Clas 3305 Flood Lecture Lec 15 One of the themes which underlies the lectures and discussions for this second term is that of man's relationship to the gods


Greco-Roman Myth: the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha



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Greco-Roman Myth: the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha

story told by Ovid in the Metamorphoses


Jupiter thinks about the descent of man through the Golden Age, The Bronze Age and into the Iron Age
Man has become vain, greedy and forgetful of his duty to the gods:

Jupiter decides to punish humanity for its sins by means of fire

remembers just in time that a great fire had been foretold which would destroy the heavens

decides to finish off mankind by a great cleansing flood instead

not content with his efforts, he asks for the help of his brother, Neptune

Neptune ordered the rivers to overflow their banks

sweep away crops and orchards

cattle and men,

temples and houses

everything

From Ovid:
sea and earth could no longer be distinguished -- only Mt. Parnassus remained above the waves:
A mountain of stupendous height there stands

Betwixt th'Athenian and Boeotian lands,

The bound of fruitful fields, while fields they were,

But then a field of waters did appear:

Parnassus is its name; whose forky rise

Mounts through the clouds, and mates the lofty skies.

High on the summit of this dubious cliff,

Deucalion wafting, moor'd his little skiff.

he with his wife were only left behind

of perish'd man; they two were human kind.

The mountain nymphs and Themis they adore,

And from her oracles relief implore.

The most upright of mortal men was he;

The most sincere and holy woman, she.


When Jupiter, surveying Earth from high,

Beheld it in a lake of water lie,

That, where so many millions lately liv'd,

But two, the best of either sex, surviv'd,

he loos'd the northern wind; fierce Boreas flies

to puff away the clouds, and purge the skies:

Serenely, while he blows, the vapours, driven,

discover Heav'n to Earth, and Earth to Heaven.


the righteous couple are named Deucalion and Pyrrha



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