The torture of Prometheus
Kazbegi Travel Blog› entry 21 of 30 › view all entries
Last night we drove up the Georgian military highway, the long winding road through spectacular mountain scenery that links Georgia to Russia (at least, it used to, until the border was closed). Working our way up into the Greater Caucasus the mountains were first covered in a blanket of dark green coniferous forest. Higher up we reached the alpine meadows, with a rolling plateau of grass populated by sparse herds of sheep and cattle. Above us further still loom craggy stone peaks of the highest mountains in Europe.
Today we drove up to Gergeti Trinity Church, party way up Mt Kazbegi. We had the choice of hiking up or taking a LADA 4WD, and made the best choice ever in the 4WD. We got up to the plateau while the weather was picture perfect and had an opportunity to walk around on the plateau and picnic in the sun looking out into the spectacular mountains.
Mt Kazbegi is the scene of one of the most dramatic scenes in classical mythology, the torture of Prometheus (or Amirani, in the local variation). Prometheus was a Titan, the elder gods of the world, who chose to side with the Olympians during the Titanomachy and helped Zeus defeat the Titans. After securing victory for Zeus, Prometheus played a minor trick on him, placing two sacrificial offerings before him and allowing him to chose. Zeus chose bull bones wrapped in glistening fat over a side of beer hidden inside an ox's stomach, a foolish choice allowing humans to thereafter keep the meat for themselves after sacrifice to the gods.
As an interesting aside, Prometheus, the bringer of all gifts of civilization, also brought humanity sexual ambiguity, according to Aesop:
"The answer lies once again with Prometheus, the original creator of our common clay.
Somehow this story doesn't seem to be as popular as the Tortoise and the Hare, and so forth.