Document belonging to the Greek Mythology Link, a web site created by Carlos Parada, author of Genealogical Guide to Greek Mythology
Characters • Places • TopicsImagesBibliographyPDF Editions
AboutCopyright © 1997 Carlos Parada and Maicar Förlag.

Pandora 1

Pandora 1 and the box (said to have been a jar). 7718: John Gibson 1790-1866: Pandora (marble). Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

"Son of Iapetus, surpassing all in cunning, you are glad that you have outwitted me and stolen fire—a great plague to you yourself and to men that shall be. But I will give men as the price for fire an evil thing in which they may all be glad of heart while they embrace their own destruction." (Zeus to Prometheus 1. Hesiod, Works and Days 54).

Pandora 1, the first woman, was so called because each of the OLYMPIANS gave a gift to make her complete. Before her there was no womankind.

Modelling Pandora 1

This is what Zeus conceived in order to punish Prometheus 1, who had tricked the god for the benefit of mankind: Zeus bade Hephaestus mix earth with water, and having made the form of a sweet, lovely woman, with the face of a goddess, to put in it a human voice. When Hephaestus had moulded the clay in the likeness of a maid, Athena clothed her and provided her with fine manners, teaching her needlework, and the weaving of webs. Thereafter the other OLYMPIANS gave each a gift: Aphrodite shed grace upon her head, and Hermes put in her speech, a shameless mind, and a deceitful nature. The CHARITES and Peitho 1 (Persuasion) put necklaces of gold upon her, and the HORAE crowned her head with flowers. And when the work of the gods was completed, they called the lovely woman they had made Pandora, since she received gifts from all the gods.

Caja es tinaja

Quien Epimeteo adora
y que otrora abri├" una caja
es la famosa Pandora,
mas la caja es tinaja.

All├ş la esperanza mora
y no se ve la ventaja
de que la llamen ahora,
con distracci├"n, una caja.

La esperanza bien trabaja
y con empe├▒o avizora,
mas ignora a quien ultraja
la tinaja de Pandora.

C. Parada

The jar

This living jewel, with garlands about her head and a golden crown made by Hephaestus, was sent to Epimetheus, who was notorious for having no foresight, and always think, not before but afterwards. And although he had been warned by his brother Prometheus 1 never to take a gift from Zeus, when Hermes came with the girl, Epimetheus accepted the gift, understanding its meaning only later. For it is told that until that time men lived free from ills, toil, and sicknesses. But Pandora 1 opened a jar containing all evils, and scattered them everywhere (except Hope that remained inside by the will of Zeus). And ever since those evils have afflicted mankind as a reminder that there is no way to escape the will of Zeus.

The race of Pandora 1

The female race that originated with Pandora 1 has been called "deadly." And it is said that women live among men to their great trouble, being helpful only in wealth but not in poverty. To this evil, Zeus added a second one to cause regret regardless of the choice: For if a man refuses to marry in order to avoid the sorrows caused by women, then he reaches Old Age without anyone to tend his years, and leaves his wealth to strangers. But if marriage is chosen, then he may have mischievous children, living with unceasing grief that cannot be healed. This kind of view was shared, many years later, by Theseus' son Hippolytus 4, known for hating women. This young man believed that women are a curse to the human race, and that it would have been a much better heavenly plan to let men buy their sons from the gods, paying their weight in bronze, iron, or gold. For marriage, he believed, consists in supporting a stranger, who usually squanders the family fortune, spending in gowns and other beautiful items that she heaps on her hatefulness. And the more clever the woman, the worse, he thought, for the sexual urge breeds wickedness more readily in clever women. However, it is also said that Pandora 1 was not a curse sent from heaven, but that she, endowed with all kinds of gifts, was given by the gods to men because they wished to show all mortals that they could do even better than Prometheus 1, who had given them fire.

Another with identical name

Pandora 2 is a daughter of Deucalion 1 and Pyrrha 1.






Fashioned by the OLYMPIANS


Pyrrha 1

Scatter-brained Epimetheus is the brother of Prometheus 1, boths sons of the Titan Iapetus 1.

Pyrrha 1 married Deucalion 1, the son of Prometheus 1, and together with her husband survived the Flood.

Related sections The Era of Zeus, Prometheus 1, The Ages of the World, Epimetheus (one-act play) 

Apd.1.7.2; Hes.WD.60ff.; Hes.The.561ff.; Nonn.7.58; Pau.1.24.7.