Greek Traditions
Genesis 7:11-15
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month…

The whole human race was corrupted, violence and impiety prevailed, oaths were broken, the sacredness of hospitality was shamelessly violated, suppliants were abused or murdered, and the gods mocked and insulted. Infamy and nefariousness were the delight of the degenerated tribes. Jupiter resolved, therefore, to destroy the whole human race, as far as the earth extends and Poseidon encircles it with the girdle of the waves. The earth opened all her secret springs, the ocean sent forth its floods, and the skies poured down their endless torrents. All creatures were immersed in the waves, and perished. Deucalion alone, and his wife Pyrrha, both distinguished by their piety, were, in a small boat which Deucalion had constructed by the advice of his father Prometheus, carried to the lofty peaks of Mount Parnassus, which alone stood out of the floods. They were saved. The waters subsided. The surviving pair sacrificed to Jupiter the flight-giving, and consulted the gods, who again, through them, populated the earth by an extraordinary miracle. This tradition appears in a still more developed form in Lucian. There was a very old temple in Hieropolis, which was universally asserted to have been built by Deucalion the Scythian, when he had been rescued from the general deluge. For it is related that enormous crimes, prevalent through the whole human race, had provoked the wrath of Jupiter and caused the destruction of man. Deucalion alone was found wise and pious. He built a large chest, and brought into it his wives and children; and when he was about to enter it, boars, lions, serpents, and all other animals came to him by pairs. Jupiter removed all hostile propensities from their breasts, and they lived together in miraculous concord. The waves carried the chest along till they subsided. After this an immense gulf opened itself, which only closed after having totally absorbed the waters. This wonderful incident happened in the territory of Hieropolis; and above this gulf Deucalion erected that ancient temple, after having offered many sacrifices on temporary altars. In commemoration of these events, twice every year water is brought into the temple, not only by the priests, but by a large concourse of strangers from Syria, Arabia, and the countries of the Jordan. This water is fetched from the sea, and then poured out in the temple in such a manner that it descends into the gulf. The same tradition assumed, indeed, under different hands a different local character; Hyginus mentions the AEtna in Sicily as the mountain where Deucalion grounded; the Phrygians relate that the wise Anakos prophesied concerning the approaching flood; and some coins struck under the Emperor Septimius Severus and some of his successors in Apamea, and declared genuine by all authorities in numismatics, represent a chest or ark floating on the waves and containing a man and a woman. On the ark a bird is perched, and another is seen approaching, holding a twig with its feet. The same human pair is figured on the dry land with uplifted hands; and on several of those pieces even the name NO (ΝΩ) is clearly visible. A legend, perhaps as old as that of Deucalion, though neither so far spread nor so developed, is that of Ogyges, who is mostly called a Boeotian autochthon, and the first ruler of the territory of Thebes, called after him Ogygia. In his time the waters of the lake Copais are said to have risen in so unusual a degree that they at last covered the whole surface of the earth, and that Ogyges himself directed his vessel on the waves through the air. Even the dove of Noah bears an analogy to the dove which Deucalion is reported to have dispatched from his ark, which returned the first time, thus indicating that the stores of rain were not yet exhausted, but which did not come back the second time, and thereby gave proof that the skies had resumed their usual serenity.

(M. M. Kalisch, Ph. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

WEB: In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on the same day all the fountains of the great deep were burst open, and the sky's windows were opened.

Flood Traditions in America
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