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The great Flood: the story by Hyginus


An eagle in a modern reconstruction of Noah's Ark. Schagen (Holland). Photo Jona Lendering.
An eagle in a modern reconstruction of Noah's Ark
The Great Flood: mythological story about a great destruction that once befell the earth. There are several variants; the Biblical version is the most famous. The possibility that there is a historical event behind the story (a local flood in southern Babylonia in the twenty-eighth century BCE) can not be excluded.

Bible Sumer Babylonia Greece Archaeology
Full text Eridu Genesis Atrahasis Ovid
Reconstruction
Gilgameš Hyginus
Quran
Berossus Apollodorus

One of the Greco-Roman versions is the summary by Gaius Julius Hyginus, a first-century CE author from Roman Spain who collected ancient myths in a book called Fabulae, "stories". Although brief and poorly written, it is interesting because (a) it contains no reference to a boat and (b) it refers to an uncommon site where they survived. Fabula 153 was translated by Mary Grant.

When the cataclysm which we call the Flood or Deluge occurred, all the human race perished except Deucalion and Pyrrha, who fled to Mount Etna, which is said to be the highest mountain in Sicily. When they could not live on account of loneliness, they begged Jupiter either to give men, or to afflict them with a similar disaster. Then Jupiter bade them cast stones behind them; those Deucalion threw he ordered to become men, and those Pyrrha threw, to be women. Because of this they are called laos, "people", for stone in Greek is called las.
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Eridu Genesis Atrahasis Gilgameš Bible Berossus Greece Quran
Date 3d millennium BCE c.1640 BCE c.1100 BCE c.1000-500 BCE 278 BCE c.700 BCE? c.600 CE
Revolt ? lesser gods ? giants? monsters? giants -
Hero Ziusudra Atrahasis Ut-napištim Noah Xisuthrus Deucalion Nuh
Country Šuruppuk Šuruppak Šuruppak - Sippar Thessaly -
Destroyer Enlil Enlil Enlil YHWH Enlil Zeus Allah
Warning Vision Dream Indirect order Direct order Dream ? Direct order
Reason Noise? Noise ? Sin, giants ? Sin, giants Sin
Cause Stormflood Rain Stormflood Rain, fountains - Rain, waves "from the valley"
Savior Enki Enki Enki YHWH Enki Prometheus Allah
Period 7 days 7 days 7 days 150/40 days "quickly" 9 days ?
Birds ? ? raven, dove, swallow doves/raven "several" none -
Destination ? - Nimuš Ararat Gordyene Parnassus Al-Gudi
Fate Eternal life Eternal life Eternal life Three sons Eternal life Three grandsons -


Online 2007
Revision: 26 Sept. 2007
Livius.Org Anatolia Carthage Egypt Germ. Inf. Greece Judaea Mesopotamia Persia Rome Other