Atlas fought with the Titans against the Olympians. Both sides were above humanity. The humans were toys and “collateral damage” to the battle of the Gods. When the Titans lost, Atlas was punished by Zeus and forced to hold up the Sky so it could never join again with the Earth and return to the primordial Chaos. Atlas was a hero to the Titans. He was punished and endured. He is a symbol for keeping the world from Chaos, for unending endurance.