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Greek Gods and Goddesses



Pandora, releaser of the ills that beset mankind


The Story of Pandora

            Pandora was part of the plan that Zeus had, to punish mankind for accepting fire.  She was molded out of clay by Hephaestus, modeled after Aphrodite.  Zeus breathed life into the figure, and she became alive.  All of the gods each gave Pandora a different gift.  Apollo taught her to sing and play the lyre, Athene taught her to spin, Demeter to tend a garden.  Aphrodite taught her how to look at a man without moving her eyes and how to dance without moving her legs.  Poseidon gave her a pearl necklace and promised she would never drown, and finally, Hermes have her a beautiful golden box, which he told her, she must never, never open.  After this, Hera gave her the gift of curiosity, which was to be her downfall.

            Hermes then took Pandora to Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus, as a gift from Zeus.  Pandora and Epimetheus were married, and she thought herself the happiest young bride in the world.  The only thing that bothered her was the golden box.  At first, she left it out in the open, and looked at it daily.  But the urge to open it became too great, and she hid it in a dusty little storeroom.  Still, it bothered her so, that she locked it in a heavy oaken chest, put great shackles on the chest, and dug a hole in her garden.  She put the chest in, covered it over, and rolled a boulder on top of it.  That night, she could not sleep.  She went out to the garden and dug the chest out.  She took out the golden box and fit the key from her tunic into the keyhole.  When she opened the lid, small scaly lizard like creatures with bat wings and burning red eyes swarmed out.

            Pandora, terrified, struggled to close the box, and finally, she shut it with the last creature sill inside.  The creatures that flew out of the golden box were the ills that beset mankind: the spites, disease in its thousand shapes, old age, famine, insanity, and all their foul kin.  That day, they flew out and into every home to bring pain and sorrow and death.  The last creature, however, the one that did not escape, was the most dangerous one of all. It was Foreboding, the final spite.  If this had escaped, everyone in the world would have been told exactly what misfortune was to happen every day of his life.  No hope would have been possible.  This would be the end of mankind, for though he can bear endless trouble, he cannot live with no hope at all.


Pandora's Genealogy

Molded by Hephaestus

Modeled by Aphrodite

Breath of life from Zeus

Created by Angie Briese