Gods and Heroes of the Greeks: The Library of Apollodorus

By Michael Simpson; Leonard Baskin et al. | Go to book overview
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Prometheus, Deucalion, and Pyrrha and Their Children, the Children and Grandchildren of Aeolus (1. 7. 1-1. 9. 15)

BOOK 1 7 Prometheus molded men from water and earth and gave them fire which he had hidden in a fennel stalk unknown to Zeus. When Zeus learned of it, he ordered Hephaestus to nail Prometheus to Mount Caucasus in Scythia. Prometheus was pinned there for many years. An eagle swooped down upon him daily and ate his liver, which grew back during the night. This is the penalty Prometheus paid for stealing fire, until Heracles freed him, as I shall relate in the section on Heracles [ 2. 5. 11].1

Prometheus had a son, Deucalion, who was king of the region around Phthia. He married Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, who was the first woman and was made by the gods. Now when Zeus wished to destroy the race of bronze, Deucalion, following Prometheus' advice, built an ark, put in provisions, and entered it with Pyrrha. Zeus caused a heavy rain to fall and submerged the greater part of Greece, with the result that all of mankind was drowned except for a few who fled to nearby high mountains. At that time the mountains of Thessaly were separated and all the land outside the Isthmus and the Peloponnese was flooded. Deucalion was carried through the sea in the ark for nine days and nine nights and then came to rest on Parnassus. When the rain stopped he emerged from the ark and sacrificed to Zeus as the god of Escape. Zeus sent Hermes to him and granted him a wish. He asked for mankind to come into being. On Zeus' instructions he and Pyrrha picked up stones and threw them over their heads. The stones he threw became men, the ones Pyrrha threw, women. From this comes the word "people" [laoi], metaphorically from "stone" [laas].2


Deucalion had children by Pyrrha: first, Hellen, though some say that Zeus was his father, I second, Amphictyon, who was king of Attica after Cranaus, and third, a daughter, Protogenia, who had Aethlius by



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