Friday, April 8, 2011

Flood of Deucalion

Deucalion was a king in Northern Greece, with Pyrrha as his wife. Deucalion was the son of Prometheus, while Pyrrha was the daughter of Pandora (the first woman). They were born in the time of the Bronze Age of Man, which was a war-like race. This race was very corrupt, and Zeus was angered by their impiety. He sent a great flood to destroy this Age of Men.

Prometheus warned his son and daughter-in-law in time to save them. The couple climbed onto a buoyant chest and sailed to the peaks of Mount Parnassos, which were still dry. Other regions also claimed survivors. King Dardanos sought refuge on Mount Ida. Kerambos was rescued by Nymphs. Megaros fled to mount Gerana. Arkas and Nyktimos were on Mount Kyllene. The tribe of Parnassos fled to high places above Delphi. Io and Epaphos also survived in Egypt.

Zeus and Poseidon caused the waters to recede nine days later. Deucalion, believing they were the only survivors, consulted the Oracle at Delphi (in some versions, it was an Oracle at Themis) about how to repopulate the earth. The Oracle told them to "cover your head and throw the bones of your mother behind your shoulder". After thinking about this, they realized it was a riddle. Both picked up stones, also called the bones of Gaea (the mother of all living things), and tossed them over their shoulders. Each stone Deucalion threw became a man, and each stone Pyrrha threw became a woman.

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