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Epimetheus

Titan god of afterthought

Epimetheus was the Titan god of afterthought or to be more precise, the god of excuses as his head started thinking, when he realised that he`s not done something right. Epimetheus was the descendant of Iapetus and Clymene and had three brothers.

With the bright brother Prometheus, they took allegiance with Zeus and other Olympians during the war and therefore were not imprisoned or punished, after the Titans were defeated. Quite contrary, they were tasked to create animals and mankind. Epimetheus was tasked to created animals and is also known as the creator of all the animals on the earth.

His mission was to give all the animals a positive trait. However, because of his lack of foresight, he used all of traits for animals, not leaving a single thing for Prometheus and mankind. And on top of everything, the animals that he created and richly, but without careful thinking, equipped them with positive traits, eventually turned against him.

Epimetheus and Pandora

After Prometheus' punishment for stealing fire, Pandora was set to become wife of Epimetheus and bring misfortune upon mankind and animals, the creation of the brothers. Pandora was created by Hephaestus, on the orders of Zeus who wanted take revenge on the brothers and their creation. When Pandora was crafted out of water and earth and when the Four Winds breathed life into her, each of the gods had given her a gift of their own. Aphrodite gave her beauty and desire. Hermes gave her a cunning mind and crafty tongue. Athena gave her clothes and taught her how to skillfully use her hands.

Poseidon gave her a pearl necklace that would prevent her from drowning. Apollo taught her about music, how to sing and play instruments. Zeus gave her a foolish, mischievous nature and as last one, Hera gave her the tricky gift, curiosity. Once Pandora was presented to Epimetheus, he instantly fell in love with her and married her without thought or consideration, despite his brother's warning never to accept any gift from Zeus. Soon they had a wedding which included all the gods and Zeus gave them a special box as wedding gift and told Epimetheus that there is no more hard feelings between them. Epimetheus and Pandora in their marriage had one daughter:

Pyrrha - She was a wife of Deucalion, the son of Prometheus, and together they survived the great flood. After the flood, they were instructed at the oracle of Delphi to repopulate the world with throwing "bones" of their "mother" behind their shoulders. They understood bones to be rocks and mother to be Gaea. They started throwing rocks behind shoulder and that is how they started shaping mankind again. Rocks thrown by Pyrrha became women and rocks thrown by Deucalion became men.

Opening Pandora's box

Life has passed quickly and happily for a married couple, but with time Pandora developed uncontrollable desire to open the box, even though she pledged to Zeus that she would never open it. Soon the curiosity took advantage of her and she opened the box in optimistic expectation to see a hidden treasure from Zeus. And the hidden treasure it was. Before she realised, there was a strange horrible sound which spread through the air around her. Out of the box escaped all the horrors such as greed, envy, pain, illness which are present since then. There would be more, but Epimetheus and Pandora managed to shut the box, unfortunately too late.

Pandora realised that she was nothing more but the pawn in the game, played by the gods. Later that day, they heard a sound coming from the box. When they got close enough, they heard a sound claiming it was hope. Epimetheus and Pandora then decided to let it out and give the world hope, the only good thing which Zeus trapped inside the box.

Epimetheus as the subject of modern philosophy

Epimetheus is also important subject of modern culture, especially in Les Amis` book Commemorating Epimetheus, where he is credited for bringing to our world the understanding of dependency on each other in the terms of sharing, caring, meeting, loving and dwelling.

[1]

Sources

[1] "Greek Gods"




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