Atlas was forced by Zeus to hold up the sky.
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Courtesy of the Nova Development and Corel Corporations
Atlas was the son of two Titans. Zeus attacked Cronus to take over as ruler of the gods. Atlas sided with Cronus. When Zeus won, he made Atlas hold up the sky as punishment.
Atlas also helped Heracles. Heracles needed to pick some golden apples for one of his Twelve Labors. Atlas picked them while Heracles and Athena held up the sky.
We now call a book of maps an atlas.
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