Many crimes were committed by the people of the Copper Age. Arrogant and wicked, they did not obey the Olympian gods. The thunderbolt Zeus was angry with them; Zeus was especially angry with the king of Lycosura in Arcadia, Lycaon. Once Zeus came to Lycosura as an ordinary mortal. In order for the inhabitants of Lycosura to know that he was a god, Zeus gave them a sign and all the inhabitants fell prostrate before him and worshiped him as a god. Only Lycaon did not want to give Zeus divine honors and ridiculed all who worshiped Zeus. Lycaon decided to test whether Zeus was a god. He killed a hostage who was in his palace, boiled part of his body, burned another part and offered them to the great thunderbolt to eat. Zeus was terribly angry. With a flash of lightning, he destroyed Lycaon’s palace and turned it into a bloodthirsty wolf.
People became more and more wicked, and the great cloud-bearer Zeus, decided to destroy the whole human race. He sent such a torrential downpour on the ground that everything was submerged. Zeus forbade all winds to blow, only the humid south wind Knot pushed dark rain clouds across the sky. The torrential rain fell on the ground. The water in the seas and rivers rose higher and higher, flooding everything around.
The cities with their walls, houses and temples hid under the water, and the towers that protruded above the city walls were no longer visible. Gradually the water covered everything – the forested hills and the high mountains. All of Greece hid under the raging waves of the sea. The top of the two-headed Parnassus rose alone in the waves. Where the peasant used to cultivate his fields and where green vineyards rich in ripe grapes grew, fish sailed, and in the forests, submerged in water, flocks of dolphins roamed.
Thus the human race of the Copper Age perished. Only two escaped the common doom – Deucalion, son of Prometheus, and his wife Pira. On the advice of his father, Prometheus Deucalion built a huge coffin, put food supplies in it and entered it with his wife. For nine days and nights the Deucalion’s ark floated on the waves of the sea, which covered the whole land. Finally, the waves brought him to the two-headed peak of Parnassus.
The torrential rain sent by Zeus stopped. Deucalion and Pira came out of the ark and offered a thanksgiving sacrifice to Zeus, who saved them in the midst of the stormy waves. The water drained away and the desert reappeared beneath the waves, like a desert. Then the aegis-bearer Zeus sent to Deucalion the messenger of the gods Hermes. The messenger of the gods quickly soared over the desolate land, appeared before Deucalion and said to him:
“The lord of the gods and men, Zeus, knowing your piety, commanded that you choose a reward; express your wish and the son of Cronus will fulfill it.”
Deucalion replied to Hermes:
The swift Hermes rushed back to the bright Olympus and handed Deucalion’s request to Zeus. The great Zeus ordered Deucalion and Pira to gather stones and throw them over their heads without turning. Deucalion obeyed the command of the mighty Zeus, and men emerged from the stones he threw, and women from the stones thrown by his wife Pira. Thus, after the flood, the land gained population again. It was inhabited by a new generation of people who came from stone.
Deucalion and Pira (The Flood), according to the collection of A. Kun