Deucalion, Flood of
The Flood of Deucalion is recorded in Greek mythology in terms that are reminiscent of the biblical Deluge. Prometheus the brother of Atlas the Titan, warned his son Deucalion to build an ark and fill it with all he needed. Rain fell ceaselessly, flooding valleys, submerging cities, destroying all people and leaving just some mountain peaks to be seen above the sea. After nine days the rain stopped and Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha emerged and produced the ancestors of the Greeks.
Ogyges was the founder and king of Thebes whose reign was ended by a flood that covered ‘the whole world’ and so devastated Thebes that it remained without a king until the reign of Cecrops. It is still something of an open question whether the Flood of Deucalion and the Flood of Ogyges are identical or not, although it seems more likely that they were separate events (see Mosenkis below).
The Arcus-Atlantis website notes “that Aristotle, while agreeing in many respects with the Platonic notion of survivors of catastrophes, envisaged the flood of Deucalion as a relatively small-scale affair limited to one part of the Greek world: –The deluge in the time of Deucalion, for instance, took place chiefly in the Greek world and in it, especially about ancient Hellas, the country about Dodona and the Achelous, a river which has often changed its course. Here the Selli dwelt and those who were formerly called Graeci and now Hellenes.
– Aristotle, Meteorology [1.14].”(i)
J. G. Bennett has pointed out(a) that a fractured marble pillar, discovered on the Greek island of Paros and known as the Parian Marble, records important events in early Greek history including lists of the early kings, including Deucalion who is noted to have reigned at the same time as the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III (1504-1450 BC). It records his reign as having been 700 years before the first Olympiad, which itself is dated to 778 BC, thus giving a date for the flood named after him to around 1478 BC, This period coincides with the biblical Exodus and the eruption of Santorini. Orosius, a 5thcentury AD writer, placed the Flood of Deucalion 810 years before the foundation of Rome giving it a date broadly around 1500 BC. This is suspiciously close to the date accepted by most archaeologists for the great eruption of Thera.
James Mavor also commented that “the flood of Deucalion, a natural event, was certainly caused by some massive tectonic commotion. This earth- and sea-shaking catastrophe has been at least roughly dated. From several sources, the Deucalion flood can be set approximately between 1519 and 1382 BC. That these dates straddle those of the cataclysmic activity of Thera, as based on archaeological evidence, lends credence to the relation of the Deucalion flood to Thera.” [265.66]
Ukrainian professor Iurii Mosenkis noted that “the interval between the Ogyges and Deucalion floods was 250 years (Eusebius) or 260 years (my calculations from 1775 BCE to 1515 BCE).” (h)
Giovanni Rinaldo Carli quotes Clement of Alexandria (150-215 AD) who notes that Stenelas (Sthenelus), father of Cydas (Cycnus) the king of the Ligurians, lived at the same time as the fire of Phaëton and the Flood of Deucalion. This is probably one of the earliest references suggesting a linkage between these two catastrophic 2nd millennium BC events.
Siegfried and Christian Schoppe have assumed that ” the Flood of Deukalion is identical with the Flood of Atlantis – although the Egyptian priest denies this.” (c)
Emilio Spedicato has also linked the Flood of Deucalion with the Exodus and dates them to 1447 BC(f)(g). However, he believes that these events followed the explosion of a comet or asteroid over southern Denmark. He presented three papers to the 2005 Atlantis Conference on the subject of Deucalion’s Flood and Phaeton[629.115].
The work of Finkelstein and Silberman has recently cast doubts over the historical reality of the Exodus, but of course, this does not affect the reality of the Flood of Deucalion. It is odd that with such a sceptical view of Bible history that it was announced in February 2017(b) that Finkelstein is to start a search for the Ark of the Covenant.
David Rohl, a leading advocate for a drastic revision downwards of the dates of many events in ancient Egyptian history by at least three hundred years, has concluded that Deucalion’s Flood occurred during the reign of Thutmose III and most controversially that it was concurrent with the eruption of Thera and its consequent tsunami. According to Rohl’s ‘New Chronology’, this would place the Flood at around 1100 BC rather than the conventionally accepted date of circa 1450 BC.
Over the last couple of millennia, something of a consensus has emerged that the Flood of Deucalion occurred in the middle of the second millennium BC. This leaves supporters of an early date for Atlantis obliged to produce evidence of a comparable catastrophe around 9600 BC, a task compounded by the probable erosion of any such evidence during the passage of such a considerable period.
Nevertheless, it is worth noting that a short paper by Roula Papageoriou-Haska proposed that geological evidence together with Herodotus’ (Bk 7.129) description of the emptying of the lake of Thessaly supports a possible date of about 10,000 BC!(d)(e)
We can expect this particular debate to run for some time yet.