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Universal Flood Myths
Transcript of Universal Flood Myths
Starr Rico What we're covering Sumerian Flood - Sumerian Flood Myth: The oldest existing account.
- Biblical Flood Myth: Most widely known Flood story.
- Greek Flood Myth: Interaction between mankind and the Gods is much more prevalent. - Much more intimate interaction between the Gods and humans.
- Most obviously borrowed from other cultures because of the dry, arid terrain of Greece.
- Humans directly take part in the creation of a "new" mankind. Universal Flood Myths 3 AREAS OF INTEREST PER MYTH - Characters
- Common/Dissimilar key elements CHARACTERS SUMERIAN VERSION - 2 Separate Myths, the original was badly damaged and a section of it was lost.
- The second flood story was preserved in the Semitic
Akkadian language and is much more detailed. - Ziusudra: Noah figure, only him and his family
survived. Told by Enki to build a large boat.
- Enki: God of Freshwater, was opposed to the flood the other Gods wanted. He told Ziusudra to build a large boat and to put his family on it.
- Utu: The sun God that would decide when the flood ended. AKKADIAN VERSION - Atrahasis: Same character as Ziusudra,
told by the God Ea to build the boat.
- Enlil: Storm God who wanted to
decrease the human population because
he could not sleep from all the noise
humans were making on Earth.
- Ea: Favored Atrahasis because of his
goodness. He advised him to build a large
boat and to lock inside it all kinds of animals
and his family. KEY ELEMENTS * The flood lasted 7 days and 7 nights
* The flood was a "last" resort after several attempts
by Enlil to rid the world of humans. These included a
plague, drought and famine.
* The Gods realized that they need humans to survive. After there were no more humans to make sacrifices, the Gods starve. Atrahasis then saves the Gods with a sacrifice
* The Myth itself tries to explain stillbirths and miscarriages as a way for the Gods to limit human population after the flood. MORALS/LESSONS - The main lesson is that the Gods also
need humans to survive. Humans are as important to the Gods, as they are to us.
- To always respect the power of the gods, do not underestimate them or forget to pay them respect. Biblical Flood Myth "I will blot out humans , whom I have created from the face of the ground, humans and beasts and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them" (Genesis 6.7-8). CHARACTERS - NOAH: Was the only human (Along with 3 brothers and their wives) saved by God from the flood because of his goodness.
- YAWEH: Sent the flood to wipe out mankind because of its wickedness. MORALS/LESSONS - DO NOT DISOBEY GOD OR BE WICKED IN ANY WAY.
- DO NOT WORSHIP ANY FALSE IDOLS OR ANY OTHER GODS BUT HIM.
- YAHWEH "I AM" IS ALL POWERFUL AND ALL KNOWING. After the flood Yahweh promises that he will never destroy mankind through the covenant (pact) that he makes with Noah. KEY ELEMENTS - The storm lasted for 40 days and 40 nights.
- 2 of each living animal was saved by Noah
(1 Male and 1 Female.)
- Noah sent out a dove 3 times to find dry land after the flood was over.
- Yahweh tells Noah to be fruitful with his family to re-populate the Earth. GREEK/CLASSICAL FLOOD MYTH CHARACTERS -Zeus: Mightiest of all the Gods, he disguised himself as a mortal man and came to Earth to kill the corrupt King of Arcadia, Lycaon. He will call upon Neptune, who calls upon his son, Triton (King of the Seas) to bring about a great flood to wipe out all of humanity for their wickedness.
- Lycaon: Corrupt King of Arcadia who practiced human sacrifice and cannibalism, which the Gods did not like. He also mocked the Gods and tried to murder a God (Zeus in human form). He was the personification of just how evil and wicked all of humankind had become.
- Deucalion & Pyrrha: (husband & wife) (brother & sister) These two serve as the "Noah" figures and survive the great flood by clinging to a raft as they drifted onto a mountain top. They were chosen by the Gods for their goodness, but they were not told directly. Through their actions they will, with the Gods, create a new race of mankind after the flood. MORALS/LESSONS - Respect the Gods and their power, do not mock them.
- Do not be wicked creatures or the Gods can and will destroy mankind, and start over.
- Gods and Humans are intertwined, with us having a direct contribution in our own creation.
- The way we are created attempts to explain why and how we are so resilient and tough in nature. KEY ELEMENTS - The Gods have more direct contact with humans.
- The Gods come to Earth in human form.
- The Gods needed our help in creating the "new" human race.
- They are not concerned with other animals being destroyed, the animals will eventually be "born from the Earth."
-It takes more than one God to destroy the Earth (Zeus, Neptune, Triton.)
- The "Noah" figure (Deucalion) is not directly told that he will be saved from the flood.