The story of Deucalion and Pyrrha resembles a lot to the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. This is the version of the ancient Greeks in their attempt to purify the old world from its sins and give birth to a new race of human. The amazing thing is the similarities between the two stories, as both of them use a disastrous flood as a means to make the humankind extinct. The few people that are saved from the flood have managed to do so in a boat and many days after the rain had stopped did they manage to step on land.
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Discover the myth of Deucalion and Pyrrha
The purest people on Earth
While the Titan Prometheus was bound and chained atop Mount Caucasus for stealing fire from Zeus, the world below and its peoples were in bad moral situation. Greed, anger, jealousy and hate would exist among people ever since Pandora had opened that forbidden box, from where all evils went out. The Gods were angry at the humans because, apart from their unacceptable behavior, they would also forget to pray to their names and honour them with sacrifices. That is why Zeus decided to destroy all humankind.
Only two people would seem right: Deucalion, who was the son of Prometheus, known for his rightful character and good advice, and his wife, Pyrrha, a very fair lady. The Gods had perceived them to be the most righteous amongst the men and women on Earth and had chosen them to be the only survivors of that catastrophe that was about to befall on every man and animal.
One day, while visiting his father Prometheus, Deucalion was told by his father that a great flood was about to devastate and wash away everything on earth for people had forgotten the purpose of their creation. Alarmed at this dire warning, Deucalion hastened back to Pyrrha and telling her of the impending doom, they constructed a boat together and were making themselves ready for the disaster.
The Great Flood
A strange uncomfortable silence descended upon the surroundings. There was not a breath of wind to be felt. Without warning, the storm unleashed its fury upon the poor people lashing them severely. Deucalion and Pyrrha got quickly into the boat and soon the flood carried them away. The rain was raging for days and nights and all fell to the wrath of the Gods, only Deucalion and Pyrrha aboard the boat were kept safe.
The fury of the storm stopped only when all around was only water, not a tree or mountain could be seen. The boat was drifting for days while the water slowly drained away and finally the day came when it rested on dry land, atop Mount Parnassos, close to the area of Delphi. Dismay struck the hearts of Deucalion and Pyrrha as their eyes fell upon the destruction and devastation caused by the flood.
Such was their grief that tears were rolling from their eyes with no stop. Then Hermes, the messenger of the gods, unable to bear their sadness appeared before them and told them to wipe the tears from their eyes and without looking back, "to throw the bones of their mother over their shoulders".
At first the two were puzzled at this cryptic message but Deucalion found the solution: the "mother" was the Earth and the "bones" were the stones. Deucalion and Pyrrha gathered all the stones together and while they were walking, they threw the stones behind them without looking.
As from a miracle, the stones hit the earth and were turned into humans: those thrown by Deucalion became handsome men and those thrown by Pyrrha became fair women. It was thus that the two survivors of the great flood re-populated the earth and once again they emerged a human race. Deucalion reigned over them as a wise king and Pyrrha was their queen.