The Greek Deluge

A Greek Tale

Even with the gifts of Prometheus, men could not rest content. As years went by, they lost all the innocence of the early world; they grew more and more covetous and evil-hearted. Not satisfied with the fruits of the Earth, or with the fair work of their own hands, they delved in the ground after gold and jewels; and for the sake of treasure nations made war upon each other and hate sprang up in households. Murder and theft broke loose and left nothing sacred.

At last Zeus spoke. Calling the gods together, he said: “Ye see what the Earth has become through the baseness of men. Once they were deserving of our protection; now they even neglect to ask it. I will destroy them with my thunderbolts and make a new race.”

But the gods withheld him from this impulse. “For,” they said, “let not the Earth, the mother of all, take fire and perish. But seek out some means to destroy mankind and leave her unhurt.”

So Zeus unloosed the waters of the world and there was a great flood.

The streams that had been pent in narrow channels, like wild steeds bound to the ploughshare, broke away with exultation; the springs poured down from the mountains, and the air was blind with rain. Valleys and uplands were covered; strange countries were joined in one great sea; and where the highest trees had towered, only a little greenery pricked through the water, as weeds show in a brook….Read More

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