From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Pandora opens the pithos given to her by Zeus, thus releasing all the evils of the world. Pandora’s Box is an artifact in Greek mythology, taken from the myth of Pandora’s creation in Hesiod’s Works and Days. The “box” was actually a large jar (πίθος pithos) given to Pandora (Πανδώρα) (“all-gifted”, “all-giving”), which contained all the evils of the world. When Pandora opened the jar, all its contents except for one item were released into the world. The one remaining item was Hope.Today, to open Pandora’s box means to create evil that cannot be undone.
In classical Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman on Earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the God of craftsmanship, to create her, so he did—using water and Earth.5 The gods endowed her with many gifts: Athena clothed her, Aphrodite gave her beauty, and Hermes speech.6
When Prometheus stole fire from heaven, Zeus took vengeance by presenting Pandora to Epimetheus, Prometheus’ brother. With her, Pandora was given a beautiful container which she was not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her curiosity given to her by the gods, Pandora opened it, and all evil contained therein escaped and spread over the earth. She hastened to close the container, but the whole contents had escaped, except for one thing that lay at the bottom, which was Hope. Pandora was deeply saddened by what she had done, and was afraid that she would have to face Zeus’ wrath, since she had failed her duty; however, Zeus did not punish her, because he knew this would happen.
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