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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
Deucalion was the son of Prometheus. He married
Pyrrha, the daughter of his uncle Epimetheus
and of Pandora, the first woman. When Zeus decided that men of the Bronze Age
were desperately wicked and had to be destroyed, before sending a deluge to
do the job, he decided to spare two just people, Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha.
With the help of Prometheus, they built an arch in which they floated for nine
days and nine nights while the flood destroyed the rest of mankind. Eventually,
they touched ground on the mountains of Thessaly.
After the flood had recessed, Zeus instructed them to throw above their shoulders
"the bones of their mother" in order to get companions. Deucalion understood
that by "bones of their mother", Zeus meant stones, the "bones" of mother Earth.
And from the stones he threw, men were born, and women from the stones thrown
Deucalion and Pyrrha were at the origin of a large posterity. One of their sons was Hellen, the eponym of all Greek tribes, himself the father of Dorus, eponym of the Dorians, Æolus, eponym of the Æolians, and Xouthus, the later being the father of Achæus, eponym of the Achæans, and Ion, eponym of the Ionians.
Plato, through the mouth of Critias, refers to the story of Deucalion in the prologue of the Timæus (22b) and again in the Critias (112a).