Atlas was forced by Zeus to hold up the sky.
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Atlas was the leader of the giant Titans who fought a war against the gods
of mount Olympus. The head of the gods was Zeus
who was fighting against his father, the Titan Cronos
, to gain control of the world.
When Zeus won the war, he severely punished Atlas by making him carry the sky on
Atlas was the father of the Pleiades,
theHyades, and the Hesperides. The
Hesperides were the guardians of a tree of golden apples. The earth
goddess Gaea gave the tree to Hera,
the wife of Zeus, as a wedding present.
The tree was in a secret location. Nevertheless, an oracle told Atlas that a
son of Zeus would one day steal the golden apples guarded by his daughters.
For this reason, Atlas refused to let anyone visit his home.
One day, a famous Greek hero, Perseus
passed by where Atlas was living. When Atlas denied hospitality to
him, Perseus, showed Atlas the head of the Gorgon Medusa, which had the ability to turn anything into stone. The giant Atlas was immediately transformed into the homonymous mountains
in northwest Africa.
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