|Phaethon was the son of the Oceanid Clymene and the solar deity Helios in Greek mythology. He asked his father for proof of his relationship with the sun. When the god promised to grant him whatever he wanted, he insisted on being allowed to drive the sun chariot for a day.|
Placed in charge of the chariot, Phaethon was unable to control the horses.
|In some versions, the Earth first froze when the horses climbed too high, but when the chariot then scorched the Earth by swinging too near, Zeus decided to prevent disaster by striking it down with a thunderbolt. Phaethon fell to earth and was killed.||Phaeton became symbolic of heroic aspiration.|