Great Flood, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.
The Universal Flood is the mythological story of a great flood sent by one or more deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine punishment.
It is a recurring theme in many cultures, although probably the best known in modern times are the biblical story of Noah’s Ark, Manu’s Hindu history, passing through the history of Deucalyptus in Greek mythology or Utnapishtim in the Gilgamesh Epopee of Babylonian mythology.
In general, there are three opinions about the Flood:
- who thinks it has happened as it is handed down to its religious faith;
- who thinks it’s just a myth and never happened;
- those who believe that it comes from one or more events that have actually happened, subsequently enlarged and / or mitigated.
The view that the Bible may date back to the very near real date of the Great Flood is typical of the Creationists, who, reading the Bible literally, place the date between the XXIV and the XXIII centuries BC.
This date is derived from the fact that Abraham (lived between the 21st and 19th centuries BC) would be born 292 years after the Great Flood. According to these guesses the event took place in Mesopotamian territory and the Ark is located on Mount Ararat.
From 1880, with the first translations of the Gilgamesh Epopee, the myth of Flood begins to be re-evaluated. Schliemann had recently discovered Troy, proving that what was considered a myth was a historical reality. The existence of a mythological text of an alien culture to the biblical one, which described an event similar to that of the Flood, began to suggest that even in this case behind the myth concealed a kernel of historical reality.
The hypothesis that had the greatest supporters in the twentieth century was that, at the origin of the myth of the Great Flood, there was an exceptional prehistoric flood in the Mesopotamian area.
In 1998, William Ryan and Walter Pitman, geologists from Columbia University, published evidence that a massive flood through the Bosphorus occurred around 5600 BC The melting of ice in the Post glacial era had transformed the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea into vast lakes of fresh water, while the sea level continued to remain low globally. Freshwater lakes poured their waters into the Aegean Sea. Since the glaciers had retired, the rivers flowing into the Black Sea reduced their reach and found new outcrops towards the North Sea and the Black Sea level tended to lower due to evaporation. So, suggesting Ryan and Pitman, around 5600 BC, the Mediterranean, whose level was rising, finally overflowed beyond the Bosphorus. The event flooded 155,000 km² of territory and significantly increased the size of the Black Sea to the north and west. Another hypothesis would be that the Flood occurred at the end of the last glaciation, dating back to about 10,000 years ago, in conjunction with the melting of the ice and rising sea levels following the post-glaciation temperature rise. According to some, a proof of the flood in this period would be the Sphinx of Giza, which marked signs of strong erosion allegedly due to the action of water, located in 10500 BC.
According to Kingsley, on the other hand, from the study of Mount Carmel and Galilee, the Biblical Great Flood could be considered a major flooding from the North between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea 9,000 years ago (7,000 BC) after the last glaciation; As a result, the sea level rose to 155 meters and the waves covered a region of 150000 square kilometers. Kingsley does not explain why there is no trace of the Great Flood in the surrounding territories, so he thinks that very high waves all crossed the Noah‘s Ark to Mount Ararat.
One of the most acclaimed hypotheses is that the flood would occur as a meteorite falls in the Indian Ocean (3000-2800 BC) by creating a 30 km crater, generating giant tsunami and striking coasts and islands. Another hypothesis refers to the alleged crater corresponding to Lake Umm al Binni 31 ° 14’29 “N 47 ° 06’21” E, in southern Iraq, probably caused by the fall of a meteorite or a comet to the beginning of the Sumerian civilization, ie between 5000 and 4000 BC.
The myth of deluge in various cultures.
In Norwegian mythology, there are two separate dilutions. According to Edda in the prose of Snorri Sturluson, the first one was at the dawn of times before the world was created. Ymir, the first giant, was killed by God Odin and his brothers Víli and Vé, and when Ymir died, he lost so much blood from his wounds that drowned almost the whole race of giants, with the exception of the fox Bergelmir and his wife. They escaped on a ship and survived, becoming the progenitors of a new breed of giants. The body of Ymir was used to form the earth while its blood became the sea. The second flood, in the temporal line of Norse mythology, is bound to happen in the future during Ragnarok, the final battle between gods and giants. During this apocalyptic event, Jormungandr, the great marine snake lying in the depths of the surrounding sea Midgard, the realm of mortals, will rise from the sea abyss and join the conflict; this will cause a catastrophic flood that will submerge the earth. However, after Ragnarok the earth will be reborn, and a new era will begin for humanity.
According to Lebor Gabala Érenn, a book that tells Irish mythology, the first inhabitants of Ireland, led by Noah’s nephew, Cessair, almost all got swept away by a flood 40 days after reaching the island; only one person was saved. Later, after the people of Partholon and Nemed had reached the island, there was another flood that killed all the inhabitants except one thirty, who went to the world.
In Greece, Deucalion and Pirra, respectively, sons of Prometheus and Epimeteo, were two unmarried spouses, chosen to save themselves from the flood that would fall on the earth, and thus to rejuvenate humanity. On what happens after the flood there are two versions, which however lead to the same epilogue.
The Bible’s account of Noah’s Ark presents similarities to the Babylonian myth of Gilgamesh’s epic, which tells of an ancient king named Utanapishtim who was helped by the god of justice and wisdom, Ea, to build a boat in which he could save from the deluge sent by Enlil.
The Qur’an tells a story similar to the Jewish-Christian story of the Flood of Genesis, the main differences being that only Noah and few lay followers entered the ark. Noah’s son (one of four) and his wife refused to enter the ark thinking of facing the flood alone. The Qur’anic Ark then fell on Mount Judi, traditionally identified with a mountain near Mosul in today’s Iraq; the name seems to derive from the local name of the Kurdish people of the place, although this is not certain.
The myth of deluge is present in the Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa. Manu meets a mythical fish in the water that had been brought to him to wash. It promises to save him if he, in turn, will save it. Manu keeps the fish in a pot, then takes it to the sea. A boat is built and, in the year predicted by the fish, the flood is taking place. The fish swims towards Manu’s boat and hooks his horn to the boat leading to the north mountain. Manu is the only surviving human being. Practice asceticism and make a sacrifice from which, after a year, a female is born and she procreated this posterity, which is Manu’s posterity.
There are many sources of legendary floods in ancient Chinese literature. Some appear to be a global flood, but many versions are reported as local floods – a number of them are concerned with the flood caused by hostile; others are based on historical events.
According to some Australian Aborigines, during the era of dreams a giant frog drank all the water in the world and began a great drought. The only way to end the drought was to make her laugh. After all the Australian animals had been tested, there was an eel. The frog woke up, began to shake, his face relaxed, and eventually burst into a laugh that resounded like a thunder. Water broke out of his mouth in a huge flood that filled all the rivers and covered the earth. Only the tallest mountains were visible, like islands in the middle of the sea. Many men and animals drowned. The pelicans at that time were completely black, changed color using white clay and moved from island to island into a big canoe, to save other black animals. Since then, the pelican is black and white in memory of the great flood.
According to the tradition of Ngati Porou, a Maori tribe on the east coast of New Zealand, Ruatapu became angry when his father Uenuku elevated his younger brother Kahutia-te-rank to a higher rank than his. Ruatapu invited Kahutia-te-rank and a large number of high ranking youths into his canoe, and took them to the sea where they drowned them. He called the gods of the sea and sent them to destroy the earth with a flood. While struggling to not drown, Kahutia-te-rangi invoked humpbacks (Paikea in Maori) to take him safely. He was the only survivor of the flood and named Paikea.
In Hopi mythology, people disobeyed many times to their creator Sotuknang. He first destroyed the world with fire, then with frost, and recreated both times for people still following his laws, who survived hiding under the ground. When people became corrupt and belligerent for the third time, Sotuknang took them from the Spider-Woman, and she cut giant reeds and repaired people in the stomach cavities. Sotuknang then caused a great flood, and people floated on the water in their reeds. The canes then lay on a small piece of land, and people came out, with as much food as they did at the beginning. People traveled with their canoes, guided by their inner wisdom (which is said to have been derived from Sotuknang). They traveled north-east, passing through bigger islands until they reached the Fourth World. When they reached the Fourth World, the islands fell into the ocean.
In the Aztec manuscript called the Borgia Code (Vatican Code), it is told of the age-old world history, the latter ending with a great dilemma at the hands of the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue.
In Inca mythology, Viracocha destroyed giants with a great flood, from which only two people were saved, inside sealed caves, which then repainted the earth.
In the mythology of the Mayan people we talk about a Black Rainfall, sent by God Haracan to destroy the men of wood.
With the spectacular discovery of the wind-sands discovered by an underwater camera at a depth of 140 feet, the theory that the Black Sea was the scenario of a catastrophic flood in the prehistory of humanity, has acquired credit . The presence of the dunes would indicate that the theory could be corrected because, despite the accumulation of thousands of years of marine sedimentation, recognizable traces of terrestrial structures at the bottom of the sea are still recognizable. Encouraged by this discovery, Pitman and Ryan joined a Russian naval exploration team, equipped with some advanced Western investigation technologies. Sophisticated seismic detection equipment has indicated a uniform layer of horizontal marine sediment that abruptly overlaps with well-eroded and well-layered layers. Such a horizon in geology and geophysics is indicated by the term “deformity”, which in this case identifies the transition from a terrestrial surface exposed to rain, wind and running water erosion to a marine environment that slowly and gradually increases by stratification of sediments. What the team has discovered is the unmistakable evidence of a recent (in terms of geological times), flooding the Black Sea and the Eusine Basin.
Great Flood, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.
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