In Greek mythology, Prometheus ("forethought") is the Titan who stole fire from the gods and brought it to mortals for their use. He further irritated Zeus by offering the gods in settlement burnt sacrifice of the less appetizing portions of the sacrificial animals. As punishment, he was chained to a rock in the Caucasus where a vulture or an eagle named Ethon would eat out his liver; it would grow back each day and the vulture would eat it again. Eventually he was freed by Heracles and returned to Olympus. As the introducer of fire and inventor of sacrifice he is seen as the patron of human civilization. Uncertain sources claim he was worshipped in ancient Rome.
The chaining of Prometheus to the rock was by some ancient writers compared to a crucifixion. The motif is believed to have been borrowed from the Nart sagas of the Caucasian peoples.