Zeus and the Great Flood: A Wonderful Ancient Greek Myth That Is Hardly Ever Told Illustration

Zeus and the Great Flood: A Wonderful Ancient Greek Myth That Is Hardly Ever Told

It all started with Pandora box. You probably already know the story of Pandora, but you might not know what happened next. Pandora's box caused more problems!

After the box was opened,  Zeus was horrified at what he saw happening. He saw fights and riots and wars and murders. Even though it was Zeus himself who had loaded Pandora's box with all kinds of terrible things, Zeus was determined to punish mankind for the terrible behavior he saw, which was quite unfair, but that had never stopped Zeus before.

Zeus decided man had to go. Man was a mistake. Zeus ordered the waters to rise and flood the earth. Much to his satisfaction, everyone drowned, everyone except the gods, and all the half-gods and nymphs and other magical creatures, and all the Greek monsters who were still alive before the flood, and all the animals and all the plants. He just wanted people punished and they drowned, all except King Deucalion, who was considered the most honest man on earth, and the king's wife, Pyrrha.

Thanks to the gossips, the god Prometheus heard about Zeus' plan to kill all mortal men and women. He did not doubt the rumors. As soon as he heard, the god Prometheus warned King Deucalion that a flood was coming. This was the same Prometheus who had given mankind the gift of fire. Not only did Prometheus have a kind heart, but King Deucalion was Prometheus' son. He knew his son would be safe because he was half a god, but his son's wife was a mortal. Prometheus knew how much his son loved his mortal wife.

Prometheus told his son to build a sturdy boat and stock it well.

His son knew that Prometheus could see into the future. (He also knew his father had trouble explaining what he saw in his visions.) King Deucalion listened very carefully.

"This too you must do," Prometheus had added. "After the flood waters recede, you must throw the bones of the Great Mother over your shoulder and to have your wife do the same." Prometheus hugged his son and disappeared. Prometheus knew Zeus would be furious that he had intervened and figured it would be wise to disappear for a while.

King Deucalion loved his father. He trusted his father. He did not always understand all of his father's instructions, but he certainly could built a sturdy boat.

Just as his father predicted, the flood came. King Deucalion and Pyrrha sailed away on their boat for 9 days and 9 nights. When the waters receded, the boat settled down on a mountain top, at the very tip top of Mount Parnassus.

King Deucalion was very grateful he had listened to his father's instructions. The boat he had built just in time had come in very handy. The king mumbled to himself, "The Great Mother? The bones of the Great Mother? My father told us to throw her bones over our shoulders." He had been mumbling the same thing over and over for several days. "Oh my," the king grinned at his wife. "I've got it! The earth is the Great Mother. Since the earth is the Great Mother of humans, her bones must be ...... stones!"

His wife did not think much of that solution, but she was a good wife and listened to her husband and acted as if he knew what he was talking about.

King Deucalion picked up some stones and threw them over his shoulder. Magically, the stones became men! With a gasp, Pyrrha quickly did the same. Her stones became women.

Thanks to the brave Prometheus and his obedient son, many stones later the human race had started again.

Zeus did not care. He had actually missed people so he did not punish Prometheus for interfering. But of course he did not thank him either.

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