In Greek mythology, Atlas was usually responsible for holding up the heavens. This marble relief from a Greek temple shows Hercules holding up the world for Atlas so that Atlas can bring him the golden apples of the Hesperides.
Many different stories are told about Atlas. One of them concerns Perseus, son of Zeus and slayer of the Gorgon Medusa. Because of a prophecy that a son of Zeus would one day steal the golden apples of the Hesperides, Atlas refused to offer Perseus hospitality when he came to visit. Insulted, Perseus showed him the severed head of Medusa, which had the power to turn all who looked at it into stone. Atlas turned into stone. The stone became the Atlas Mountains in what is now the country of Morocco.
Gorgon one of three ugly monsters who had snakes for hair, staring eyes, and huge wings
prophecy foretelling of what is to come; also something that is predicted
Another story concerns Hercules (Heracles)!, the grandson of Perseus. One of the labors of Hercules was to obtain some of the golden apples that were guarded by the Hesperides. Hercules asked Atlas to help him get the apples. Seeing an opportunity to escape from the burden of holding up the heavens, Atlas asked Hercules to take over the task while he obtained the apples. Hercules agreed. When Atlas returned with the apples, he told Hercules that he would deliver them for him. His intention was to leave Hercules to support the heavens. However, Hercules asked Atlas to take back the heavens for just a moment so that he could adjust his burden. When Atlas did this, Hercules walked away with the apples.