Pleiades, and by Aethra of the Hyades. In Homer, the nymph Calypso is also his daughter,

Atlas. (From the Farnese collection now at Naples.)

dwelling on the island Ogygia, the navel of the sea. Later authors make him the father of the Hesperides, by Hesperis. It is to him that Amphitrité flies when pursued by Poseidon. As their knowledge of the West extended, the Greeks transferred the abode of Atlas to the African mountain of the same name. Local stories of a mountain which supported the heaven would, no doubt, encourage the identification. In later times, Atlas was represented as a wealthy king, and owner of the garden of the Hesperides. Perseus, with the head of Medusa, turned him into a rocky mountain for his inhospitality. In works of art he is represented as carrying the heaven, or (after the earth was discovered to be spherical) the terrestrial globe.

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