Farnese Atlas
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeFarnese Atlas - Credit: Lalupa
In Greek myth, Atlas was the titan who bore the Earth on his shoulders, specifically at the location in northern Africa (between Morocco and Algeria) now called the Atlas Mountains. This task was handed by Zeus to Atlas as punishment for siding with the Titans in a war with the gods of Mt. Olympus. (Prometheus was a brother of Atlas who joined the winning side.)

Atlas has since been used as a symbol for everything from Ayn Rand’s epic novel Atlas Shrugged to the cover of Van Halen’s album “5150.” A familiar artistic representation is the large bronze statue of Atlas that stands at the entrance to Rockefeller Center in New York City. Pictured here is the "Farnese Atlas," a second-century Roman copy of a Hellenistic sculpture, currently housed at the National Archaeological Museum in Naples, Italy.