Who were the relatives of Pandora?

Travel Destinations

By Felicity Long

Pandora’s Mythology

In Greek mythology, Pandora was the first mortal woman created by the gods. Her story is one of the most famous in ancient mythology, as it has been retold in countless books, plays, and films. Pandora’s myth explains the origin of human suffering as well as the power of curiosity. It is often interpreted as a warning against women’s treachery, but some contemporary scholars see it as a feminist critique of patriarchal society.

The myth of Pandora varies slightly depending on the source, but the basic story goes like this: Zeus ordered Hephaestus to create a woman out of clay, and each of the gods gave her a gift. Athena gave her wisdom, Aphrodite gave her beauty, and Hermes gave her a deceitful nature. Zeus gave her a box (often mistranslated as a jar) and instructed her not to open it under any circumstances. However, curiosity got the better of Pandora, and she opened the box, releasing all the evils and plagues into the world. She also found Hope at the bottom of the box, which became a consolation to humans in their suffering.

The Creation of Pandora

According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Pandora was the first woman on earth, created as a punishment for Prometheus’ defiance of Zeus. Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods and given it to humans, which angered Zeus. As revenge, Zeus commanded Hephaestus to create Pandora and sent her to earth with the box as a gift. Other sources, such as Apollodorus’ Library, suggest that Pandora was created as a reward for Epimetheus’ contribution to the creation of animals, and the box was given to her as a dowry. Regardless of the reason for her creation, Pandora’s myth represents the ambivalent nature of women in Greek culture. She is both a beautiful and dangerous creature, capable of bringing both blessings and curses.

Epimetheus, Pandora’s Husband

Epimetheus was the brother of Prometheus and the husband of Pandora. He was given the task of creating animals by Zeus and was warned by his brother not to accept any gifts from the gods. However, Epimetheus forgot the warning and accepted Pandora as his wife. According to the myth, Epimetheus was initially happy with Pandora, but her curiosity and deceitful nature eventually led to the release of all evils into the world. Epimetheus is often portrayed as a foolish and naive character who brings disaster upon himself and humanity.

Prometheus, Epimetheus’ Brother

Prometheus was the son of the Titan Iapetus and a hero of Greek mythology. He was known for his intelligence and cunning, and he was credited with teaching humans various skills, such as metalworking, astronomy, and agriculture. According to the myth, Prometheus was punished by Zeus for stealing fire from the gods and giving it to humans. He was chained to a rock, and an eagle would eat his liver every day, only for it to grow back the next day. Prometheus is often seen as a symbol of rebellion against tyranny and a champion of human progress.

The Titans, Ancestral Gods of the Olympians

The Titans were the predecessors of the Olympian gods and goddesses in Greek mythology. They were the children of the primordial deities, Gaia and Uranus, and they ruled the world before being overthrown by the Olympians in a ten-year war known as the Titanomachy. The Titans were often portrayed as powerful and violent beings, but they also had human-like qualities. Some of the most famous Titans include Cronus, Rhea, Atlas, and Prometheus.

Zeus, Pandora’s Creator

Zeus was the king of the gods and the ruler of Mount Olympus in Greek mythology. He was the son of Cronus and Rhea and the brother of Poseidon, Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia. Zeus was known for his power, authority, and promiscuity, and he was often depicted as a thunderbolt-wielding figure. In the myth of Pandora, Zeus is the one who creates her and gives her the box, which represents his power and control over humanity.

Hera, Zeus’ Wife and Queen of the Gods

Hera was the queen of the gods and the wife of Zeus in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea and the sister and wife of Zeus. Hera was known for her jealousy and wrath, especially towards Zeus’ many lovers and illegitimate children. In the myth of Pandora, Hera is not directly involved, but she represents the traditional role of women in Greek society as wives, mothers, and homemakers.

Atlas, the Titan Who Holds up the Sky

Atlas was a Titan who was punished by Zeus for his involvement in the Titanomachy. He was forced to hold up the sky on his shoulders for eternity, which became a symbol of immense strength and endurance. In some versions of the myth, Atlas is the father of the Pleiades, a group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus.

Pandorus, the Brother of Pandora

Pandorus was the brother of Pandora, but little is known about him. He is mentioned in Hesiod’s Theogony as one of the gods who gave Pandora a gift, but his specific contribution is unclear. Some sources suggest that he was a god of agriculture or fertility.

Pyrrha, the Wife of Epimetheus’ Brother

Pyrrha was the wife of Deucalion, who was the brother of Epimetheus. They were the only survivors of the great flood sent by Zeus to wipe out humanity. They repopulated the earth by throwing stones over their shoulders, which became new human beings. Pyrrha is often portrayed as a faithful and virtuous character who helps her husband in times of crisis.

The Children of Pandora and Epimetheus

The myth of Pandora does not mention any children of Pandora and Epimetheus explicitly. However, some sources suggest that they had a daughter named Pyrrha, who was later married to Deucalion. The story of Pyrrha and Deucalion is often seen as a parallel to the biblical story of Noah’s Ark.

Conclusion: Pandora’s Family Tree

Pandora’s family tree is a complex and multifaceted one, reflecting the rich and varied mythology of ancient Greece. From her creators, Zeus and Hephaestus, to her husband, Epimetheus, and her brother, Pandorus, Pandora’s relationships with the gods and mortals of her world reveal much about the values and beliefs of ancient Greek society. Despite her reputation as a symbol of treachery and destruction, Pandora remains a fascinating and enduring figure in mythology, inspiring countless retellings and reinterpretations over the centuries.

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Felicity Long

Felicity Long, a seasoned travel journalist with 15+ years of experience, specializes in exploring Europe, family travel, and skiing, as evident in her book "Great Escapes: New England" (The Countryman Press). She edits the Europe eNewsletter and contributes significantly to TravelAsker's destinations sections. Felicity has received esteemed awards, including the Cacique and Yo Leonardo Awards, in recognition of her outstanding international travel writing accomplishments.

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