Have you ever been so desperate to know a secret that you took no notice of a warning? All through history there are stories of people being told not to open doors, caskets, cupboards, gates and all sorts of other things and, in so many of the stories, the people just did not listen. One person who did not listen was Pandora.
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Her story comes from Ancient Greece and her curiosity brought a whole heap of trouble! In ancient Greece there were two brothers named Epimetheus and Prometheus.go to link
They upset the gods and annoyed the most powerful of all Gods, Zeus, in particular. This was not the first time humans had upset Zeus, and once before, as punishment, he had taken from humans the ability to make fire. This meant they could no longer cook their meat and could not keep themselves warm.
However, Prometheus was clever and he knew that, on the Isle of Lemnos, lived Hephaestos, the blacksmith. He had a fire burning to keep his forge hot.
PANDORA - The First Woman of Greek Mythology
Prometheus travelled to Lemnos and stole fire from the blacksmith. Zeus was furious and decided that humans had to be punished once and for all for their lack of respect. Zeus came up with a very cunning plan to punish the two brothers. With the help of Hephaestos, he created a woman from clay. The goddess Athene then breathed life into the clay, Aphrodite made her very beautiful and Hermes taught her how to be both charming and deceitful. Zeus called her Pandora and sent her as a gift to Epimetheus.
His brother Prometheus had warned him not to accept any gifts from the gods but Epimetheus was completely charmed by the woman and thought Pandora was so beautiful that she could never cause any harm, so he agreed to marry her. Zeus, pleased that his trap was working, gave Pandora a wedding gift of a beautiful box.
There was one very, very important condition however, that she must never opened the box. Pandora was very curious about the contents of the box but she had promised that she would never open it. All she could think about was; what could be in the box? She could not understand why someone would send her a box if she could not see what was in it. It seemed to make no sense at all to her and she could think of nothing else but of opening the box and unlocking its secrets. Hope alone remained inside, the lid having been shut down before she could escape.
In a later story the jar contained not evils but blessings, which would have been preserved for the human race had they not been lost through the opening of the jar out of curiosity. We welcome suggested improvements to any of our articles. You can make it easier for us to review and, hopefully, publish your contribution by keeping a few points in mind. Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. Unfortunately, our editorial approach may not be able to accommodate all contributions. Our editors will review what you've submitted, and if it meets our criteria, we'll add it to the article.
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The Story of Pandora’s Box
Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. This power is most majestically displayed in the Titanomachia, the battle between the Olympian gods, led by Zeus, and the Titans, who support Cronus. Pandora took the great lid off the jar she carried, and evils, hard work, and disease flew out to plague humanity.
Hope alone remained within. Zeus , in ancient Greek religion, chief deity of the pantheon, a sky and weather god who was identical with the Roman god Jupiter. His name clearly comes from that of the sky god Dyaus of the ancient Hindu Rigveda. Zeus was regarded as the sender of thunder and lightning, rain,…. Works and Days, epic poem by the 8th-century-bce Greek writer Hesiod that is part almanac, part agricultural treatise, and part homily.
Fire In Pandora’s Box, May 1974
It is addressed to his brother Perses, who by guile and bribery has already secured for himself an excessive share of their inheritance and is seeking to gain…. Myth, a symbolic narrative, usually of unknown origin and at least partly traditional, that ostensibly relates actual events and that is especially associated with religious belief.
It is distinguished from symbolic behaviour cult, ritual and symbolic places or objects temples, icons. Myths are…. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Notice. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox.
Prometheus legend In Prometheus.