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In Greek mythology, Deucalion (//; Greek: Δευκαλίων) was the son of Prometheus; ancient sources name his mother as Clymene, Hesione, or Pronoia. The anger of Zeus was ignited by the hubris of the Pelasgians, so he decided to put an end to the Bronze Age. Lycaon, the king of Arcadia, had sacrificed a boy to Zeus, who was appalled by this savage offering. Zeus unleashed a deluge, so that the rivers ran in torrents and the sea flooded the coastal plain, engulfed the foothills with spray, and washed everything clean. Deucalion, with the aid of his father Prometheus, was saved from this deluge by building a chest. Like the Biblical Noah and the Mesopotamian counterpart Utnapishtim, he uses his device to survive the deluge with his wife, Pyrrha.
According to folk etymology, Deucalion's name comes from δεῦκος, deukos, a variant of γλεῦκος, gleucos, i.e. "sweet new wine, must, sweetness" and ἁλιεύς, haliéus, i.e. "sailor, seaman, fisher". His wife Pyrrha's name is derived from the adjective πυρρός, -ά, -όν, pyrrhós, -á, -ón, i.e. "flame-colored, orange".
Of Deucalion's birth, the Argonautica (from the 3rd century BC) states:
The fullest accounts are provided in Ovid's Metamorphoses (8 AD) and in the Library of Pseudo-Apollodorus. Deucalion, who reigned over the region of Phthia, had been forewarned of the flood by his father, Prometheus. Deucalion was to build a chest and provision it carefully (no animals are rescued in this version of the Flood myth), so that when the waters receded after nine days, he and his wife Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus, were the one surviving pair of humans. Their chest touched solid ground on Mount Parnassus, or Mount Etna in Sicily, or Mount Athos in Chalkidiki, or Mount Othrys in Thessaly.
Once the deluge was over and the couple had given thanks to Zeus, Deucalion (said in several of the sources to have been aged 82 at the time) consulted an oracle of Themis about how to repopulate the earth. He was told to cover your head and throw the bones of your mother behind your shoulder. Deucalion and Pyrrha understood that "mother" is Gaia, the mother of all living things, and the "bones" to be rocks. They threw the rocks behind their shoulders and the stones formed people. Pyrrha's became women; Deucalion's became men.
Their children as apparently named in one of the oldest texts, Catalogue of Women, include daughters Pandora and Thyia, and at least one son, Hellen. Their descendants were said to have dwelt in Thessaly. One corrupt fragment might make Deucalion the son of Prometheus and Pronoea.
On the other hand, Dionysius of Halicarnassus gives Deucalion's parentage as Prometheus and Clymene, daughter of Oceanus, and mentions nothing about a flood, but instead names him as commander of those from Parnassus who drove the "sixth generation" of Pelasgians from Thessaly.
One of the earliest Greek historians, Hecataeus of Miletus, was said to have written a book about Deucalion, but it no longer survives. The only extant fragment of his to mention Deucalion does not mention the flood either, but names him as the father of Orestheus, king of Aetolia. The much later geographer Pausanias, following on this tradition, names Deucalion as a king of Ozolian Locris and father of Orestheus. Plutarch mentions a legend that Deucalion and Pyrrha had settled in Dodona, Epirus; while Strabo asserts that they lived at Cynus, and that her grave is still to be found there, while his may be seen at Athens; he also mentions a pair of Aegean islands named after the couple.
The 2nd-century writer Lucian gave an account of the Greek Deucalion in De Dea Syria that seems to refer more to the Near Eastern flood legends: in his version, Deucalion (whom he also calls Sisythus) took his children, their wives, and pairs of animals with him on the ark, and later built a great temple in Manbij (northern Syria), on the site of the chasm that received all the waters; he further describes how pilgrims brought vessels of sea water to this place twice a year, from as far as Arabia and Mesopotamia, to commemorate this event.
John Lemprière, in Bibliotheca Classica, notes that as the story was re-told in later versions, it accumulated details from the stories of Noah and Moses: "Thus Apollodorus gives Deucalion a great chest as a means of safety; Plutarch speaks of the pigeons by which he sought to find out whether the waters had retired; and Lucian of the animals of every kind which he had taken with him &c."
For some time during the Middle Ages, many European Christian scholars continued to accept Greek mythical history at face value, thus asserting that Deucalion's flood was a regional flood, that occurred a few centuries later than the global one survived by Noah's family. On the basis of the archaeological stele known as the Parian Chronicle, Deucalion's Flood was usually fixed as occurring sometime around c. 1528 BC. Deucalion's flood may be dated in the chronology of Saint Jerome to c. 1460 BC. According to Augustine of Hippo (City of God XVIII,8,10,&11), Deucalion and his father Prometheus were contemporaries of Moses. According to Clement of Alexandria in his Stromata, "...in the time of Crotopus occurred the burning of Phaethon, and the deluges of Deucalion."
The descendants of Deucalion and Pyrrha are below:
In The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series by James A. Owen, Deucalion is an ancient shipbuilder who taught animals to walk and talk. He has many sons, including Sobek, Hor, and Amun, and built dragonships. He is also called Thoth and Ordo Maas, and is the ancestor of Odysseus, Merlin, and King Arthur.
In the anime series Kiddy Grade, Deucalion is the name given to a massive ship that was intended to take the upper class of the galaxy away to a new space where they believed they could escape the growing revolutionary movements rippling through the galactic government.
Deucalion (Gideon Emery) is the name of the Season 3 antagonist in MTV's Teen Wolf, written by Jeff Davis. He is the leader of the Alpha werewolf pack, and is intent on pitting Scott McCall (Tyler Posey), and Derek Hale (Tyler Hoechlin) against each other. He brought his pack to Beacon Hills because of the word of a Kanima. It is later revealed that while blinded (by Gerard) he can see as a wolf.
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