Greek Myth – How the Turtle was created When the war between the Titans and the Gods was over, Zeus had commanded the two conquered Titans Prometheus and Epimetheus to create a new being, one of higher intelligence, that could rule over the animals but be the slaves to the Gods. Prometheus and Epimetheus agreed, and Prometheus got some dust from the Earth, mixed it with some water, and made some clay. This he set before Epimetheus and himself, and they set to work on how they would make this new being. The task was not an easy one. Prometheus and Epimetheus argued terribly, mostly over what the new being would look like. Epimetheus wanted the new being to look like the Gods themselves, to be moulded in the Gods image. This, Prometheus argued, would make the new being too much like the Gods, and eventually they would overthrow them and mutiny. Prometheus wanted the new being to be like the animals, walking on four legs, head bowed low, in humble service to the Gods.
Epimetheus argued that if this was to happen, a new being of higher intelligence would not be created, a smarter animal would. And so they argued, and all through their arguments earthquakes could be felt throughout the earth. This was because the clay that Prometheus had fashioned had continuously been changed and changed again into many shapes during the course of their argument. In the beginning, it was just a lump of clay. Then Epimetheus fashioned it into a shape of a man, in the image of the Prometheus twisted it into a beast of burden, like an animal. Then Epimetheus twisted it back, and Prometheus back, and so on, until the lump of clay that was formless and shapeless had taken the look of a twisted, warped, God-shaped animal. It still had its familiar lumpy look, but the limbs of countless animals and the heads of a different men were still there.
Prometheus and Epimetheus had argued long and hard and the warped piece of clay showed it. Zeus heard about this, and he confronted the two Titans. “What is this?” Zeus thundered. “Is this to be the new being that is to rule over the animals??? This is no more than a rock with legs! Banish it to the sea, the land, and the watery valleys, for it is not suitable even in the face of Pluto. Fashion yourselves a new piece of clay and make sure you get it right this time.” So harsh was the wrath of Zeus that Prometheus hastily agreed with Epimetheus, and the new being was to be made in the God’s image. Prometheus looked at the warped piece of clay, grabbed it, and breaking it into 3 pieces, sent it hurtling towards the earth.
One animal shaped piece landed in the sea, one on land, and one in the marshy, watery valleys. Then Prometheus set out with Epimetheus to create this new being. The pieces landed in all of their respective places, but one piece, the one that landed on land, came into the hands of the God Eros. Eros was fascinated by this creature, for it was wise, because of the man-like shape and knowledge given to it by Epimetheus, and it had its own home on its back due to the lumpy clay and the animal qualities given to it by Prometheus. Eros breathed his life giving breath into the clay, and the new being formed.
He called it the Turtle. Eros then travelled all around the earth and looked for the other 2 pieces. He found them, brought them all to life, and left them to populate on the earth. This they did. The turtle had its own home on its back, due to the lumpy clay which did not form.
In the case of the sea turtle, it only laid its eggs once a year. This was because of Prometheus and how he broke the clay. The third piece was the one that landed in the water, but this turtle had more of the lumpy shell that the others had. The others could store their eggs in their home, and they laid eggs more frequently because they had less space. But the sea turtle had the more room in its shell, and she could store more eggs, so that is why the sea turtles lay eggs once a year, and the origins of the Turtle.