Ignatius Donnelly

The Deluge Legends (I)

Chaldean and Syrian Traditions:

  • Chaldean Legend: Xisuthros (Khasisatra) is warned by the god Cronos (Ea) of a flood. He builds a vessel, gathers his family and animals, and survives the deluge. After the flood, Xisuthros sacrifices to the gods and is taken to live among them.
  • Syrian Legend: Deucalion Sisythes builds a vessel and survives the flood with animals seeking refuge. A chasm in Hierapolis absorbs the floodwaters, and sea-water is annually poured into it as a religious rite.

Indian Traditions:

  • Rig-Veda: Manu is warned by a fish about a deluge. He builds a vessel and is guided to safety by the fish, which is an incarnation of a god.
  • Purânas: King Satyravata is saved by a fish-god, who warns him of the deluge. He preserves sacred scriptures from a marine horse.

Iranian Tradition:

  • Zoroastrian Doctrine: Yima constructs a protected garden (vara) to preserve men, animals, and plants from a flood, with the help of the bird Karshipta.

Greek Legends:

  • Ogyges and Deucalion: Ogyges escapes a flood that covers the earth. Deucalion, advised by Prometheus, survives with his wife in a chest and repopulates the earth.
  • Regional Greek Legends: Various heroes like Megaros, Cerambos, and Merops survive floods by divine intervention or taking refuge on mountains.

Other Traditions:

  • Welsh Triads: Dwyfan and Dwyfach survive a flood in a vessel and repopulate Britain.
  • Scandinavian Edda: Bergelmir survives a flood of blood in a boat.
  • Persian Magi: A flood originates from an oven, a story later adapted by the Koran.

Notable Observations:

  • Atlantis Connection: Many legends, including those of the Greeks, indicate an Atlantean origin for the flood myth, with references to Poseidon (Neptune) and the “three worlds” of Atlantis.
  • Egyptian Silence: Egyptian records do not mention a flood, suggesting they preserved an accurate history of Atlantis’s destruction and did not create flood myths.
  • Cosmos’s Maps: Medieval maps by the monk Cosmos depicted a world surrounded by water, with lands beyond the ocean where pre-flood people lived, hinting at an awareness of Atlantis.

These legends collectively point to an ancient, widespread memory of a great flood, potentially linked to the historical events surrounding the destruction of Atlantis.

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