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Myth of Pandora
The foremost narratives that deal with Pandora are Hesiods Theogony, Apollodoruss Library,
Hyginuss Fabulae, Pausaniass Description of Greece and Works and Days. Most myths
indicate that she is the first mortal woman. Her name means "all-gifted." This outlines the fact
that the Olympian deities all sorts of virtues as well as vices. More than this they gave her a
multitude of gifts.

According to the myths Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create Pandora the first mortal woman. Later
in the myth she became a gift to Epimetheus, the Titan and brother of Prometheus. Hephaestus
made her out of water and earth. He designed her to possess beauty, charm and skill in many
things. Her beauty was akin to that of a goddess. Pandora had long hair that flowed. Her skin had
no blemish and she possessed shimmering eyes and a wonderful smile. This made her very
attractive among mortals. The goddess Athena gave her wonderful clothes and ornaments. She
also taught Pandora various crafts. Aphrodite gifted her with grace. Hephaestus also made for her
an intricately designed headband. Etched on it were the various creatures of the sea and land.

However, she was a part of Zeus plan of getting revenge on Prometheus and mankind after the
Titan stole fire from the gods and gave it to mortals. In some stories this is part of Zeus' revenge
for the trick Prometheus played regarding the sacrifice which man are duty-bound to give to the
gods. The King of the gods ordered Hermes to give her a thieving and conniving disposition. She
was also given a box (in some versions of the myth a jar) that was beautiful to behold. The gods
told her she could look at the container for as much as she liked but she should never open it.
The gods also gave Pandora curiosity which transcends caution. This led her to believe that a
beautiful container without a doubt holds something wonderful.

Even if Prometheus warned his brother, Epimetheus to exercise caution in accepting gifts from
Zeus he could not resist the Olympians offer to make Pandora the Titans wife. Due to her
curious nature when she was already with Epimetheus she opened the box (jar in some myths). It
was then revealed that the container had spirits or daimones in it. When she opened it the cause
of human suffering, pain, misfortune, and ill that afflicted man escaped. They became the
miseries that man would contend with. By the time she closed the box only hope remained in the

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container. Thus man's usual attribute in facing adversities is hope. As times passed by this
container became more popularly known as Pandora's box.

Pandora and Epimetheus had a daughter they named Pyrrha. Deucalion married her. They would
go on to survive the deluge Zeus sends to purge mankind. They would be the ones to repopulate
the world after this deluge.

Experts and scholars agree that Pandora's role in causing mankind's hardships and sufferings is
similar to that of Eve in the Bible narrative. Pandora's children like Eves descendants also
survive a cataclysmic inundation and repopulated the earth.
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The Creation of the Universe in Greek Mythology
Like any culture the Greeks had myths that narrated the creation of the universe as well as a
means of explaining the natural order of things. The foremost source of the Greek creation
narrative is the "Theogony" written by the poet Hesiod. This outlines and provides for the origin
of not just the cosmos but also the various deities in the Greek mythological pantheon. What is
unique to this particular narrative is that it not only outlines the beginnings of all things but
provides the story of the rise to power of the Olympian gods and goddesses after their war with
the ruling beings, the titans.

In the beginning the entity of Chaos ruled everything. In the translation "Chaos" means a wide
open space, a vast chasm or large emptiness. Chaos divided itself and from it came the heavens,
the sea and the earth. The fist divine entities were Gaia and later Uranus. Gaia was the goddess
closely associated with the earth. Uranus was the god connected with the heavens.

Gaia gained dominion over the earth as it developed. She guided the formation of plains, rivers,
mountains and oceans. Her role was akin to an artist creating a wonderful work of art. As the
world took on a familiar shape she longed for children who would inhabit the world she created.
She became pregnant by herself. She then gave birth to Uranus who became the deity that
governs the heavens. He was equal to his mother in every aspect. Later they had children. Their
first children were the gigantic creatures known as the Hundred-handed Ones. They had hundred
hands and fifty heads. Even if Gaia loved them Uranus did not. His fear was their children would
one day overturn his rule. Therefore, he forced them back into Gaia's womb.

Gaia gave birth to other children such as the Cyclopes. These were giants with one eye at the
center of their forehead instead of two. Despite their appearance, these young deities were very
powerful and skilled as craftsmen. They forged thunder and lightning for their mother's use as
weapons and tools. Uranus also feared them so he bound them and cast them into the depths of
the underworld called Tartarus. After this he felt his reign secure.


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Gaia felt sad for the loss of her children and she felt great anger for Uranus. She then gave birth
to more children. This third group was known as the Titans. They were six gods and six
goddesses. Unlike Gaia's other children they had human attributes and did not appear as
monsters.

The gods were Hyperion, Iapetus, Crius, Coes, Oceanus and Cronus. The goddesses were Rhea,
Phoebe, Themis, Tethys, Mnemosyne and Theia. Uranus also feared that one of his children
would supplant him as ruler of all so he also forced his children, the Titans back into Gaia's
womb. There they stayed along with the Hundred-handed ones, their sibling. This angered Gaia
further since she wanted her children to live free in the world. Gaia came up with a plan and she
convinced her children to help her. Cronus, the youngest titan was eager to help with the plot.

After waiting for a while the time came for them to act. One night when Uranus came to Gaia,
Cronus secretly slipped out of her womb. He then used a sickle to stab Uranus to death. As he
lay dying he realized that his fear became reality. Uranus Cronus and said that one of Cronus'
own children would do to him what he did to his father. After Uranus' death Cronus freed his
siblings, the Titans, the Hundred-handed Ones and the Cyclopes. He married his sister, Rhea. All
of Gaia's children decided to make Cronus king and his reign was long and peaceful.

However that peace did not last. Even though Cronus' reign was peaceful his father's curse
haunted him. One day Rhea told him that they were going to have a child. This made Cronus
unhappy. He feared that this may lead to the curse his father uttered long ago and history would
repeat itself. Like Uranus, Cronus came to the conclusion that if his children did not grow-up
they would not be strong enough to challenge his rule. When it was time for Rhea to give birth to
their first child Cronus immediately swallowed whole the baby. This shocked and made Rhea
very sad. Cronus went on to swallow all four succeeding children Rhea gave birth to. Rhea
promised herself to find a way to get her children back. When she discovered that she was again
pregnant she devised a plan to save her child. She planned on tricking Cronus. When it was
almost time for her to give birth she pretended on giving birth. She then took a stone and
wrapped it in a blanket. Cronus finally arrived and he took the stone wrapped in a blanket
without first carefully examining it he swallowed it like he swallowed all of Rhea's other
children born before that one.

When Rhea was actually going to give birth she went to the Island of Crete. This was far from
Cronus and thus he would not know that this was the real birth and that she had fooled him into
swallowing a stone. Rhea gave birth to a beautiful child which she named Zeus and she knew
that he would grow up to become a powerful god. She decided to leave him to grow up in secret
in Crete when she returns home for fear that Cronus might destroy her son.

The young god, Zeus was left in the care of the native deities, the nymphs and a goat suckled
him. He grew up into a strong god. When he was old enough he left Crete and went to join his
mother. Rhea helped Zeus become a servant to Cronus. The titan did not know that his new
servant was in fact his son. One day Zeus brought his father wine to drink. Unknown to him
mixed with the wine was poison that would make Cronus throw-up. This made the titan ill and
he threw-up the stone he swallowed followed by all the children he swallowed. These gods
emerged as adults and they were Hera, Hades, Poseidon, Hestia and Demeter.

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They freed gods were happy to see each other and they enjoyed their freedom. Fearing they
would be imprisoned again by Cronus they fled to Mount Olympus with Zeus while Cronus was
still recovering from the effects of the poisoned drink. They claimed the mountain as their home
and stronghold and from then on they were known as the Olympians. From the mountain they
planned their war against the Titans. They intended to supplant Cronus' rule. They were going to
vie for control of the earth as well as fight for their survival. This is because they knew that
Cronus would likely imprison them again.

The war of between the Titans and Olympians seemed favorable to the Titans. The Titans
initially outnumbered them Olympians. The balance began to tilt in favor of the Olympians when
some of the Titans changed sides. Among them were Prometheus and Epimetheus. They were
the children of Themis and Iapetus. Prometheus had the power of to see into the future. His name
means "one who thinks ahead." He saw that the Titans would eventually lose the war. Because of
this vision Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus opted not to fight against the Olympians led
by Zeus. The Cyclopes and the Hundred-handed Ones also took the side of the Olympians. They
felt no loyalty to the Titans and they believe the Olympians would rule better than them. The
Cyclopes made weapons for the Olympians. Most notable of these weapons were a thunderbolt
for Zeus, a trident for Poseidon and a helm for Hades. Zeus' thunderbolt could travel vast
distances and had great power. Poseidon's trident gave him the power to overpower any enemy.
Hades' helmet granted him invisibility even to the eyes of gods such as those of Cronus and the
other Titans.

The war between the Olympians and the Titans was devastating. It caused great upheaval on the
Earth and it reshaped the landscape. The Hundred-handed Ones fought with great courage and
did not need to rest. With their help as well as their weapons the Olympians beat the Titans. Then
Zeus challenged Cronus. They would wrestle with each other and the victor would rule Mount
Olympus. Zeus wrestled with Cronus and Zeus won three times. After this he declared the
Olympians as the undisputed victors in the war of the gods.

Following the War, the Olympians imprisoned most of the Titans in Tartarus. This prison had a
bronze gate built over the entrance and the Hundred-handed Ones stood guard outside of the
prison for the Titans. The other child of Themis and Iapetus, Atlas suffered a worse fate. For his
part in the war and his great strength, Zeus decreed that he would hold up the world on his
shoulders for all time. Cronus was not imprisoned with the other Titans. Despite all that he did
the Olympians did not want to seek revenge by destroying him. Instead they exiled him to the
Island of the Dead where he would reside for all eternity. Even if he wanted to destroy the
Olympians at first he later relented. While in exile he would often send dreams to Zeus, his son
to counsel the later in his rule.

After punishing the Titans the three leading Olympians partitioned the Earth. In some accounts
they drew lots. Hades gained dominion over the Underworld and the dead. Poseidon laid claim to
the all waters of the Earth such as the seas. Zeus became the ruler of the heavens and since the
heavens encompassed everything he became the king of the gods. He also made Olympus his
seat of rule. The other Olympians were also given various roles and power over various aspects
of the Earth. Hestia became the goddess closely associated with the fireplace or hearth and thus

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the home. Demeter gained power over all growing things and thus became the goddess of
agriculture. Hera married Zeus, her brother and she became the goddess of marriage and child
rearing. After this the Olympians also had children. Some of these younger Olympians were born
in very odd ways.

Hera bore Hephaestus by herself. He became the god of fire and the blacksmith of the gods.
Athena sprung from Zeus' head and became the goddess of wisdom. Hera and Zeus had a son,
Ares and he became the god of war. The twin gods Artemis and Apollo were the children of
Leto. Their grandparents were the Titans Coeus and Phoebe. Artemis became the maiden
goddess of the hunt. Apollo became the god of music, prophecy and light. Aphrodite, the
goddess of beauty and love came from the waves of the sea. Hermes became the messenger of
the gods due to his speed. He protected travelers and he often had a hat and sandals with wings.
He was the son of Maia and his grandfather was Atlas the Titan.

After the Olympians established order in the universe they set about populating the Earth. No
more monsters wandered the land and peace reigned. Just as Zeus began work on creating other
creatures other matters required his attention. He left the Titans Prometheus and Epimetheus to
continue the work of creating the Earth's earliest dwellers. Zeus chose them since Prometheus
was a skilled potter and sculptor. He also had a vivid imagination and was good at creating
things. Epimetheus was always willing to help his brother. Since Zeus had just begun the two
Titans had much to do. They used clay to fashion new creatures. Prometheus then asked Athena's
help so that they can complete their work while his brother added the final details to their
creations. Athena told him that he should hold his creations up to the sky and when the wind
blew on them they will have life. Meanwhile Epimetheus creatively gave various attributes to
various creatures such as claws so that they can better catch food or fur to protect them from the
cold. He bestowed on some speed and other strength. But because he only thought of what he did
after he has done it he failed to leave any special or unique trait for man. Because he had given
various gifts to various creatures nothing was left for man. As such if not for Prometheus man
would be weak and defenseless.

Prometheus made man stand upright like the gods. He made their heads face up towards the
heavens. This resulted in man having rationality. He then went to the heavens and lit a torch with
the fire from the sun. He used this to grant man thought and speech. At first this pleased the gods
since the Earth had intelligent creatures. But Epimetheus' mistake still left mankind vulnerable.
Man was always hungry, fearful and lonely. Prometheus left the comfort of Olympus and lived
on Earth with man. He schooled them in the knowledge they needed to survive and thrive. He
taught them to build shelter, writing, how to count, domesticate animals and sail on the seas. He
oriented them in the arts of healing and prophecy as well. With man's development the other
gods decided to help them as well. Demeter taught how to grow crops. While some of the gods
were happy with mankind others became concerned of man's growing power. Prometheus was
not content and he decided to aid man some more.

Man in the past only killed animals to sacrifice to the gods. They only fed on the plants the
goddess Demeter told them to eat. Prometheus understood that man had to also eat meat. He
butchered an ox for sacrifice. He divided the meat into two piles. He hid the bones under layers
of fat that were enticing. The other pile he placed the edible parts of the ox and he covered them

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in the ox's hide and entrails. This made this pile look undesirable and the other pile looked very
inviting. He then asked Zeus to choose which pile should man give as an offering and whichever
he did not pick man will keep. Zeus chose the pile of fat that covered and rejected the pile
covered with entrails. Unknown to him the best parts of the meat were in the ugly pile. After he
made this choice he could no change it. From that day onward man kept the best parts of the
meat and only sacrificed fat and bones to the gods. This angered the king of the gods but he
decided to exact his vengeance later.

Prometheus also realized that man had no fur and thus was vulnerable to the cold. Man also had
no means to cook their food. Mankind did not possess the secret of fire. At this time only the
gods had access to the power of fire. He went up to Olympus and stole fire by hiding it in a
fennel plant. He took it back to man. He taught man how to use and control it. He showed them
how to use it for cooking as well as forging metal just like the god Hephaestus. This angered the
gods. Zeus believed man may become too powerful and have no need of the gods. So he decided
to stop Prometheus. He had the Titan bound in chains to a great rock in the Caucasian mountains.
Each day an eagle came and fed on his liver. Because the Titan was immortal at night it grew
back so that the eagle can feed on it the following day. He endured this for thirty years until
Hercules freed him.

In other narratives it was the gods the created man. The other leading story involves the five ages
of man. In this story the gods created man out of various kinds of metal. The first of mankind
they created were the golden race. Even if they were mortal they lived like the gods that created
them. They felt no sadness or pain. They also did not toil. When they died they became
benevolent spirits that watched over the Earth. The next race of man was the silver race. They
were less intelligent than the golden race and often inflicted injury on themselves. Unlike the
golden race when they died their spirits did not endure. They next race that gods made was the
brass race. They were very strong, violent and devoted to war. Their own nature led them to their
own destruction. This was not necessarily bad because next was a race of heroes. They were like
the gods, noble, and brave. They valiantly fought in wars and went on magnificent adventures.
When they died they went to the Isle of the Blessed. Their lives and deeds became the subject of
celebrated stories, poems and songs. They next race the gods made was the iron race. They were
evil and thus lived lives full of adversity and sadness. They became worse with each passing
generation. Sons were lesser than their fathers. They revered power above all else. For this race
what is right depends on who has power. They were uninterested in good and are no longer
bothered by evil. The gods would likely destroy this race unless the oppressed rise up and
overthrow their evil rulers.

These are the leading myths regarding the creation of the universe as well as the origin of the
gods. There are other myths that explain various other phenomena and realities. But these myths
come from a later period than the two leading narratives of creation in Greek mythology. Some
of these other myths are the stories as Pandora, the earliest heroes and other minor deities apart
from the main gods of the Olympian pantheon.