According to the Greeks and all those with whom they shared these ideas, human beings are descended from the gods. The genealogy of the Greeks is clearly expressed in their literature. The Greek peoples are all Hellenes. The Hellenes are descendants of Hellenos, the eponymous ancestor of the Hellenic peoples.8 Hellenos, in Greek mythology, is the son of Deucalion who, with his wife Pyrrha, survived the universal flood.9 Deucalion is the son of Prometheus,10 an immortal who is renowned as the one who stole the fire of the gods in order to benefit the mortals on earth who were living in cold and darkness. Because of his crime against his fellow-immortals, Prometheus was condemned to be tortured for all eternity by being chained to the top of a mountain as his liver was being torn out of his chest and devoured by an eagle. That vital organ regenerated during the night and he had to endure the same torture the following day.
But it is clear from this genealogy that Hellenos, the human ancestor of the Greeks, is a son of the human Deucalion, who is the son of the god Prometheus, who is the son of the Titan Iapetos, the Titans being the earliest of the gods. They, the Titans, are the ancestors of Zeus, Hera and the other members of the heavenly family, the gods of Olympus. Zeus and Hera (in Roman mythology they are Jupiter and Juno) are the king and queen of the gods of Olympus, but children of the aboriginal immortals, known as the Titans.11
The same ideas are found in Canaanite12 and in Babylonian mythology.13 In the Sumerian King List we see clearly that the earliest generations of the kings of Sumer are divine, certainly going down to Dumuzi, the fifth in the list. Even after the kings in the list are accepted as mortal humans, they still have an occasional god among them. Thus, Lugal-Banda, Dumuzi II, and Gilgamesh, numbers 34, 35, and 36 in the list are called gods.