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Pandora

This is an article about Pandora, the Greek myth. There is also an article about the natural satellite of Saturn named Pandora.


In Greek mythology, Pandora ("all gifts") was the first woman, fashioned by Zeus as part of his punishment of mankind for having stolen the secret of fire.

Epimetheus is responsible for giving a positive trait to each and every animal. However, when it is time to give man a positive trait, there is nothing left. Prometheus, his brother, feels that because man is superior to all other animals, man should have a gift no other animal possesses. So Prometheus sets forth to steal fire from Zeus and hands it over to man.

Zeus is enraged and has Pandora made as a poisoned gift for man. Pandora is given several traits from the different gods: Hephaestus gives her the gift of life; Aphrodite gives her beauty; Hermes gives her persuasion; and Apollo gives her musical talent. Zeus gives Pandora a box and tells her never to open it; but he also makes sure she is given curiosity as a gift.

Prometheus warns Epimetheus not to take any gifts from the gods. Epimetheus doesn't listen to his brother, however, and when Pandora arrives, he falls in love with her and they are eventually married.

Until then, mankind lived a life in a paradise without a worry in the world. Epimetheus told Pandora never to open the box from Zeus. However, one day, Pandora's curiosity gets the better of her and she opens it anyway releasing all the misfortunes of mankind (plague, sorrow[?], etc.) She only shut it in time to keep one thing in the box: hope. Thus mankind always has hope in times of evil. (see also Garden of Eden)

The daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora was Pyrrha, who married Deucalion and was one of the two who survived the deluge.

Some scholars contend that Pandora's "box" may have been a mistranslation, and instead her "box" may have been a large jar, forged from the earth. In fact, there is some evidence that suggests Pandora herself was the jar. This interpretation may resolve a nagging inconsistency in the traditional telling of the story of Pandora -- if one releases evil by opening a box, then to close hope inside would be to deny hope to the world. However, if Pandora is the jar, (and it was common in history to have jars with the image of women on them) then the hope that resides within her "under the lip" is the hope inherent in regeneration. In this version of the story, then, there is no fabricated curiosity, and hence Pandora's evil deed -- there is only Pandora.



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