Atlas was the Titan god who bore the sky aloft. He personified the quality of endurance.

Residence: Western edge of Gaia
Symbols: Celestial sphere
Parents: Iapetus and Clymene
Siblings: Anchiale, Epimetheus, Menoetius and Prometheus 
Consort: Pleione and Hesperis
Children: The Hesperides, The Hyades, The Pleiades, Hyas, Calypso, Dione and Maera
Roman equivalent: Atlas

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Atlas with the sky on his shoulders, Laconian black-figure amphoriskos, 6th c. BC, Vatican Museum. (c)

Atlas was a leader of the Titans in their war against Zeus and after their defeat he was condemned to carry the heavens upon his shoulders. Atlas was also the god who instructed mankind in the art of astronomy, a tool which was used by sailors in navigation and farmers in measuring the seasons.

The Farnese Atlas, the oldest known representation of the celestial sphere. (c) Gabriel Seah

Heracles encountered the Titan during his quest for the Golden Apples of the Hesperides. He agreed to take the heavens upon his shoulders while Atlas fetched the apples. The hero also slew the Hesperian Dragon and built two great pillars at the ends of the earth, perhaps to relieve the Titan of his labour.

Atlas and the Hesperides by Singer Sargent, John (1925)

In a late myth, Atlas was transformed into the stony Atlas mountains by Perseus using the Gorgon‘s head. 

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A view of the Atlas mountains touching the sky. (c) Audley Travel

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