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The original story of Pandora was mentioned by the Greek poet Hesiod in his poem “Works and Days,” where Pandora is the first woman on Earth. She opened a Pandora’s box, which let out all the evil to the world. Today, the idiom “Pandora’s box” means a source of great troubles.

Explanation:

The story of Pandora refers to Greek mythology. Among other Greek gods, there was Zeus, a king of the gods, and Prometheus, a god of fire. There was no mankind yet, and Zeus asked Prometheus and Hephaestus, the fire and blacksmith god, to create men from clay and water. After accomplishing Zeus’ wish, Prometheus stole fire from the halls of heaven to give it to mankind as a gift. Zeus was infuriated as he did not intend to gift fire to men and decided to punish Prometheus. The king of the gods asked Hephaistos to create the first woman out of earth and water. This woman named Pandora was bestowed with the gifts from each god: beauty, charm, a cunning mind, power of speech, and many others. She was also given a container, which initially was a jar containing misery and sorrows. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, a jar later became a box in the 16th century due to the mistranslation.

Zeus sent Pandora (translated as “All-giving” from Greek) to Epimetheus, the brother of Prometheus. Although Epimetheus was warned never to accept any gifts from gods, he welcomed Pandora at his home and later married her. Pandora was also instructed never to open a jar that she had been given. However, curiosity prevailed, and she lifted the lid of the jar, releasing terrible things of earth: wars, diseases, and vice. Thus, Pandora’s box became an idiom, which symbolizes a source of unexpected troubles.