Atlas was one of the Titans, an early race of Greek mythological deities that controlled the universe before the rise of the olympians. Atlas was not one of the first generation of Titans, but he was one of their most powerful. Atlas was a brother to Prometheus, among other Titans, and the son of Iapetus. Atlas fought in the Titanomachy, the war that pitted Titans against Olympian Gods, and was on the losing side. Unlike his brothers, who were thrown into Tartarus, Atlas had a special punishment reserved for him after the war. He was forced to stand by the Garden of the Hesperides in northern Africa, supporting the weight of the sky upon his shoulders. Only once was he freed of this burden, and then only briefly--when Hercules temporarily held up the sky for him while Atlas fetched the golden apples of Hera to help the hero finish his eleventh labor. Atlas would not take the sky back willingly, but Hercules tricked him by asking for a break to fetch a shoulder pad. Atlas foolishly held up the sky once again, but instead of fetching a blanket to aid him in his task, Hercules left. Though he was one of the strongest Titans, Atlas' low intelligence cost him his only chance at freedom.