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Pandora's Pithos

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Pandora's Pithos

Pandora's Pithos in Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

A Greek vase appeared on the table. It was about three feet high and a foot wide, glazed with black-and-white geometrical designs. The ceramic lid was fastened with a leather harness.

Percy Jackson describing the pithos, in The Last Olympian

Pandora's Pithos (also known as Pandora's Jar or Pandora's Box) was once the "home" to all the evils of the world. When a curious Pandora opened it, all the evils that harm mankind escaped and made life worse for mortals. The Pithos is currently owned by the goddess Hestia and only one more spirit remains inside; the spirit of Hope, Elpis.

History

The pithos was originally given to Pandora, the first woman created, who in turn was given to Epimetheus by the gods. It was really a punishment for Prometheus - as he took fire from the gods - and humanity, for accepting it. They knew he would get angry if he saw his creations being tormented. So they gave Pandora the jar and told her not to open it no matter what. Percy remarked in The Last Olympian, that Pandora must have been "totally ADHD" like him and the curiosity was probably killing her. When Pandora did open the jar, all the evils that now torment mankind, such as lies, murder, death, sickness, treason, and all bad spirits and ideas escaped from the jar. The first Empousa was also released. Only Elpis, the spirit of hope, remained inside. 

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

The Last Olympian

When Prometheus meets Percy Jackson, he gives him the pithos. At that time, only Hope was left in the jar. Prometheus told Percy that Elpis must be given permission to leave, as only a 'child of man' can release her from the pithos. He tells Percy that when he is ready to surrender to Kronos, he should open it, giving up hope. Although Percy puts it in the hotel's safe, it follows him around, and appears whenever he is at his weakest, tempting him to open it. Percy, however refuses to surrender on all those occasions. Percy later gives it to Hestia as an offering, stating that she was the last and most important Olympian, as "hope survives best at the hearth." Hestia accepts this offer.
Hestia

Hestia, the current owner of the Pithos

Trivia

  • Though most mortals refer to it as a box or jar of some sort, it was actually a pithos, an Ancient Greek storage jar.
  • Prometheus is clueless as how the word box/jar came about, but admits that "Pandora's pithos" just does not have the same ring to it.

See Also

Items
Personal Weapons: Riptide | Annabeth's Knife | Backbiter | Frank's Spear | Hazel's Spatha | Katoptris | Nico's Sword | Thalia's Spear | Aegis | Maimer | Kronos' Scythe | Ivlivs | Master Bolt | Poseidon's Trident | Sword of Hades | Reyna's Spear | Hades' Staff | Juno's Gladius | Annabeth's Sword | Sumarbrander | Mjølnir | Thor's Staff | Khopesh | Mallory's Serrated Knife
Magical Items: Annabeth's Yankees Cap | Helm of Darkness | Keys of Hades | Flying Chariot | Golden Apple | Greek Fire | Hermes' Multivitamins | Leo's Magical Toolbelt | Nectar and Ambrosia | Pandora's Pithos | Winged Shoes | The Golden Fleece | Stygian Ice Whistle | Serapis' Staff
Spoils of War: The Minotaur's Horn | Medusa's Head | Kampê's Scimitars | Nemean Lion's Pelt | Gorgon Blood | Cornucopia
Items: Camp Necklace | Chameleon Armor | Daedalus' Laptop | Golden drachma | Denarius | Mark of Athena | The Pax | Video Shield | Wristwatch Shield | Golden Mango | Sibylline Books
Blessed Metals: Celestial Bronze | Imperial Gold | Stygian Iron | Bone Steel