The World Myth

The Flood

What are some examples of the flood myth?

The flood myth is so much a part of the creation archetype that stories of the deluge exist in most cultures. The Sumerians and Babylonians told a flood myth that is similar to the one told in Genesis. The Sumerian Noah is Ziusudra (Utnapishtim in Babylon). The Roman flood heroes are Deucalion and Pyyrha; the Norse versions are Bergelmir and his wife. Gonggong’s flood in China is overcome by the flood hero Yu. The Mayan flood takes place to correct a mistake of the creator. Almost always the flood is sent by the creator to punish imperfect or corrupt humans.

The biblical flood is a story not unique to the Judeo-Christian world but can be found in the mythology of many cultures (1866 illustration by Gustave Doré).


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