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In Greek mythology, Deucalion, or Deukálion (Greek Δευκαλίων) was the name of at least two figures: a son of Prometheus, and a son of Minos.

Deucalion (son of Prometheus)

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Deluge, Virgil Solis (Click to enlarge)


Deucalion and Pyrrha , Metamorphoses Bk I: 367-415 , Solis. ..And at the bidding of Zeus he took up stones and threw them over his head, and the stones which Deucalion threw became men, and the stones which Pyrrha threw became women. Hence people were called metaphorically people * from laas, "a stone." And Deucalion had children by Pyrrha, first Hellen, whose father some say was Zeus, and second Amphictyon, who reigned over Attica after Cranaus; and third a daughter Protogenia, who became the mother of Aethlius by Zeus. Apollodorus, Library and Epitome 1.7.2 * (gr. laos)

In Greek mythology, Deucalion, or Deukálion ("new-wine sailor") was the son of Prometheus and Clymene or Celaeno.

When the wrath of Zeus was ignited against the whole of the Pelasgians, the original pre-Hellenic inhabitants of Greece, Zeus decided to bring an end to the Golden Age with the Great Deluge. It appears that all was not as golden as it seemed, at least not in primitive Arcadia, where an old cult of the wolf that demanded human sacrifice and the eating of human flesh lingered longest, for there the son of Pelasgus, Lycaon ("wolf man"), who had brought civilized life into Arcadia, or so it had seemed, offended Zeus by sacrificing to him a boy. This was a sacrifice which was forbidden in the new Olympian order and utterly inappropriate as an offering and repugnant besides. Zeus struck Lycaon's house with a thunderbolt and turned Lycaon into a wolf (see werewolf). Which however may have been the whole point, for in Arcadia Zeus was honored as Zeus Lykaios, "Wolf-Zeus, son of the she-wolf". Sending a werewolf to be king among the wolves and thus keep them off the flocks seems to have been the practice, and lingered among the shepherds of Arcadia into the age of the Olympiads.

But it was the treatment Zeus received when he visited the hall of the fifty sons of Lycaon, in the usual poverty-stricken disguise that gods assume whenever they travel. They set him a stew of sheep guts— hearts, livers and tripes— in which they included the stewed innards of their brother Nyctimus. Zeus was appalled at the primitive cannibal offering and turned them all into a pack of wolves. But Nyctimus he restored to life.

So Zeus was set upon loosing a deluge, where the rivers would run in torrents and the sea encroach rapidly on the coastal plain, engulf the foothills with spray and wash everything clean.

Deucalion had been forewarned by his father, who was Prometheus, the first in a long Near Eastern tradition of more-than-human mediators between Mankind and God. Deucalion was to build an ark and provision it carefully (no animals are rescued in this version of the Flood myth), so that when the waters receded after nine days, he and his wife Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus, were the one surviving pair of humans. Their ark touched solid ground on Mount Parnassus or Mount Etna or Mount Athos or Mount Othrys in Thessaly -- it depends whose version one is reading.

Greek Mythology

Deucalion and Pyrrha, throwing bones and stones behind their shoulder

Once the deluge was over and the couple had given thanks to Zeus, Deucalion consulted an oracle of Themis about how to repopulate the earth. He was told to cover your head and throw the bones of your mother behind your shoulder. Deucalion and Pyrrha understood that "mother" is Gaia, the mother of all living things, and the "bones" to be rocks. They threw the rocks behind their shoulders and the stones formed people. Pyrrha's became women; Deucalion's became men.

Deucalion and Pyrrha had at least two children, Hellen and Protogenea, and possibly a third, Amphictyon (who is autochthonous in other traditions).

Deucalion's parallels with Noah and with Utnapishtim, the survivor of the Sumerian Flood that is told in the Epic of Gilgamesh, are even clearer in the wine subtext in this myth. Though Deucalion is no longer allowed to be the inventor of wine as Noah still is, his name gives away his secret: deucos + halieus "new wine sailor." His wife, named "wine-red," just happens to be the sister of Ariadne who mothered with Dionysus, several wine-making progenitors of Aegean tribes.

But a shred perhaps of earlier myth survives in the tale that another survivor of the Flood was Megaron, who was roused from his couch by the cries of cranes (see crane (bird) for crane lore) and climbed to the top of Mount Gerania ("Crane Mountain") and so was saved. And Cerambus of Pelion: him the nymphs changed to a scarab beetle and he flew to the top of Mount Parnassus above the waters.

Deucalion And Pyrrha Print by Peter Paul Rubens

Deucalion and Pyrrha, Peter Paul Rubens

Deucalion And Pyrrha Print by Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione

Deucalion and Pyrrha, Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione

Greek Mythology

Pyrrha and Deucalion

Deucalion (son of Minos)

The second Deucalion lived many generations later, and ruled over Crete. He was a son of Minos and Pasiphae, and apparently succeeded his older brother Catreus as King of Crete. This Deucalion was the father of Idomeneus, his successor, who led a Cretan force to the Trojan War, as well as a bastard son named Molus, father of Meriones. He was killed by Achilles in the war.

Greek Mythology

Deucalion and Pyrrha, Giovanni Maria Bottalla

Genealogy of Hellenes

Prometheus Clymene Epimetheus Pandora
Deucalion Pyrrha
Dorus Xuthus Aeolus
Tectamus Aegimius Achaeus Ion Makednos Magnes

Greek Mythology

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