Creation of Man
Two stories of the creation of man are found in the Greek myths. One was that man was created out of the earth. The second is the story of Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus.
Zeus gave the task of creating man and the animals to the Titan Prometheus (name means forethought) and his brother Epimetheus (name means afterthought). Epimetheus was to give all the animals special gifts for protection, such as shells for turtles and claws for bears, and so on. He gave out all the special gifts to the animals and there was nothing left when it came to man.
Prometheus created man in the likeness of the gods. He wanted to give man fire but Zeus would not permit it. Prometheus defied Zeus and stole fire from the gods and brought it down to man. Zeus was so mad that he chained Prometheus to a rock. Each day an eagle tore out and ate his liver during the day which grew back each night.
Zeus believed man needed to be weakened after the power of fire was given to him. He ordered Hephaestus to create woman for this task. Hephaestus created woman in the likeness of the goddesses. Every deity contributed to the creation of woman and gave her not only beauty, grace, and charm but also the art of lies, seduction, and guile. The first woman was named Pandora.
Zeus gave Pandora to Epimetheus as a gift. Prometheus warned Epimetheus not to receive gifts from Zeus, but he took her as his bride anyway. Zeus give Pandora a box which she was forbidden to open. Pandora could not resist her curiosity about what was in the box. She opened it and out came all the plagues of mankind, such as disease, pain, envy, sorrow and death. Pandora quickly shut the lid, trapping hope inside. Today the expression of a Pandora’s box is often used to refer to to something that produces danger or unforeseen trouble or confusion.
Prometheus - Adam, Nicolas-Sebastien Musee de Louvre, Paris
Psyche with Pandora's Box by Vries, Adriaen de - Nationalmuseum, Stockholm
Major Gods and Goddesses
Introduction | Creation Story | Olympians VS. Titans | Creation of Man |
Revolt of Giants | Abduction of Persephone | The Underworld
Visitors to Underworld | Amzon Warriors | Ares vs. Athena | Daedalus and Icarus
Echo and Narcissus | Judgement of Paris | Perseus and Andromeda | Trojan War