Facts about Epimetheus in Greek Mythology
Epimetheus features in the Creation myth of the ancient Greeks which are based on the idea that these supernatural beings resembled mortals but possessed great magical and mystic powers.
Role & Function: The function of Epimetheus is described as being the foolish god of afterthought and the creator of animals
Status: A god in the second dynasty of Titans
Name of Wife / Consort: Pandora
Name of Father: Iapetus
Name of Mother: Clymene
Names of Brothers: Menoetius, Atlas, and Prometheus.
Names of Sisters: None
Names of Children: Pyrrha who became the wife of Deucalion
Who was Epimetheus?
Epimetheus was the second generation of Titan gods and was worshipped as the foolish god of afterthought and the creator of animals. He is famous for his connection with his wife, Pandora, whose curiosity led her to open a box, belonging to the gods, unleashing evil spirits that were trapped within that would ever afterwards plague mankind. He was one of the extraordinary number of gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. The Titans were the descendents of the first gods or divinities, called the primordial or primeval gods, who were born out of Chaos. The children of the Titans included the famous Olympian gods who included Zeus, Hera, Hestia, Hades and Poseidon and are shown on the Titans Family tree. The legend and myth about Epimetheus, the foolish god of afterthought and the creator of animals, and the Titans has been passed down through the ages and plays an important role in the history of the Ancient World of Greece and the study of the Greek classics.
Prometheus and his brother Epimetheus - The Creation of Men & Animals
Epimetheus and his brother Prometheus were given the task of populating the world, and providing their creations with natural gifts. Prometheus created Man. Epimetheus created the birds and the animals. The foolish, thoughtless brother, gave little thought to his work when creating the animals of the world. He squandered many powerful gifts on the animals. giving powerful teeth and claws to wild animals such as lions, tigers and bears, giving wings to birds blessing them with the power of flight, and giving swift legs to horses. No such gifts remained to give to mankind. However, Prometheus invented a new gift called Intelligence and it gave to men, together with the gift of fire which he stole from Zeus, in order that men would be armed against wild animals.
Epimetheus and Pandora's Box
Zeus was angered by the theft of fire by Prometheus and ordered the creation of Pandora, the first woman, as a means to reduce the power of man. Despite the warnings of his brother not to accept any gifts from the gods, Epimetheus received Pandora as his bride and accepted a mysterious box which he was supposed to keep safe for the gods. However, the curiosity of Pandora was so great that she opened the box and released a plague of harmful spirits to trouble mankind, often referred to as " The Troubles". Only a spirit called remained behind to give Hope to the unfortunate race of men. Refer to the mythical stories of Epimetheus and Pandora and The Troubles.
Epimetheus and the Battle of the Titans
Epimetheus fought on the side of the Olympian gods, in the Battle of the Titans, which was a power struggle between the older Titan gods and the younger generation of gods who became known as the Olympians. The Titan gods were called the the Othrysians as they were based on Mount Othrys and were joined by the father of Epimetheus who was called Iapetus and his brothers Atlas and Menoetius. Epimetheus and his brother Prometheus took the side of Zeus. As both sides of the war were immortal, no permanent casualties were possible and Menoetius and Iapetus were subsequently banished to Tartarus, the infernal region of hell in the Underworld. Atlas was condemned to bearing the weight of the world on his shoulders. For stealing fire from Zeus, Prometheus was condemned to being tormented by the Caucasian Eagle.