After the stealing of fire, Zeus became increasingly unkind to men. One day he ordered his son Hephaestus to build an image of a beautiful maiden out of clay. He then asked the gods and goddesses to award her with different kinds of gifts. Among others, Athena clothed her in an attractive coat and Hermes gave her the power of telling lies. A charming young lady, she was the first woman that ever lived. Zeus called her Pandora. Because she had received from each of the gods and goddesses a gift. The gift was harmful to men.   Zeus decided to send her down to men as a present. So Hermes them essenger brought her to Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus. The GREatness of her beauty touched the hearts of all who looked upon her, and Epimetheus happily received her into his house. He had quite forgotten pometheus' warning: never to accept anything from Zeus. The couple lived a happy life for some time. Then trouble came on to the human world.   When he was busy with teaching men the art of living, Prometheus had left a big cask in the care of Epimetheus. He had warned his brother not to open the lid. Pandora was a curious woman. She had been feeling very disappointed that her husband did not allow her to take a look at the contents of the cask. One day, when Epimetheus was out, she lifted the lid and out it came unrest and war, plague and sickness, theft and violence, grief sorrow, and all the other evils. The human world was hence to experience these evils. Only hope stayed within the mouth of the jar and never flew out. So men always have hope within their hearts.   偷窃天火之后,宙斯对人类的敌意与日俱增。一天,他令儿子赫菲斯托斯用泥塑一美女像,并请众神赠予她不同的礼物。其中,雅典娜饰之以华丽的衣裳,赫耳墨斯赠之以说谎的能力。世上的第一个女人是位迷人女郎,因为她从每位神灵那里得到了一样对男人有害的礼物,因此宙斯称她为潘多拉。  宙斯决定把她作为礼物送给世间的男子。于是信使赫耳墨斯将她带给普罗米修斯的弟弟厄庇墨透斯。她姿容绝美,见者无不为之倾心。厄庇墨透斯兴高采烈地把她迎入屋内。普罗米修斯警告过他不得接受宙斯的任何馈赠,而他已将之忘于脑后。这一对夫妻有过一段幸福的生活,但不久灾难却降临人间。  当普罗米修斯忙于教授人们生存之道的时候,他把一个桶托付给厄庇墨透斯。他警告过他的弟弟不要打开桶盖。潘多拉好奇心强。她的丈夫不允许她看桶中之物,这使她感到十分懊恼。一天乘厄庇墨透斯出门在外,她打开桶盖,从桶里跑出的是不和与战争,瘟疫与疾病,偷窃与暴力,悲哀与忧虑,以及其他一些人类从此要遭受的不幸。只有希望被关在桶口,永远飞不出来,因此人们常常把希望藏于心中。

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