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Woman was created to punish Man

Pandora's myth in Hesiod, 8th -7th cent. BC

Works & Days of Hesiod, pp. 54 ff., trans. Evelyn-White

 

"Zeus in the anger of his heart hid the means of life, because Prometheus the crafty deceived him; therefore he planned sorrow and mischief against men. Zeus had hidden fire; but the noble son of Iapetus stole it for men from Zeus the counsellor in a hollow fennel-stalk, so that Zeus who delights in thunder did not see it.

But afterwards Zeus who gathers the clouds said to him in anger: ‘Son of Iapetos, 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.’

Prometheus stole fire from Zeus, the chief god.

Zeus was angry and threatened to punish the human race.

Pandora by El Greco (1541-1614)
So said the father of men and gods, and laughed aloud. And he bade famous Hephaistos make haste and mix earth with water and to put in it the voice and strength of human kind, and fashion a sweet, lovely maiden-shape, like to the immortal goddesses in face; and Athena to teach her needlework and the weaving of the varied web; and golden Aphrodite to shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs. And he charged Hermes the guide, the Slayer of Argos, to put in her a shameless mind and a deceitful nature. So he ordered. And they obeyed the lord Zeus the son of Kronos. Forthwith Hephaistos, the famous Lame God, moulded clay in the likeness of a modest maid, as the son of Kronos purposed. And the goddess bright-eyed Athena girded and clothed her, and the divine Graces and queenly Persuasion put necklaces of gold upon her, and the rich-haired Seasons crowned her head with spring flowers. And Pallas Athena bedecked her form with all manners of finery. Also Hermes, the Guide, the Slayer of Argos, contrived within her lies and crafty words and a deceitful nature at the will of loud thundering Zeus, and the Herald of the gods put speech in her. And he called this woman Pandora (All-Gifts), because all they who dwelt on Olympos gave each a gift, a plague to men who eat bread.

The punishment he devised was to make the gods and goddesses design WOMAN: beautiful to look at, but deceitful and untrustworthy.

All the gods and goddesses contributed gifts to the woman.

But when he had finished the sheer, hopeless snare, the Father sent glorious Argus-Slayer Hermes, the swift messenger of the gods, to take it to Epimetheus as a gift. And Epimetheus did not think on what Prometheus had said to him, bidding him never take a gift of Olympian Zeus, but to send it back for fear it might prove to be something harmful to men. But he took the gift, and afterwards, when the evil thing was already his, he understood. For before this, the tribes of humans lived on earth remote and free from ills (kakoi) and hard toil (ponoi) and heavy sickness (nosoi) which Fate brings upon men; for in misery men grow old quickly.

But the woman took off the great lid of the jar with her hands and scattered all these and her thought caused sorrow and mischief to men. Only Elpis (Hope) remained there in an unbreakable home within under the rim of the great jar, and did not fly out at the door; for ere that, the lid of the jar stopped her, by the will of Aigis-holding Zeus who gathers the clouds. But the rest, countless plagues, wander amongst human beings; for earth is full of evils and the sea is full. Of themselves diseases come upon human beings continually by day and by night, bringing mischief to mortals silently; for wise Zeus took away speech from these illnesses. So is there no way to escape the will of Zeus."

Zeus sent the woman as a gift to humans.

To complete his punishment, made the woman carry a jar full of diseases and calamities.

As he had expected, Pandora opened the jar and so caused evils and sufferings to afflict humankind.


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