The myth of Prometheus contained two main elements. The first, best known through the Prometheus pyrphoros, who had brought down fire from the sun in order to succour mankind, and whom Zeus had punished by chaining him to the Caucasus with an eagle feeding on his vitals. The second was the story of Prometheus plasticator who, in some versions, was said to have created or recreated mankind by animating a figure made of clay. This aspect of the myth, little used by the Greeks and unknown to Aeschylus or Hesiod, seems to have been more popular with the Romans.
By about the second or third century A.D., the two elements were fused together, so that the fire stolen by Prometheus was also the fire of life with which he animated his man of clay.