About Epimetheus of Greek Mythology
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In Greek mythology, Prometheus and Epimetheus were Titans who “acted as representatives of mankind.” The traditional translation of Prometheus is “foresight,” literally “fore-thinker.” The two were sons of Iapetus, whom some contexts refer to as the father of Atlas. The gods had stolen fire from the humans, and Epimetheus had given it to them.
Prometheus then hid it before the gods could take it back. While Prometheus is a brilliant character, Greek mythology depicts Epimetheus as foolish and a slow thinker. However, despite this trait, Greek literature records the great doings of Epimetheus. Keep reading to learn more.
Origin of Epimetheus
In his writings, Plato cites an ancient narrative to illustrate the genesis of Epimetheus. He was a god of the second generation, conceived by Clymene and IAPETUS. Gaia and Uranus, the ancestors of Epimetheus, are responsible for the succession myth.
All three brothers of Epimetheus play a significant role in Greek mythology. First was Atlas, famous for facing punishment from Zeus for holding up the heavens. MENOETIUS, his second brother, took part in the divine war and was banished to Tartarus. Epimetheus’s third brother was Prometheus and the two share a strong bond due to their role in the creation of humankind.
Epimetheus and Animals
According to the old myth, it was the responsibility of the two brothers to assign traits to all the earth’s animals after creation. Epimetheus requested his brother to allow him to distribute qualities to the animals, and then the brother would inspect. Therefore, he armed some and left others unarmed. However, he gave all a trait for protection, such as size. Large animals could fight, while the tiny ones could fly or hide underground.
The protection technique was to prevent the extinction of any animal kind. Afterward, he gave all the animals’ protection techniques against unfavorable weather conditions. After assigning positive characteristics to all animals and it was time to give humankind one, Epimetheus discovered that there was no positive trait left. The lack of traits for humans was because Epimetheus did not have foresight.
Epimetheus Accepts Pandora
According to Greek mythology, Pandora means a gift. The king of the gods was angry with the theft and men’s actions on earth, so he ordered the gods’ blacksmith, Hephaestus, to create a woman out of metal. Once the design was ready, he breathed life into it and she became the first woman on earth. Her name was Pandora.
Zeus handed Epimetheus Pandora as a bride. Greek mythology history records that the two wed and had children, but that was long after the events of Pandora’s Box.
Epimetheus holds a significant position in Greek mythology’s history of humankind. While various contexts record that he had many children with his wife Pandora, Pyrrha, their daughter stands out. She married a descendant of Prometheus, married Deucalion and they became the only survivors of the deluge. Deluge is a Greek flood myth meaning the deities sent floods to destroy all civilization. Epimetheus had a second daughter, Metameleia.
Categorized in: Greek Mythology
This post was written by Greek Boston