Aesop's Fables, translated by Laura Gibbs (2002)
526. ZEUS AND THE JAR OF GOOD THINGS
Perry 312 (Babrius
Zeus gathered all the useful things together in a jar and put a lid on
it. He then left the jar in human hands. But man had no self-control and
he wanted to know what was in that jar, so he pushed the lid aside, letting
those things go back to the abode of the gods. So all the good things
flew away, soaring high above the earth, and Hope was the only thing left.
When the lid was put back on the jar, Hope was kept inside. That is why
Hope alone is still found among the people, promising that she will bestow
on each of us the good things that have gone away.
Note: Unlike the famous 'Pandora's
box' version of this story (which is attested as early as the eighth
century B.C.E. in the Greek poet Hesiod),
this version notably does not blame all the misfortune of the world
on a woman.
Aesop's Fables. A new translation by Laura
Oxford University Press (World's Classics): Oxford, 2002.
cover, with new ISBN, published in 2008; contents of book unchanged.