The Hero and the Sea: Patterns of Chaos in Ancient Myth

By Donald H. Mills | Go to book overview

Chapter V
Old Testament Patterns: Creation, Flood, Exodus
One of the most striking aspects of the use of mythic chaos in the Old Testament is the number of parallels between its flood story and other Near Eastern flood narratives. In fact, these similarities engendered much of the nineteenth century’s intense interest in Babylonian studies, and the consequent growth of Near Eastern studies has continued unabated ever since.In order to deal with the Old Testament flood story in the light of its Near Eastern affinities and bearing on mythic chaos, some preliminary observations are in order.
1) Floods occur in many geographic areas of the world and seem to have been quite common in Mesopotamia, as the archaeological record reveals.1 It is likely, then, that the inhabitants of this region had considerable experience with floods, which naturally is expressed in mythic narratives.
2) Because pre-scientific peoples generally seek to explain natural phenomena through mythic tales and folklore, it follows that many flood myths are wholly or partially etiological in motive.
3) Because mythic stories of a universal flood are typically set in primeval time, i.e., the “once upon a time when our ancestors lived,” they tend to be connected with creation myths. Myths about the world’s origin, its destruction by a universal flood, and its subsequent re-creation and repopulation are often interrelated in the imagination of prescientific peoples.2 Implicit in these myths is the notion of chaos: the flood is seen as a return of the chaos existing before creation; similarly, the end of the flood and the retreat of its waters is a new beginning, a re-creation of the cosmos.
4) Although often etiological in motive and purpose, stories of creation and flood are not told simply to satisfy historical or

-135-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Hero and the Sea: Patterns of Chaos in Ancient Myth
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Foreword iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Chapter I - Mythic Patterns 1
  • Chapter II - Gilgamesh and the Heroic Confrontation with Death 21
  • Chapter III - Achilles and the Scamander 55
  • Chapter IV - Odysseus and Poseidon 95
  • Chapter V - Old Testament Patterns- Creation, Flood, Exodus 135
  • Epilogue - Chaos and Cosmology, the Modem View 161
  • Bibliography 185
  • Index 195
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 200

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.