Saturday, September 1, 2012

Misconceptions about Pandora's Box: September Theme

Since Suzanne and I recently turned in our edits on the galleys for the next Goddess Girls book--Pandora the Curious--there's a misconception on my mind. The one about Pandora's Box. Turns out it was really probably a jar. A big one called a pithos. Pithos were tall earthenware jars typically used for wine or olive oil storage and shipment. They were used all over the Mediterranean in ancient times. They're often big--five or six feet tall, with handles.

How did this misconception get started? Mostly likely because of a Latin mistranslation of the Greek poet, Hesiod's Pandora tale. The word "pithos" was misconstrued as "pyxis," the Greek word for box. Then, the famous pre-Raphaelite artist, Dante Gabriel Rossetti painted Pandora with a box in the 1800s, and the box misconception was firmly entrenched in the minds of the public.
Since the box is such a tradition by now, and our Goddess Girls series is not nonfiction, we went with the box in our book! 

1 comment:

  1. Isn't that funny how misconceptions get entrenched in our culture? Great post...