Greek Flood Myth



Then comes the Greek story of the flood. Bereft of Prometheus' guidance, men and women grew so wicked that Jupiter sent a great flood which destroyed them all, except one good man, Deucalion, a son of Prometheus, and one good woman, Pyrrha, a daughter of Epimetheus. These two were preserved as being fit to live. The flood submerged all earth except Mount Olympus, where the gods lived, and Mount Parnassus, where Deucalion and Pyrrha found shelter. Then the waters withdrew, and from the oracle of Apollo on Parnassus came a voice commanding the two survivors to people the world anew with more worthy inhabitants. They were told to begin by casting behind them "the bones of their mother." Deucalion shrewdly interpreted this strange oracle as referring to the stones, the bones of Mother Earth. So as he and Pyrrha left the oracle, they tossed stones over their shoulders. All that Deucalion threw took form as men, those of Pyrrha became women. She was slighter than Deucalion, and threw smaller stones, so women have ever since been less of stature than men.

The son of Deucalion was that Hellen from whom all the later Greeks claimed descent. Yet it is notable that even in their legends they retain the traces of their divided race. On Hellen's family tree there is a distinct place assigned for each Achaean hero. But the heroes of the older Aegean people are never traced from Hellen. Each one is given independent origin as the child or grandchild of some god. Thus we have a fairly positive way for deciding of each hero in the stories that follow whether he was in truth Achaean or whether the memory of him had been preserved from older non-Achaean days.






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Read about Greek Flood Myth in the The Story of the Greatest Nations and the Worlds Famous Events Vol 1

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