Day Twenty-Six of the A-to-Z Challenge in April 2017. Let’s do this.
This year there’s no linky list or form to fill out to sign up. It might be too late to join at this point (unless you were double posting), but you can always cheer/comment on participants (and find awesome bloggers) at the A-to-Z’s official blog.
Now I should warn, that I didn’t stick to the common sense rule of writing short, pithy posts. Mine are long and bloated, but I’m having fun with it. And if you wanna skim, that’s absolutely cool with me!
Leave a comment down below with your blog so I can visit I’m thrilled to be making new friends. 🙂
As part of my Greek mythic figures, places, and things theme, my “Z” post features the god of Olympian gods – the king of the mountain who doesn’t need a-drum-roll-when-he-can-wield-thunder, Zeus.
Can you tell I barely bothered to search for another “Z” option?
Well, yeah. There’s plenty of Zeus-related material out there. But that’s also why this post is going to be hard. What do I choose to focus about? I talked some of his lovers, and I’m not really in the mood to venture into that topic again. *yawn* So the dude couldn’t keep his lightning bolts in his pants (or up his chiton), snoozefest.
So let’s talk those times Zeus sort of screwed humanity. That sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
Let’s begin with the tale of Pandora.
She was the first human created, also the first woman.
The actual “whole opening the box and unleashing doom and hope” has some pretty convoluted material out there, but let’s see if I can untangle this correctly.
So, there were two brothers, both of them Titans, the good kind because this is post-Titanomachy. These brothers, Prometheus and the younger, foolish Epimetheus, were a soft-hearted duo, and hardly as whimsically ruthless as most the Olympian gods. Anyways, Prometheus was crafty, a trickster god with a gold heart. He created an original race of man and he cared for them, like a good creator (and unlike Zeus, who couldn’t give his godly behind about what happened to humans).
Anyways, the good Titans not punished by Zeus gathered on Mt. Olympus to decide who should get the better share of sacrifices. Prometheus tricked Zeus out of the greater share of meat when humans sacrificed animals to the Olympian gods. So the gods would be left with bones. (Haha.)
Then Prometheus decided to steal some fire for his little humans.
Angered by this outrage, Zeus’s fury translated into his own cunning revenge. But first, he had to chain Prometheus up. Tying the Titan to a rock, he left him there to have an eagle pecking out his liver, only to have the liver renewed at the end of the day for the oh-so-painful cycle to repeat. Funny enough, Prometheus is later rescued by Hercules, Zeus’s – allegedly – favorite mortal kid. (Guess that’s Zeus’s way of saying “you’ve been tortured enough”).
So while Prometheus was chained up, Zeus zeroed his attention on the less brighter half of the Titan brothers, Epimetheus. Sending for Hephaestus, he had the smithy god craft a “daughter” for Zeus, one made of clay.
Not sure what material Prometheus’s human race was made of, but there’s the clay Adam and Eve were also supposedly made from.
And all the other gods got in the human-making (slash pottery) party. “She was then given gifts from all the Olympian gods. Aphrodite gave to her unparalleled beauty, grace and desire. Hermes, the messenger god, gave her a cunning, deceitful mind and a crafty tongue. Athena clothed her and taught her to be deft with her hands. Poseidon bestowed on her a pearl necklace that would prevent her from drowning. Apollo taught her to play the lyre and to sing. Zeus gave her a foolish, mischievous and idle nature and last but not least, Hera gave her the wiliest gift, curiosity.” (source)
I’m still stuck on Poseidon’s gift: a pearl necklace that prevents her from drowning…for what? A wrathful, divine-decreed deluge?
Anyways, she was sent as a bride to Epimetheus. Epimetheus lived down there with his brother’s humans. Pandora brought along a beautifully ornate storage jar (not a box!) with her. She was not to open the box, which sort of should have been the point when she said “Okay, I don’t want it then.”
Anyways, her curiosity (thanks Hera!) gets the better of her and she opens that sucker.
Out pours all the vileness plaguing the Earth today (i.e. violence, rage, hunger, disease, etc.). All but Hope (Elpis) comes soaring out last from the vase.
MORAL: That’s why humans have a steadfast nature. Stick in there. It’s not like it’s your fault that jar was opened.
Moving on to what happened some time after…
Remember that deluge I mentioned?
Well, I’m sure Pandora wasn’t alive for it, so that necklace from Poseidon went to waste. And it seems like Pyrrha, Pandora’s daughter, didn’t need it either.
Pyrrha, whose name means fire, “was the first child born of a mortal mother.” Neat, right? I guess all woman and babies were made by Prometheus up until that point. It’s like humans 1.0 were upgraded.
Pyrrha went on to marry her first cousin, Deucalion, the son of Prometheus. When the jar of evils (and lone hope!) was opened, it eventually led Zeus to realize just how whacked Prometheus’s creations were down there under Mt. Olympus. He decided a good, ole, pre-monotheistic cleansing was needed.
Deucalion realized that there would be a flood (or Zeus spared him, so he sent news that there would be a mass genocide occurring, and to take cover). Deucalion built a chest large enough for him and his wife, Pyrrha. Tucking them in, they waited out the 9-day mass flood.
When it was over, Zeus called for Pyrrha and Deucalion, as the remaining “humans” (they weren’t really fully human…) to repopulate the empty world. So they were given some magical stones to toss over their shoulders to create a new race of men and women.
But it’s not like that flood cleansed the world of the so-called evils that poured out Pandora’s jar. Just sayin’. It was a pointless move, Zeus.
MORAL: Think through your actions. I mean, what is really the end purpose? I’m looking at you here, Zeus.
Sources that helped me with this post:
Check them out when you can!