The Greek Myth of Pandora's Jar


Kelly Macquire
published on 13 November 2022

Pandora and her jar or box a well-known figure from Greek myth, is known from the ancient literature as the first mortal woman who was crafted out of clay by the gods. The name Pandora can mean all- giving or the giver of all but also all-gifted, and both of these meanings make sense when you think about her story as she was given all manner of gifts by the gods and was also the giver of unwanted “gifts” to humanity. According to Hesiod in his Theogony and Works & Days, Pandora was crafted by the god of metallurgy and smiths, Hephaestus, from earth and water as directed by Zeus, the king of the gods, as an affliction on man.

Pandora was sent as a gift to Epimetheus, who had previously been warned by his brother not to accept any gifts from Zeus, but he accepted Pandora before he remembered his brother’s warning since he is, after all, the titan of afterthought. Pandora came to earth not alone, but with a jar that she was told never to open. One day, when she could no longer control her curiosity, she opened the jar and released all mortal ills upon the earth including sickness, war, vice, toil, pain, and the necessity to work for sustenance.



0:00​ Introduction
1:03 The Myth of Pandora's Box
5:58 Outro

Works and Days
Greek Mythology

An Introduction to Ancient Greek Magic and Sorceresses
Hephaestus the Greek God of Fire and Metallurgy
Oracles of Ancient Greece
The Greek Goddess Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries

You can find all attribution and credits for images, animations, graphics and music here -

The music used in this recording is the intellectual copyright of Michael Levy, a prolific composer for the recreated lyres of antiquity, and used with the creator's permission. Michael Levy's music is available to stream at all the major digital music platforms. Find out more on:

World History Encyclopedia

#pandorasbox #greekmythology #pandorasjar

Remove Ads
Subscribe to this author

About the Author

Kelly Macquire
Kelly is a graduate from Monash University who has completed her BA (Honours) in Ancient History and Archaeology, focussing on iconography and status in Pylos burials. She has a passion for mythology and the Aegean Bronze Age.

Cite This Work

APA Style

Macquire, K. (2022, November 13). The Greek Myth of Pandora's Jar. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Greek Myth of Pandora's Jar." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified November 13, 2022.

MLA Style

Macquire, Kelly. "The Greek Myth of Pandora's Jar." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 13 Nov 2022. Web. 22 Jun 2024.