ABSTRACT

Hesiod’s Works and Days, one of the oldest of human attempts to synthesize the history of the cosmos and of mankind, is our source for the Pandora myth, which is woven into the fabric of the conflict played out between Zeus and Prometheus. Zeus the Olympian, king of the gods, ruling from the father s throne, angrily tells Prometheus, the son of lapetos the Titan:

You are pleased at having stolen fire and outwitted me-a great calamity both for yourself and for men to come. To set against the fire I shall give them an affliction in which they will all delight as they embrace their own misfortune1

(lines 54-58)

Affliction it may be, but they will delight in it as they embrace their misfortune, which lies concealed within their hearts. They will delight in an affliction, a misfortune. It is Pandora who will be sent to mankind through Epimetheus, as a present from Zeus, a homologue to Prometheus’s gift.