Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mythology Monday: Pandora's Pithos

Did you know that the "Pandora's box" was not a box, but some kind of large storage jar? The word "pithos" was mistranslated! (I learned this from Percy Jackson) So actually it looked liked this:

So now you all know this you are ready for the story of Pandora (and her pithos).

Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods, which made Zeus very angry. Therefore he send an "evil thing" which would cause their selfdestruction. This was Pandora. Her name means "All-gifted", because all the gods worked together to create this plague for men.
Hephaistos mixed earth and water to create a figure that resembled the godesses. He also gave her a voice and the strenght of human kind. Athena tought her the useful things, such as needlework and weaving, while Aphrodite gave her grace, and the power to make men long for her and forget all about themselves. Last, Zeus ordered Hermes to give her a shameless mind and a deceitful nature.
With these final "gifts" Pandora was released on earth with her pithos. In this pithos all the evils for mankind were held, but Pandora did not know any of this. The only thing the gods told her was that there were very powerful things inside it and that she should not open it under any circumstance. But of course she became too curious and thus she released death, disease and all other evil things into the world. Only hope remained within the jar, and remains with mankind to this day.

{Pandora by John William Waterhouse}

All women descend from Pandora and have inherited her evil traits. Zeus also made sure women would be an unending burden to men. If a man chooses to live without a woman, he will die alone and childless, but if he chooses one he will have a life filled with endless strife.

I do hope my boyfriend doesn't share his opions about women with Hesiod...


Let It Be Raw said...

I like this story, and it is one that I have had many discussions with different people about. It reminds me of Eve, and I think that connection isn't a coincidence. But, what bothers me the most is that curiosity is punished in this story. I'll stop now before this comment turns into an essay XD.

Dewi said...

Feel free to write essays here anytime ^^
But there are quite a lot of stories where curiosity is treated as a bad thing, right? Bluebeard ;)

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