In Greek mythology, Atlas was not an ordinary person but rather a Titan, a group of primordial and powerful beings who predated the Olympian gods. He was the son of Iapetus and Clymene and a brother to several other Titans, including Prometheus and Epimetheus.
In one of the most well-known myths involving Atlas, he led the Titans in a war against the Olympian gods for control of the cosmos. However, the Titans were defeated, and as punishment, Zeus condemned Atlas to hold up the celestial heavens on his shoulders for eternity. This act is often depicted in art and literature, where Atlas is shown as a mighty figure bearing the weight of the heavens.
Due to his role as the “bearer of the heavens,” the term “atlas” has also been used metaphorically to refer to a collection of maps or a book of maps, reflecting the idea of carrying the weight of the world’s geographic knowledge.
In summary, Atlas was a Titan in Greek mythology, known for his eternal punishment of holding up the sky and serving as a symbol of strength and endurance.