In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a Titan, the son of Iapetus and Themis, and brother to Atlas, Epimetheus and Menoetius. He was a champion of human-kind known for his wily intelligence, who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals.
Zeus then punished him for his crime by having him bound to a rock while a great eagle ate his liver every day only to have it grow back to be eaten again the next day. His myth has been treated by a number of ancient sources, in which Prometheus is credited with – or blamed for – playing a pivotal role in the early history of humankind.
In Greek mythology, the satyr Marsyas is a central figure in two stories involving music: in one, he picked up the double flute that had been abandoned by Athena and played it;
in the other, he challenged Apollo to a contest of music and lost his hide (he was flayed alive) and life. In Antiquity, literary sources often emphasise the hubris of Marsyas and the justice of his punishment.
In Greek mythology, Ixion was king of the Lapiths. Ixion married Dia, a daughter of Deioneus and promised his father-in-law a valuable present. However, he did not pay the bride price, so Deioneus stole some of Ixion's horses in retaliation. Ixion concealed his resentment and invited his father-in-law to a feast at Larissa. When Deioneus arrived, Ixion pushed him into a bed of burning coals and wood.
Ixion went mad, defiled by his act; the neighboring princes were so offended by this act of treachery and violation of xenia that they refused to perform the rituals that would cleanse Ixion of his guilt (see catharsis). Thereafter, Ixion lived as an outlaw and shunned. By killing his father-in-law, Ixion was reckoned the first man guilty of kin-slaying in Greek mythology. That alone would warrant him a terrible punishment.
However, Zeus had pity on Ixion and brought him to Olympus and introduced him at the table of the gods. Instead of being grateful, Ixion grew lustful for Hera, Zeus's wife, a further violation of guest-host relations. Ixion was expelled from Olympus and blasted with a thunderbolt. Zeus ordered Hermes to bind Ixion to a burning solar wheel for all eternity, at first spinning across the heavens.
Tityos was a giant from Greek mythology. He was the son of Elara; his father was Zeus. Zeus hid Elara from his wife, Hera, by placing her deep beneath the earth. Tityos attempted to rape Leto at the behest of Hera and was slain by Apollo and Artemis. As punishment, he was stretched out in Hades and tortured by two vultures who fed on his liver. This punishment is extremely similar to that of the Titan Prometheus.
Tantalus was initially known for having been welcomed to Zeus' table in Olympus, like Ixion. There he is said to have misbehaved and stolen ambrosia and nectar to bring it back to his people and revealed the secrets of the gods.
Most famously, Tantalus offered up his son, Pelops, as a sacrifice to the gods. He cut Pelops up, boiled him, and served him up as food for the gods. The gods were said to be aware of his plan for their feast, so they didn't touch the offering; only Demeter, distraught by the loss of her daughter, Persephone, did not realize what it was and ate part of the boy's shoulder. Clotho, one of the three Fates, ordered by Zeus, brought the boy to life again.
Tantalus's punishment for his act was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches raised his intended meal from his grasp. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water receded before he could get any.
Sisyphus was the founder and first king of Corinth. He was avaricious and deceitful, violating the laws of hospitality by killing travelers and guests. He took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his dominant position. From Homer onwards, Sisyphus was famed as the craftiest of men. He seduced his niece, took his brother's throne and betrayed Zeus' secrets. Zeus then ordered Thanatos to chain Sisyphus in Tartarus. Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to try the chains to show how they worked. When Thanatos did so, Sisyphus secured them and threatened him. This caused an uproar, and no human could die until Ares intervened, freeing Death and sending Sisyphus to Tartarus.
However, before Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square in attempt to test his wife's love for him. Annoyed by the loveless obedience of his wife, Sisyphus persuaded Persephone, Queen of the Underworld, to allow him to go back to the upper world and scold his wife for not burying his body as a loving wife would. When Sisyphus returned to Corinth, he refused to retreat back to the underworld and was forcibly dragged back to the underworld by Hermes.
As a punishment from the gods for his trickery, Sisyphus was made to roll a huge rock up a steep hill, but before he could reach the top of the hill, the rock would always roll back down again, forcing him to begin again. The maddening nature of the punishment was reserved for Sisyphus due to his hubristic belief that his cleverness surpassed that of Zeus. Sisyphus took the bold step of reporting one of Zeus' sexual conquests, telling the river god Asopus of the whereabouts of his daughter Aegina. Zeus had taken her away, but regardless of the impropriety of Zeus' frequent conquests, Sisyphus overstepped his bounds by considering himself a peer of the gods who could rightfully report their indiscretions.
In Norse mythology, Loki is a god. Loki's relation with the gods varies by source. Loki assists the gods, and sometimes causes problems for them. Loki is a shape shifter and in separate incidents he appears in the form of a salmon and a mare.
Loki's positive relations with the gods ends with his role in engineering the death of the god Baldr. Loki is eventually bound by the gods with the entrails of one of his sons. A serpent drips venom from above him that his wife Sigyn collects into a bowl. However, Sigyn must empty the bowl when it is full, and the venom that drips in the mean time causes Loki to writhe in pain, thereby causing earthquakes.