In Greek mythology, Epimetheus (/ɛpɪˈmiːθiəs/; Greek: Ἐπιμηθεύς, which might mean "hindsight", literally "afterthinker") was the brother of Prometheus (traditionally interpreted as "foresight", literally "fore-thinker"), a pair of Titans who "acted as representatives of mankind" (Kerenyi 1951, p 207). They were the sons of Iapetus,[1] who in other contexts was the father of Atlas. While Prometheus is characterized as ingenious and clever, Epimetheus is depicted as foolish.

Pandora's gift to Epimetheus
Pandora offers the jar to Epimetheus.


According to Plato's use of the old myth in his Protagoras (320d–322a), the twin Titans were entrusted with distributing the traits among the newly created animals. Epimetheus was responsible for giving a positive trait to every animal, but when it was time to give man a positive trait, lacking foresight he found that there was nothing left.[2] Prometheus decided that humankind's attributes would be the civilising arts and fire, which he stole from Athena and Hephaestus. Prometheus later stood trial for his crime. In the context of Plato's dialogue, "Epimetheus, the being in whom thought follows production, represents nature in the sense of materialism, according to which thought comes later than thoughtless bodies and their thoughtless motions."[3]

According to Hesiod, who related the tale twice (Theogony, 527ff; Works and Days 57ff), Epimetheus was the one who accepted the gift of Pandora from the gods. Their marriage may be inferred (and was by later authors), but it is not made explicit in either text. In later myths, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora was Pyrrha, who married Deucalion, a descendant of Prometheus. Together they are the only two humans who survived the deluge.[4] In some accounts, Epimetheus had another daughter, Metameleia whose name means "regret of what has occurred" for those that do not plan ahead will only feel sorrow when calamity strikes.[5]

In modern culture

In his seminal book Psychological Types, in chapter X, "General description of the types", Carl Jung uses the image of Epimetheus (with direct reference to Carl Spitteler's Epimetheus) to refer to the false application of a mental function, as opposed to its whole, healthy, and creative use.[6]

Carl Schmitt, in his book Ex captivitate salus describes himself as a Christian Epimetheus.[7]

Ivan Illich devotes a chapter of Deschooling Society to the Rebirth of Epimethean Man.

Epimetheus plays a key role in the philosophy of Bernard Stiegler, and in particular in terms of his understanding of the relation between technogenesis and anthropogenesis; according to Stiegler, it is significant that Epimetheus is entirely forgotten in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger.

Les Amis, in his book Commemorating Epimetheus (2009), reinstates the value of Epimetheus. He is credited with bringing to the world our knowledge of dependency on each other described phenomenologically in terms of sharing, caring, meeting and dwelling and loving.

Epimetheus is also mentioned in the Japanese Light Novel "Campione!" as the father of god-slayers, because it would take someone with no foresight to fight a god.


  1. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 511ff.
  2. ^ Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, p. 117.
  3. ^ Leo Strauss, Natural Right and History, p. 117.
  4. ^ Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book I, line 390.
  5. ^ John Tzetzes. Chiliades, 6.50 lines 913-916
  6. ^ Jung, Carl (1921). "X. General description of the types". Psychological Types. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Indagini su Epimeteo tra Ivan Illich, Konrad Weiss e Carl Schmitt" (PDF). Il Covile. 2008. Retrieved 22 February 2013.


  • Kerenyi, Karl, 1951. The Gods of the Greeks, pp 209ff.
  • Graves, Robert, (1955) 1960, The Greek Myths 39.a–j
  • Amis, Les, 2009. Commemorating Epimetheus.
1810 Epimetheus

1810 Epimetheus ( ep-i-MEE-thee-əs), provisional designation 4196 P-L, is a stony Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 8 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered on 24 September 1960, by Dutch astronomer couple Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten, and Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels during the Palomar–Leiden survey at Palomar Observatory in California, United States. It was later named after Epimetheus from Greek mythology.

Co-orbital configuration

In astronomy, a co-orbital configuration is a configuration of two or more astronomical objects (such as asteroids, moons, or planets) orbiting at the same, or very similar, distance from their primary, i.e. they are in a 1:1 mean-motion resonance. (or 1:−1 if orbiting in opposite directions).There are several classes of co-orbital objects, depending on their point of libration. The most common and best-known class is the trojan, which librates around one of the two stable Lagrangian points (Trojan points), L4 and L5, 60° ahead of and behind the larger body respectively. Another class is the horseshoe orbit, in which objects librate around 180° from the larger body. Objects librating around 0° are called quasi-satellites.An exchange orbit occurs when two co-orbital objects are of similar masses and thus exert a non-negligible influence on each other. The objects can exchange semi-major axes or eccentricities when they approach each other.


In Greek mythology, Elpis (Ancient Greek: ἐλπίς) is the personification and spirit of hope (usually seen as an extension to suffering by the Greeks, not as a god). She was depicted as a young woman, usually carrying flowers or a cornucopia in her hands.

Epimetheus (disambiguation)

Epimetheus was a Titan in Greek mythology.

Epimetheus may also refer to:

Epimetheus (moon), a moon of Saturn

1810 Epimetheus, an asteroid

Epimetheus (moon)

Epimetheus is an inner satellite of Saturn. It is also known as Saturn XI. It is named after the mythological Epimetheus, brother of Prometheus.

Horseshoe orbit

A horseshoe orbit is a type of co-orbital motion of a small orbiting body relative to a larger orbiting body (such as Earth). The orbital period of the smaller body is very nearly the same as for the larger body, and its path appears to have a horseshoe shape as viewed from the larger object in a rotating reference frame.

The loop is not closed but will drift forward or backward slightly each time, so that the point it circles will appear to move smoothly along the larger body's orbit over a long period of time. When the object approaches the larger body closely at either end of its trajectory, its apparent direction changes. Over an entire cycle the center traces the outline of a horseshoe, with the larger body between the 'horns'.

Asteroids in horseshoe orbits with respect to Earth include 54509 YORP, 2002 AA29, 2010 SO16, 2015 SO2 and possibly 2001 GO2. A broader definition includes 3753 Cruithne, which can be said to be in a compound and/or transition orbit, or (85770) 1998 UP1 and 2003 YN107. By 2016, 12 horseshoe librators of Earth have been discovered.Saturn's moons Epimetheus and Janus occupy horseshoe orbits with respect to each other (in their case, there is no repeated looping: each one traces a full horseshoe with respect to the other).


In Greek mythology, Iapetus (), also Japetus (Ancient Greek: Ἰαπετός Iapetos), was a Titan, the son of Uranus and Gaia, and father (by an Oceanid named Clymene or Asia) of Atlas, Prometheus, Epimetheus and Menoetius. He was also called the father of Buphagus and Anchiale in other sources.

Iapetus as the progenitor of mankind has been equated with Japheth (יֶפֶת), the son of Noah, based on the similarity of their names and the tradition, reported by Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews), which made Japheth the ancestor of the "Japhetites". Iapetus was linked to Japheth by 17th-century theologian Matthew Poole and, more recently, by Robert Graves and by John Pairman Brown.

Janus (moon)

Janus is an inner satellite of Saturn. It is also known as Saturn X. It is named after the mythological Janus.

List of geological features on Saturn's smaller moons

This is list of named geological features on Janus, Epimetheus and Phoebe.


Menoetius or Menoetes (; Greek: Μενοίτιος, Μενοίτης Menoitios), meaning doomed might, is a name that refers to three distinct beings from Greek mythology:

Menoetius, a second generation Titan, son of Iapetus and Clymene or Asia, and a brother of Atlas, Prometheus and Epimetheus, Menoetius was killed by Zeus on Mount Triphyle with a flash of lightning in the Titanomachy, and banished to Tartarus. His name means "doomed might," deriving from the Ancient Greek words menos ("might, power") and oitos ("doom, pain"). Hesiod described Menoetius as hubristic, meaning exceedingly prideful and impetuous to the very end. From what his name suggests, along with Hesiod's own account, Menoetius was perhaps the Titan god of violent anger and rash action.

Menoetius, guard of the cattle of Hades. During Heracles twelfth labor, which required him to steal the hound Cerberus from the Underworld, he slays one of Hades cattle. A certain Menoetius, son of Keuthonymos, challenges Heracles to a wrestling match during which Heracles hugs him and breaks his ribs before Persephone intervenes.

Menoetius, from Opus was one of the Argonauts and son of Actor and Aegina. He was the father of Patroclus and Myrto by either Damocrateia, Sthenele, Periopis or Polymele. Among the settlers of Locris, Menoetius was chiefly honored by King Opus II, son of Zeus and Protogeneia.

Mesothen epimetheus

Mesothen epimetheus is a moth of the subfamily Arctiinae. It was described by Schaus in 1892. It is found in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro).


In Greek mythology, Pandora (Greek: Πανδώρα, derived from πᾶν, pān, i.e. "all" and δῶρον, dōron, i.e. "gift", thus "the all-endowed", "all-gifted" or "all-giving") was the first human woman, created by Hephaestus on the instructions of Zeus. As Hesiod related it, each god co-operated by giving her unique gifts. Her other name—inscribed against her figure on a white-ground kylix in the British Museum—is Anesidora (Ancient Greek: Ἀνησιδώρα), "she who sends up gifts" (up implying "from below" within the earth).

The Pandora myth is a kind of theodicy, addressing the question of why there is evil in the world. According to this, Pandora opened a jar (pithos), in modern accounts sometimes mistranslated as "Pandora's box", releasing all the evils of humanity. Hesiod's interpretation of Pandora's story, sometimes considered as misogynous, went on to influence both Jewish and Christian theology and so perpetuated her bad reputation into the Renaissance. Later poets, dramatists, painters and sculptors made her their subject and over the course of five centuries contributed new insights into her motives and significance.

Pandora's box

Pandora's box is an artifact in Greek mythology connected with the myth of Pandora in Hesiod's Works and Days. The container mentioned in the original story was actually a large storage jar but the word was later mistranslated as "box."

In modern times an idiom has grown from it meaning "Any source of great and unexpected troubles", or alternatively "A present which seems valuable but which in reality is a curse". Later depictions of the fatal container have been varied, while some literary and artistic treatments have focused more on the contents of the idiomatic box than on Pandora herself.

Phoebe (Titaness)

[1]In ancient Greek religion, Phoebe (; Greek: Φοίβη Phoibe, associated with Phoebos or "shining") was one of the first generation of Titans, who were one set of sons and daughters of Uranus and Gaia.

Prometheus (moon)

Prometheus is an inner satellite of Saturn. It was discovered in 1980 (some time before October 25) from photos taken by the Voyager 1 probe, and was provisionally designated S/1980 S 27.In late 1985 it was officially named after Prometheus, a Titan in Greek mythology. It is also designated Saturn XVI (16). Pronunciation for Prometheus is , prə-MEE-thee-əs; Greek: Προμηθεύς.

Prometheus is extremely elongated, measuring approximately 136 km × 79 km × 59 km (85 mi × 49 mi × 37 mi). It has several ridges and valleys and a number of impact craters of about 20 km (12 mi) diameter are visible, but it is less cratered than nearby Pandora, Epimetheus, and Janus. From its very low density and relatively high albedo, it is likely that Prometheus is a very porous icy body. There is a lot of uncertainty in these values, however, and so this remains to be confirmed.


In Greek mythology, Prophasis (Πρόφασις) was the personification of excuse or plea. She was called the daughter of Epimetheus.

Pyrrha of Thessaly

In Greek mythology, Pyrrha (; Ancient Greek: Πύρρα) was the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora and wife of Deucalion of whom she had three sons, Hellen, Amphictyon, Orestheus; and three daughters Protogeneia, Pandora II and Thyia. According to some accounts, Hellen was credited to be born from Pyrrha's union with Zeus.

Technics and Time, 1

Technics and Time, 1: The Fault of Epimetheus (French: La technique et le temps, 1: La faute d'Épiméthée) is a book by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, first published by Galilée in 1994.

The English translation, by George Collins and Richard Beardsworth, was published by Stanford University Press in 1998. The Technics and Time series is the fullest systematic statement by Stiegler of his philosophy, and the first volume draws on the work of Martin Heidegger, André Leroi-Gourhan, Gilbert Simondon, Bertrand Gille, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Jean-Pierre Vernant in order to outline and develop Stiegler's major philosophical theses. The series currently consists of three books.

Titan (mythology)

The Titans (Greek: Τιτάν, Titán, plural: Τiτᾶνες, Titânes) and Titanesses (or Titanides; Greek: Τιτανίς, Titanís, plural: Τιτανίδες, Titanídes) are a race of deities originally worshiped as part of Ancient Greek religion. They were often considered to be the second generation of divine beings, succeeding the primordial deities and preceding the Olympians, but also included certain descendants of the second generation. The Titans include the first twelve children of Gaia (Mother Earth) and Uranus (Father Sky), who ruled during the legendary Golden Age, and also comprised the first pantheon of Greek deities.

Ancient Greek deities by affiliation
Other deities

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