I’ve just finished listening to a lecture on Itunes. Awesome that you can do that now! But anyway, it was about the greek Myths and I learned something new: Pandora was the first woman! I did not know this, I always just thought that she was just some woman who opened a box. Who by the way wasn’t a box at all, yeah it turns out that it was mistranslated during the sixteenth century. And it was actually a jar.
I think most people will know at least the basics in what happens in the Pandora Myth. So Zeus is angry at men after they’ve been giving the fire that Prometheus “god of foresight” had stolen for them. So he decides to punish them. By commanding Hephaestus to make the first woman. So that’s what the smith god does, he makes her from earth just like how Prometheus made the first man. So after he does this the other gods add their gifts to poor Pandora. Athena taught her needlework and weaving, Aphrodite “shed grace upon her head and cruel longing and cares that weary the limbs” Hermes gave her “a shameful mind and deceitful nature” Hermes also gave her the power of speech, putting in her “lies and crafty words.” So after they cloth her and then name her, Pandora meaning All gifted, “because all the Olumpians gave her a gift.” They give her this jar, mistranslated to box in the the renaissance, which they tell her she can never open, under any circumstances. Of coarse Pandora being only human can’t resist the allure of the box or, er jar. It’s like when there’s this big red button that says do not press. Well all you want to do is press it and see what happens.
Well that’s exactly what poor Pandora does and out come all the evil things in the world, like pain and starvation and what not. And the only thing at the end of it all when she finaly closes the blasted thing that’s left is hope. So that’s the story of Pandora, but I found out yet another thing, there was an earlier version of the myth. And this one doesn’t mention a jar or a box at all. No the punishment that Zeus gives man is Pandora herself!
The Pandora myth first appears in lines 560–612 of Hesiod’s poem in epic meter, the Theogony (ca. 8th–7th centuries BC), without ever giving the woman a name. After humans received the stolen gift of fire from Prometheus, an angry Zeus decides to give men a punishing gift to compensate for the boon they had been given. He commands Hephaestus to mold from earth the first woman, a “beautiful evil” whose descendants would torment the race of men. After Hephaestus does so, Athena dresses her in a silvery gown, an embroidered veil, garlands and an ornate crown of silver. This woman goes unnamed in the Theogony, but is presumably Pandora, whose myth Hesiod revisited in Works and Days. When she first appears before gods and mortals, “wonder seized them” as they looked upon her. But she was “sheer guile, not to be withstood by men.” Hesiod elaborates (590–93):
From her is the race of women and female kind:
of her is the deadly race and tribe of women who
live amongst mortal men to their great trouble,
no helpmates in hateful poverty, but only in wealth.
Hesiod goes on to lament that men who try to avoid the evil of women by avoiding marriage will fare no better (604–7):
He reaches deadly old age without anyone to tend his years,
and though he at least has no lack of livelihood while he lives,
yet, when he is dead, his kinsfolk divide his possessions amongst them.
Hesiod concedes that occasionally a man finds a good wife, but still (609) “evil contends with good.”
The man must have serious problems with his mother. I mean what the hell! The whole female gender is just a punishment to the male one?! But it’s not jusr him, or even Greece for that matter, there is a theme running through mythology in general. It goes; Woman Bad, Men Good. Think about it, a woman opened the jar and let out all the evil in the world, a woman ate the apple and got mankind thrown out of paradise, a woman cut off all of Samson’s hair and a woman asked for the head of John the baptist. Be it these are only examoles of two mythology’s but I’m sure that if I actually took time time to look then I would find a whole tone of other examples. So this can only mean only one thing; Mythology was written by men. Ugly and bitter men!