Greek Myth

in the primordial battle between the Titans and the Olympians, Atlas was a Titan who, unlike his brothers Prometheus and Epimetheus, did not side with the victorious Olympians. As punishment for fighting against the Olympians he was condemned to spend eternity at the farthest reaches of Gaia (the female personification of Earth) holding up Uranus (the male personification of the sky) so that they may never copulate again. He also became the embodiement of the axis around which the earth and sky revolved.

Cultural References

Today, the most common association that Atlas has with modern culture is cartography. Both a map and a globe may be referred to as an "Atlas" Even though Atlas was not shown in ancient Greece of having to hold the Earth, in some modern depictions of him he is shown with the world on his back, giving rise to the term "the weight of the world on your shoulders" as well as his association with globes and maps