People have, at one point or another, heard about Pandora's Box. However, most people don't know the actual myth. So, today I figured I'd remedy that. This is the story of Pandora and her box of evils.
The story begins before the time of man. Zeus and his Olympian brethren were getting ready to end the war with the Titans. Prometheus was one of those Titans who had a special gift. Prometheus had the gift of prophecy and was able to see that Zeus was going to win. Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus pledged their loyalty to Zeus. After the war ended Zeus decided to reward the Titan brothers for their loyalty. They were the ones to create the beings to inhabit the earth. Epimetheus created the animals while Prometheus got to create humans. There was a slight issue with this arrangement. Epimetheus took all of the means of natural defense for his animals; things like horns, claws, and fangs. Prometheus thus gave humans the control over fire. This also allowed for offerings to Zeus in the form of most of the meat from a cow. This proved to be detrimental since the best parts of the cow were being sacrificed to Zeus instead of being eaten. Prometheus decided to try to fix it.
Prometheus went to Zeus with a simple question. "Which offering would you prefer?" and gave two choices. One of them was a cow's stomach filled with deliciously cooked meat that looked awful, and the other was a piece of tasty looking fat wrapped around a bone that looked better than it tasted. Zeus chose the fat-wrapped bone and thus set a precedent for future sacrifices. Zeus did not take this well and decided to take it out on humanity by taking their fire access. Prometheus saw this and again decided to fix it.
Prometheus went to Mt Olympus and took a sample of fire and brought it down to earth. When Zeus saw this he was furious at Prometheus. So furious that he had Prometheus chained to a rock and sent an eagle to rip out and eat Prometheus's liver which would then grow back overnight. As if that wasn't punishment enough, Zeus decided humans should pay the price for Prometheus's betrayal. So Zeus got the Olympians together to help him. Hephestus made a beautiful body out of clay and the 4 winds brought it to life. Athena gave her fancy clothes. Aphrodite taught her how to love. Hermes taught her how to lie. Most of Olympus gave her something which inspired her name. Pandora means "all gifted" or "all giving". She also is given a jar full of very very evil things for some reason. Zeus presented Pandora as a bride to Epimetheus. Epimetheus was warned by his brother to not accept any gifts from Zeus, but he immediately fell in love with his bride-to-be and completely ignored his brother's warning. As soon as he accepted Pandora she opened her jar of evils and let the contents plague the earth. Things like death, disease, and childbirth are all let loose upon the world. Only one thing stayed in the jar, hope, meaning humanity will always have hope.
There are a couple of interesting things about the original version of this story. First, the text doesn't read like Pandora is an idiot. She isn't portrayed as a curious dupe who accidentally opens her box of evil. She is actually supposed to be fairly smart and clever. Second, she is also portrayed as knowing what is in her box. The original text implies that she is definitely aware of the evils in her box and yet she still releases them. I hope you all enjoyed the story of Pandora.