In the ancient days of the old gods there was a great misunderstanding between Zeus and the Titan Prometheus. In his arrogance Prometheus had stolen fire from the gods and gifted it to humanity, in their very act of creation. When Zeus discovered the theft, he was enraged and demanded that Prometheus should suffer a great punishment for his transgression.
He summoned a great hawk which he commanded to tear away at the Titan's liver, day and night, until such a time as the gods saw fit to release him from his harsh sentence. So it was that Prometheus was condemned to an eternity of agony, and all of mankind suffered for his act of rebellion.
However, Zeus still felt that humanity should pay for their part in the incident and so he called upon Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship and metalworking, to create a beautiful woman from the Earth’s very soil. And so, from the mud of the Earth, the great god fashioned a woman of surpassing beauty.
She was adorned in a silvery dress, embroidered veil, and a crown of silver. Gazing upon her, all of the gods and mortals alike were seized with wonder. There had never been a beauty so unrivaled, and it was with awe that they looked upon her. For she was a vision of sheer guile, not to be withstood by men. Thus, Zeus named her Pandora, and commanded her to be the ancestor of all of humanity, and their punishment.
For when Pandora gazed upon them she did so with eyes that saw not just the beauty of the world but also the suffering and sorrow of humankind. She saw the vanities and the insults and the joy and the despair. And she knew that all of these things were rooted in the same source, mankind’s foolish pride and ambition. As she looked upon them, the gods and mortals alike she felt a deep sadness.
Seeing this Athena, the goddess of wisdom gifted her a box made from the finest silver. And it was said that within the box were hidden the evils of the world, despair, disease, and death. As Pandora opened the box the world was thrown into chaos. The gods and mortals were dismayed for they had not expected such a cruel punishment.
Nevertheless, Pandora was left as the unintentional harbinger of doom and with her the weight of the world’s sorrows. As she descended to the Earth, she was followed by a shadow of darkness her mark on the world. It was said that wherever she went, the earth shook, and all of the creatures of the land and sea trembled in fear.
And so it was that Pandora was the instrument of Zeus’ will and the ancestor of all humanity. Her descendants were to be a torment to the human race, as a reminder of the price of hubris and the consequences of stealing fire from the gods.
February 25th, 2023
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