Why Does Zeus Send a Flood to Earth?
This myth is almost a perfect parallel to several other flood myths ‘š including Noah and his arc from the Bible, and the Sumerian flood myth told in the Epic of Gilgamesh (one of the first recorded works of fiction or mythology ever) of which only Utnapishtim was the survivor. In both of these cases, the flood was sent as punishment from the gods.
This Greek myth is no exception: there are slight differences in this Greek myth of Zeus’s deluge (literally, an overflowing of the world by a flood), but the construct of the story is the same.
Zeus had decided that the current humanity was thoroughly and irreparably wicked, morally corrupt and just through and through evil-hearted. This deep-seated feeling comes from many different reasons, but one of the main ones is a sacrifice that he received from the King of Arcadia, Lycaon ‘š it was a boy. Not only a forbidden sacrifice, it was incredibly inappropriate and of course repulsive. An even more awful continuance to this story is when Zeus, in his common poverty-stricken disguise, went into the house of the 50 sons of Lycaon, who offered a sheep stew to Zeus containing parts of their brother Nyctimus ‘š this awful cannibalistic offering set Zeus over the edge, and he decided that the end of the Bronze Age had to come.
He and his brother Poseidon whipped up a flood to completely destroy the earth and wipe out the entire population of humans, effectively cleaning it and purging the world of evil, so as to restart.
Deucalion, son of Prometheus, his wife Pyrrha, and their daughter were chosen to survive the flood, and they were told to build an arc. They did so and at the end of the flood were told to repopulate the earth by throwing ‘the bones of their mother behind their shoulder, ‘š they took this to mean Mother Earth, known as Gaia at the time, the mother of all living things, and threw rocks behind their shoulders, those thrown by Pyrrha becoming women, and those by Deucalion transforming into men.