This goes very much for the interpretations of the global Flood Myths that some scholars are taken very literary - and even for some mythologists that even can't connect what they read to what the Myth really says because they lack the cosmological knowledge that is incorporated in the Myths.

In the Wikipedia text below, all kind of mythological misunderstandings are taking place. Just have in mind every time a River is mentioned in myths, it most certainly tells of the Milky Way River - and of Milky Way Ships sailing around on the Heavenly Oceans.

Star Atlas Map. The most commonly shown Milky Way River contours of the Earth Northern and Southern hemisphere. The imagery and the Mythological telling of the Milky Way are described and illustrated with many different symbols of watery element, large human beings, animals and even anthropomorphic creatures. With a perfect eye power, one can observe further details on a favorable night on the darker seasons of the year.
Watch this excellent video -
The Earth Axis with the Northern and Southern hemisphere seemingly revolving Milky Way River contours. The inserted swirl on the right lower figure marks the Milky Way Center (Pool) in the Star Constellation of Sagittarius.

Milky Way River and Mythical Ships

Northern Milky Way contour with the Earth celestial pole compared to a Rock Art images from the Baltic island of Bornholm, Denmark.

Listen to this video by John K. Lundwall - The Great Flood in Myth and Cult -

The Milky Way Oceanus

n classical antiquity, Oceanus (from Greek: Ὠκεανός, lit. "ocean"[1]) was believed to be the world-ocean, which the ancient Romans and Greeks considered to be an enormous river encircling the world. (Namely the Milky Way Contour River. Ivar)

Strictly speaking, Oceanus was (Of course NOT! Ivar) the ocean-stream at the Equator in which floated the habitable hemisphere (oikoumene οἰκουμένη).[2] In Greek mythology, this world-ocean was personified as a Titan, a son of Uranus and Gaia.

In Hellenistic and Roman mosaics, this Titan was often depicted as having the upper body of a muscular man with a long beard and horns (often represented as the claws of a crab), and the lower torso of a serpent (cf. Typhon).

On a fragmentary archaic vessel (British Museum 1971.11-1.1) of ca 580 BC, among the gods arriving at the wedding of Peleus and the sea-nymph Thetis, is a fish-tailed Oceanus, with a fish in one hand and a serpent in the other, gifts of bounty and prophecy. In Roman mosaics, such as that from Bardo (illustration, left) he might carry a steering-oar and cradle a ship.

Roman mosaic from Bardo, 2nd century CE

Some scholars believe that Oceanus originally represented all bodies of salt water, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the two largest bodies known to the ancient Greeks. However, as geography became more accurate, Oceanus came to represent the stranger, more unknown waters of the Atlantic Ocean (also called the "Ocean Sea"), while the newcomer of a later generation, Poseidon, ruled over the Mediterranean. (Rubbish)

Oceanus' consort is his sister Tethys, and from their union came the ocean nymphs, also known as the three-thousand Oceanids, and all the rivers of the world, fountains, and lakes.[3] From Cronus, of the race of Titans, the Olympian gods have their birth, and Hera mentions twice in Iliad book xiv her intended journey "to the ends of the generous earth on a visit to Oceanus, whence the gods have risen, and Tethys our mother who brought me up kindly in their own house."[4]

Oceanus, at right, with scaly tail, in the Gigantomachy of the Pergamon Altar.

In most variations of the war between the Titans and the Olympians, or Titanomachy, Oceanus, along with Prometheus and Themis, did not take the side of his fellow Titans against the Olympians, but instead withdrew from the conflict. In most variations of this myth, Oceanus also refused to side with Cronus in the latter's revolt against their father, Uranus.

Statue of god Oceanus, Trevi Fountain, Rome.

In the Iliad, the rich iconography of Achilles' shield, which was fashioned by Hephaestus, is enclosed, as the world itself was believed to be, by Oceanus:

Then, running round the shield-rim, triple-ply,
he pictured all the might of the Ocean stream.

When Odysseus and Nestor walk together along the shore of the sounding sea (Iliad ix.182) their prayers are addressed "to the great Sea-god who girdles the world." It is to Oceanus, not to Poseidon, that their thoughts are directed.

Invoked in passing by poets and figured as the father of rivers and streams, thus the progenitor of river gods, Oceanus appears only once in myth, as a representative of the archaic world that Heracles constantly threatened and bested.[5] Heracles forced the loan from Helios of his golden bowl, in order to cross the wide expanse of the Ocean on his trip to the Hesperides. When Oceanus tossed the bowl, Heracles threatened him and stilled his waves. The journey of Heracles in the sun-bowl upon Oceanus was a favored theme among painters of Attic pottery.

Milky Way Myths

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There are many myths and legends about the origin of the Milky Way, the galaxy cluster of stars that makes a distinctive bright streak across the night sky.



Mythology among cultures


Ancient Armenian mythology called the Milky Way the "Straw Thief's Way". According to legend, the god Vahagn stole a straw from the Assyrian king Barsham and brought it to Armenia during a cold winter. When he fled across the heavens, he spilled some of the straw along the way.[1]


The Khoisan people of the Kalahari desert in southern Africa say that long ago there were no stars and the night was pitch black. A girl, who was lonely and wanted to visit other people, threw the embers from a fire into the sky and created the Milky Way.[2]


A Cherokee folktale tells of a dog who stole some cornmeal and was chased away. He ran away to the north, spilling the cornmeal along the way. The Milky Way is thus called Gili Ulisvsdanvyi "The Way the Dog Ran Away".[3]

Eastern Asia

Peoples in Eastern Asia believed that the hazy band of stars was the "Silvery River" of Heaven (Chinese: 銀河, Korean: eunha and Japanese: ginga). In one story, the stars Altair and Vega were said to be two lovers who were allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month, when a flock of magpies and crows formed a bridge over the galactic river. That day is celebrated as Qi Xi, the Seventh Night (Chinese: 七夕; pinyin: qī xī, Korean: chilseok and Japanese: tanabata).


In Egyptian mythology, the Milky Way was considered a pool of cow's milk. It was deified as a fertility cow-goddess by the name of Bat (later on syncretized with the goddess Hathor).


Among the Finns, Estonians and related peoples, the Milky Way was called "The Pathway of the Birds" (Finnish: Linnunrata, Estonian: Linnutee). The Finns observed that the migratory birds used the galaxy as a guideline to travel south, where they believed Lintukoto (bird home) resided. In Estonian folklore it is believed that the birds are led by a white bird with the head of a maiden who chases birds of prey away.[4] Only later did scientists indeed confirm this observation; the migratory birds use the Milky Way as a guide to travel to warmer, southern lands during the winter.[citation needed] The name in the Indo-European Baltic languages has the same meaning (Lithuanian: Paukščių Takas, Latvian: Putnu Ceļš).

Jacopo Tintoretto's "The Origin of the Milky Way"

Greek and Roman

The Greek name for the Milky way (Γαλαξίας Galaxias) is derived from the word for milk (γάλα, gala). One legend explains how the Milky Way was created by Heracles when he was a baby.[2] His father, Zeus, was fond of his son, who was born of the mortal woman Alcmene. He decided to let the infant Heracles suckle on his divine wife Hera's milk when she was asleep, an act which would endow the baby with godlike qualities. When Hera woke up and realized that she was breastfeeding an unknown infant, she pushed him away and the spurting milk became the Milky Way.

A story told by the Roman Hyginus in the Poeticon astronomicon (ultimately based on Greek myth) says that the milk came from the goddess Ops (Greek Rhea), the wife of Saturn (Greek Cronus). Saturn swallowed his children to ensure his position as head of the Pantheon and sky god, and so Ops conceived a plan to save her newborn son Jupiter (Greek Zeus): She wrapped a stone in infant's clothes and gave it to Saturn to swallow. Saturn asked her to nurse the child once more before he swallowed it, and the milk that spurted when she pressed her nipple against the rock eventually became the Milky Way.[5]

Older Greek mythology associates the Milky Way with a herd of dairy cows/cattle, where each cow is a star and whose milk gives the blue glow.[citation needed] As such, it is intimately associated with legends concerning the constellation of Gemini, with which it is in contact. The constellation was named for the twins, Castor and Polydeuces, who sometimes raided cattle. In addition, Gemini (in combination with Canis Major, Orion, Auriga, and the deserted area now called Camelopardalis) may form the origin of the myth of the Cattle of Geryon, one of The Twelve Labours of Heracles[citation needed].


In the Hindu collection of stories called Bhagavata purana, all the visible stars and planets moving through space are likened to a dolphin that swims through the water, and the heavens is called śiśumãra cakra, the dolphin disc. The Milky Way forms the abdomen of the dolphin and is called Akasaganga which means "The Ganges River of the Sky".[6]


In Hungarian mythology, Csaba, the mythical son of Attila the Hun and ancestor of the Hungarians is supposed to ride down the Milky Way when the Székelys (ethnic Hungarians living in Romania) are threatened. Thus the Milky Way is called "The Road of the Warriors" Hungarian: Hadak Útja .[7]


To the Māori the Milky Way is the waka (canoe) of Tama-rereti. The front and back of the canoe are Orion and Scorpius, while the Southern Cross and the Pointers are the anchor and rope. According to legend, when Tama-rereti took his canoe out onto a lake, he found himself far from home as night was falling. There were no stars at this time and in the darkness the Taniwha would attack and eat people. So Tama-rereti sailed his canoe along the river that emptied into the heavens (to cause rain) and scattered shiny pebbles from the lakeshore into the sky. The sky god, Ranginui, was pleased by this action and placed the canoe into the sky as well as a reminder of how the stars were made.[8]

The slight bulge of the Milky Way around Scorpius is also sometimes pictured as a whale.

Australian Aboriginal

The Kaurna Aboriginal People of the Adelaide Plains in South Australia see the band of the Milky Way as a river in the skyworld. They called it Wodliparri (wodli = hut, house, parri = river) and believe that positioned along the river are a number of dwellings. In addition, the dark patches are where a dangerous creature known as a yura lives; the Kaurna call these patches Yurakauwe, which literally means "monster water." Moreover, Aboriginal Groups from the Cape York region of Queensland see the band of light as termites that had been blown into the sky by the ancestral hero Burbuk Boon. Further south the band of stars that comprise the Milky Way are seen as thousands of flying foxes carrying away a dancer known as Purupriggie.

In addition, the Aranda who come from central Australia see the band of the Milky Way as a river or creek in the skyworld. This stellar river separates the two great camps of the Aranda and Luritja People. The stars to the east of this river represent the camps of the Aranda and the stars to the west represent Luritja encampments and some stars closer to the band representing a mixture of both.


See also

External links

The Deluge myth = Flood Myths = Milky Way River Myths

"The Deluge", frontispiece to Gustave Doré's illustrated edition of the Bible. Based on the story of Noah's Ark, this shows humans and a tiger doomed by the flood futilely attempting to save their children and cubs.

A deluge legend or flood legend is a legendary story of a great flood sent by a deity or deities to destroy (rubbish) civilization as an act of divine retribution (rubbish) . It is a widespread theme among many cultures, though it is perhaps best known in modern times through the biblical account of Noah's Ark, the Hindu Puranic story of Manu, through Deucalion in Greek mythology or Utnapishtim in the Epic of Gilgamesh.



Flood legends in various cultures

Ancient Near East


The earliest extant flood legend is contained in the fragmentary Sumerian Eridu Genesis, datable by its script to the 17th century BCE.[1]

The story tells how the god Enki warns Ziusudra (meaning "he saw life," in reference to the gift of immortality given him by the gods), of the gods' decision to destroy mankind in a flood—the passage describing why the gods have decided this is lost. Enki instructs Ziusudra (also known as Atrahasis) to build a large boat—the text describing the instructions is also lost. After which he is left to repopulate the earth, as in many other flood legends.

After a flood of seven days, Zi-ud-sura makes appropriate sacrifices and prostrations to An (sky-god) and Enlil (chief of the gods), and is given eternal life in Dilmun (the Sumerian Eden) by An and Enlil.

Babylonian (Epic of Gilgamesh)

The "Deluge tablet" (tablet 11) of the Epic of Gilgamesh in Akkadian.

In the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, toward the end of the He who saw the deep version by Sin-liqe-unninni, there are references to the great flood (tablet 11). This was a late addition to the Gilgamesh cycle, largely paraphrased or copied verbatim from the Epic of Atrahasis (see above).

The hero Gilgamesh, seeking immortality, searches out Utnapishtim in Dilmun, a kind of paradise on earth. Utnapishtim tells how Ea (equivalent of the Sumerian Enki) warned him of the gods' plan to destroy all life through a great flood and instructed him to build a vessel in which he could save his family, his friends, and his wealth and cattle. After the Deluge the gods repented their action and made Utnapishtim immortal.


The best-known version of the Jewish deluge legend is contained in the Book of Genesis (Genesis 6–9). Two non-canonical books, the Enoch and Jubilees, both later than Genesis, contain elaborations on the Genesis story.

Genesis tells how "...the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and was grieved in His heart. So the Lord said, 'I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am grieved that I have made them.'"[2]

God selects Noah, a man who "found favor in the eyes of the Lord"[3] and commands him to build an ark[4] to save Noah, his family, and the Earth's animals and birds. After Noah builds the ark, "all the fountains of the great deep burst open, and the floodgates of the sky were opened"[5]. Rain falls for 40 days, the water rises 150 days, and all the high mountains are covered.[6] The ark rests on the mountains, the water recedes for 150 days, until the waters are gone and Noah opens up the ark. At this point Noah sends out a raven and then a dove to see if the flood waters have receded. Noah and the animals leave the ark, Noah offers a sacrifice to God, and God places a rainbow in the clouds as a sign that he will never again destroy the Earth by water.

The apocryphal 2nd century BCE 1st Book of Enoch adds to the Genesis flood story by saying that God sent the Great Flood to rid the earth of the Nephilim, the titanic children of the Grigori, the "sons of God" mentioned in Genesis, and of human females.


The Quran tells a similar story to the Judeo-Christian Genesis flood story, the major differences being only Noah and few believers from the laity enter the ark. Noah's son (one of four) and his wife refused to enter the ark thinking they will manage the flood by himself. The Quranic ark comes to rest on Mount Judi, traditionally identified with a mountain near Mosul in modern Iraq; the name appears to derive from the local name of the Kurdish people, although this is not certain.



There are many sources of flood legends in ancient Chinese literature. Some appear to refer to a worldwide deluge but most versions record only a regional flood:

  • Shujing, or "Book of History", probably written around 500 BCE or earlier, states in the opening chapters that Emperor Yao is facing the problem of flood waters that "reach to the Heavens". This is the backdrop for the intervention of the famous Da Yu, who succeeded in controlling the floods. He went on to found the first Chinese dynasty.[7] The translator of the 1904 edition dated the Chinese deluge to 2348 BCE, calculating that this was the same year as the biblical flood[8]. In fact, the Mideast flood legend (including the biblical flood) was erroneously linked to a flood mentioned in the Sumerian king list, which was actually dated to 2900 BCE.
  • Shanhaijing, "Classic of the Mountain & Seas", ends with the Chinese ruler Da Yu spending ten years to control a deluge whose "floodwaters overflowed [to] heaven".[9]

The ancient Chinese civilization concentrated at the bank of Yellow River near present day Xian also believed that the severe flooding along the river bank was caused by dragons (representing gods) living in the river being angered by the mistakes of the people.

Lao (Indochina)

Legend of Khun Borom.


Incarnation of Vishnu as a Fish, from a devotional text.

Matsya (Fish in Sanskrit) was the first Avatara of Vishnu.

According to the Matsya Purana and Shatapatha Brahmana (I-8, 1-6), the mantri to the king of pre-ancient Dravida, Satyavata who later becomes known as Manu was washing his hands in a river when a little fish swam into his hands and begged him to save its life. He put it in a jar, which it soon outgrew; he successively moved it to a tank, a river and then the ocean. The fish then warned him that a deluge would occur in a week that would destroy all life. Manu therefore built a boat which the fish towed to a mountaintop when the flood came, and thus he survived along with some "seeds of life" to re-establish life on earth. Hindu religious tradition holds the Bhagavata Purana to be one of the works of Vyasa written at the beginning of Kali Yuga (about c.3100 BCE) which pre-dates the Sumerian creation legend.

Andaman Islands

In legends of the aboriginal tribes inhabiting the Andaman Islands people became remiss of the commands given to them at the creation. Puluga, the god creator, ceased to visit them and then without further warning sent a devastating flood. Only four people survived this flood: two men, Loralola and Poilola, and two women, Kalola and Rimalola. When they landed they found they had lost their fire and all living things had perished. Puluga then recreated the animals and plants but does not seem to have given any further instructions, nor did he return the fire to the survivors[11].


In Batak traditions, the earth rests on a giant snake, Naga-Padoha. One day, the snake tired of its burden and shook the Earth off into the sea. However, the God Batara-Guru saved his daughter by sending a mountain into the sea, and the entire human race descended from her. The Earth was later placed back onto the head of the snake.


According to the Australian aborigines, in the Dreamtime a huge frog drank all the water in the world and a drought swept across the land. (Tidalik — this story originates from the Murray-Darling riverina of New South Wales and Victoria. The Murray-Darling frequently experiences drought-flood cycles lasting up to years at a time, linked to El Niño/La Niña events in the Pacific) The only way to finish the drought was to make the frog laugh. Animals from all over Australia gathered together and one by one attempted to make the frog laugh. When finally the eel succeeded, the frog opened his sleepy eyes, his big body quivered, his face relaxed, and, at last, he burst into a laugh that sounded like rolling thunder. The water poured from his mouth in a flood. It filled the deepest rivers and covered the land. Only the highest mountain peaks were visible, like islands in the sea. Many men and animals were drowned. The pelican who was blackfellow at that time painted himself with white clay and went from island to island in a great canoe, rescuing other blackfellows. Since that time pelicans have been black and white in remembrance of the Great Flood[12].

New Zealand

In a tradition of the Ngati Porou, a Maori tribe of the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, Ruatapu became angry when his father Uenuku elevated his younger half-brother Kahutia-te-rangi ahead of him. Ruatapu lured Kahutia-te-rangi and a large number of young men of high birth into his canoe, and took them out to sea where he drowned them. He called on the gods to destroy his enemies and threatened to return as the great waves of early summer. As he struggled for his life, Kahutia-te-rangi recited an incantation invoking the southern humpback whales (paikea in Maori) to carry him ashore. Accordingly, he was renamed Paikea, and was the only survivor (Reedy 1997:83-85).

Some versions of the Maori story of Tawhaki contain episodes where the hero causes a flood to destroy the village of his two jealous brothers-in-law. A comment in Grey's Polynesian Mythology may have given the Maori something they did not have before — as A.W Reed put it, "In Polynesian Mythology Grey said that when Tawhaki's ancestors released the floods of heaven, the earth was overwhelmed and all human beings perished — thus providing the Maori with his own version of the universal flood" (Reed 1963:165, in a footnote). Christian influence has led to the appearance of genealogies where Tawhaki's grandfather Hema is reinterpreted as Shem, son of Noah of the biblical deluge.


According to the legend of the Temuan, one of the 18 indigenous tribes of peninsular Malaysia, the "celau" (storm of punishment) is for the sin of the people who angered the gods and ancestors so much that a great flood was sent in punishment. Only two of the Temuan tribes, Mamak and Inak Bungsuk, survived the flood by climbing the Eaglewood tree at "Gunung Raja" (Royal Mountain), which thereafter became the birth place and ancestral home of the Temuan tribe.



Greek mythology knows three floods. The flood of Ogyges, the flood of Deucalion and the flood of Dardanus, two of which ended two Ages of Man: the Ogygian Deluge ended the Silver Age, and the flood of Deucalion ended the First Bronze Age.


The Ogygian flood is so called because it occurred in the time of Ogyges,[13] a mythical king of Attica. Ogyges is somewhat synonymous to "primeval", "primal", "earliest dawn". Others say he was founder and king of Thebes. In many traditions the Ogygian flood is said to have covered the whole world and was so devastating that Attica remained without kings until the reign of Cecrops.[14]

Plato in his Laws, Book III, estimates that this flood occurred 10,000 years before his time. Also in Timaeus (22) and in Critias (111-112) he describes the "great deluge of all" happening 9,000 years before the time of Solon, during the 10th millennium BCE. In addition, the texts report that "many great deluges have taken place during the nine thousand years" since Athens and Atlantis were preeminent.[15]

Map of eastern Mediterranean and Greece during 10,000 BCE.

The theory of the flood in the Aegean Basin, proposed that a great flood occurred at the end of the Late Pleistocene or beginning of the Holocene. The Holocene is a geological period that began approximately 11,550 calendar years BP (or about 9600 BCE) and continues to the present. This flood would coincide with the end of the last ice age, estimated approximately 10,000 years ago, when the sea level rose as much as 130 metres, particularly during Meltwater pulse 1A when sea level rose by about 25 metres in some parts of the northern hemisphere over a period of less than 500 years.[16]

The map on the right shows how the region would look about 12,000 years ago, or 10,000 BCE, when the sea level would have been 125 meters lower than today. The Peloponnese was connected to the mainland and the Corinthian Gulf was not formed. Islands around Attica, such as Aegina, Salamis and Euboea, were part of the mainland. The Cyclades formed a big island known as Aegeis, while Bosporus and Hellespont was not formed yet.

These geological findings support the hypothesis that the Ogygian Deluge may well be based on a real event.


The Deucalion legend as told by Apollodorus in The Library has some similarity to Noah's Ark: Prometheus advised his son Deucalion to build a chest. All other men perished except for a few who escaped to high mountains. The mountains in Thessaly were parted, and all the world beyond the Isthmus and Peloponnese was overwhelmed. Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha, after floating in the chest for nine days and nights, landed on Parnassus. An older version of the story told by Hellanicus has Deucalion's "ark" landing on Mount Othrys in Thessaly. Another account has him landing on a peak, probably Phouka, in Argolis, later called Nemea. When the rains ceased, he sacrificed to Zeus. Then, at the bidding of Zeus, he threw stones behind him, and they became men, and the stones which Pyrrha threw became women. Appollodorus gives this as an etymology for Greek Laos "people" as derived from laas "stone". The Megarians told that Megarus, son of Zeus, escaped Deucalion's flood by swimming to the top of Mount Gerania, guided by the cries of cranes.


This one has the same basic story line. According to Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Dardanus left Pheneus in Arcadia to colonize a land in the North-East Aegean Sea. When the Dardanus' deluge occurred, the land was flooded and the mountain on which he and his family survived, formed the island of Samothrace. He left Samothrace on an inflated skin to the opposite shores of Asia Minor and settled at the foot of Mount Ida. Due to the fear of another flood they didn't build a city, but lived in the open for fifty years. His grandson Tros eventually built a city, which was named Troy after him.

From The Theogony of Apollodorus

This one has the same basic story line as Deucalion. Prometheus moulded men out of water and earth and gave them also fire, which, unknown to Zeus, he had hidden in a stalk of fennel. But when Zeus learned of it, he ordered Hephaestus to nail his body to Mount Caucasus, which is a Scythian mountain. On it Prometheus was nailed and kept bound for many years. Every day an eagle swooped on him and devoured the lobes of his liver, which grew by night. That was the penalty that Prometheus paid for the theft of fire until Hercules afterwards released him.

And Prometheus had a son Deucalion. He reigning in the regions about Phthia, married Pyrrha, the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora, the first woman fashioned by the gods. And when Zeus would destroy the men of the Bronze Age, Deucalion by the advice of Prometheus constructed a chest, and having stored it with provisions he embarked in it with Pyrrha. But Zeus by pouring heavy rain from heaven flooded the greater part of Greece, so that all men were destroyed, except a few who fled to the high mountains in the neighbourhood and Peloponnesus was overwhelmed. But Deucalion, floating in the chest over the sea for nine days and as many nights, drifted to Parnassus, and there, when the rain ceased, he landed and sacrificed to Zeus, the god of Escape. And Zeus sent Hermes to him and allowed him to choose what he would, and he chose to get men.

And at the bidding of Zeus he took up stones and threw them over his head, and the stones which Deucalion threw became men, and the stones which Pyrrha threw became women. Hence people were called metaphorically people (Laos) from laas, "a stone." And Deucalion had children by Pyrrha, first Hellen, whose father some say was Zeus, and second Amphictyon, who reigned over Attica after Cranaus, and third a daughter Protogonia, who became the mother of Aethlius by Zeus. Hellen had Dorus, Xuthus, and Aeolus by a nymph Orseis. Those who were called Greeks he named Hellenes after himself, and divided the country among his sons. Xuthus received Peloponnese and begat Achaeus and Ion by Creusa, daughter of Erechtheus, and from Achaeus and Ion the Achaeans and lonians derive their names. Dorus received the country over against Peloponnese and called the settlers Dorians after himself.

Aeolus reigned over the regions about Thessaly and named the inhabitants Aeolians. He married Enarete, daughter of Deimachus, and begat seven sons, Cretheus, Sisyphus, Athamas, Salmoneus, Deion, Magnes, Perieres, and five daughters, Canace, Alcyone, Pisidice, Calyce, Perimede. Perimede had Hippodamas and Orestes by Achelous; and Pisidice had Antiphus and Actor by Myrmidon. Alcyone was married by Ceyx, son of Lucifer. These perished by reason of their pride, for he said that his wife was Hera, and she said that her husband was Zeus. But Zeus turned them into birds; her he made a kingfisher (alcyon) and him a gannet (ceyx).


In Norse mythology, there are two separate deluges. According to the Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson, the first occurred at the dawn of time before the world was formed. Ymir, the first giant, was killed by the god Odin and his brothers Vili and Ve, and when he fell, so much blood flowed from his wounds that it drowned almost the entire race of giants with the exception of the frost giant Bergelmir and his wife. They escaped in a ship and survived, becoming the progenitors of a new race of giants. Ymir's body was then used to form the earth while his blood became the sea.

The second, in the Norse mythological time cycle, is destined to occur in the future during the final battle between the gods and giants, known as Ragnarök. During this apocalyptic event, Jormungandr, the great World Serpent that lies beneath the sea surrounding Midgard, the realm of mortals, will rise up from the watery depths to join the conflict, resulting in a catastrophic flood that will drown the land. However, following Ragnarök the earth will be reborn and a new age of humanity will begin.

The mythologist Brian Branston noted the similarities between this legend and an incident described in the Anglo-Saxon epic poem Beowulf, which had traditionally been associated with the biblical flood, so there may have been a corresponding incident in the broader Germanic mythology as well as in Anglo-Saxon mythology.


According to the apocryphal history of Ireland Lebor Gabála Érenn, the first inhabitants of Ireland led by Noah's granddaughter Cessair were all except one wiped out by a flood 40 days after reaching the island. Later, after Partholon's and Nemed's people reached the island, another flood rose and killed all but thirty of the inhabitants, who scattered across the world. As it was Christian monks who first wrote the story down (it had previously been oral tradition), it is likely that references to the Biblical Noah were inserted into the story, in an attempt to Christianise it.


In the Kalevala rune entitled "Haava" (The Wound, section 8),[17] Väinämöinen attempts a heroic feat that results in a gushing wound, the blood from which covers the entire earth. This deluge is not emphasized in the Kalevala version redacted by Elias Lönnrot, but the global quality of the flood is evident in original variants of the rune. In one variant collected in Northern Ostrobothnia in 1803/04, the rune tells:

The blood came forth like a flood
the gore ran like a river:
there was no hummock
and no high mountain
that was not flooded
all from Väinämöinen's toe
from the holy hero's knee.[18]

In the analysis by Matti Kuusi, he notes that the rune's motifs of constructing a boat, a wound, and a flood have parallels with flood legends from around the world.[19]



There are several variants of the Aztec story, many of them are questionable in accuracy or authenticity.

When the Sun Age came, there had passed 400 years. Then came 200 years, then 76. Then all mankind was lost and drowned and turned to fishes. The water and the sky drew near each other. In a single day all was lost, and Four Flower consumed all that there was of our flesh. The very mountains were swallowed up in the flood, and the waters remained, lying tranquil during fifty and two springs. But before the flood began, Titlachahuan had warned the man Nota and his wife Nena, saying, 'Make no more pulque, but hollow a great cypress, into which you shall enter the month Tozoztli. The waters shall near the sky.' They entered, and when Titlacahuan had shut them in he said to the man, 'Thou shalt eat but a single ear of maize, and thy wife but one also'. And when they had each eaten one ear of maize, they prepared to go forth, for the water was tranquil.
— Ancient Aztec document Codex Chimalpopoca, translated by Abbé Charles Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg.


In Inca mythology, Viracocha destroyed the giants with a Great Flood, and two people repopulated the earth. Uniquely, they survived in sealed caves. See Unu Pachakuti.


In Maya mythology, from the Popol Vuh, Part 1, Chapter 3, Huracan ("one-legged") was a wind and storm god who caused the Great Flood (of resin) after the first humans (made of wood) angered the gods (by being unable to worship them). He supposedly lived in the windy mists above the floodwaters and spoke the word "earth" until land came up again from the seas.

Later, in Part 3, Chapter 3&4,

  • Four men & four women repopulate the Quiche world after the flood
  • all speaking the same language (but a confusing reference)
  • and gather together in the same location
  • where their speech is changed (affirmed several times)
  • after which they disperse throughout the world.

Like many others, this account does not present an "Ark". A "Tower of Babel" depends upon the translation; some render the peoples arriving at a city, others, at a citadel.


In Hopi mythology, the people moved away from Sotuknang, the creator, repeatedly. He destroyed the world by fire, and then by cold, and recreated it both times for the people that still followed the laws of creation, who survived by hiding underground. People became corrupt and warlike a third time. As a result, Sotuknang guided the people to Spider Woman, and she cut down giant reeds and sheltered the people in the hollow stems. Sotuknang then caused a great flood, and the people floated atop the water in their reeds. The reeds came to rest on a small piece of land, and the people emerged, with as much food as they started with. The people traveled on in their canoes, guided by their inner wisdom (which is said to come from Sotuknang, through the door at the top of their head). They travelled to the northeast, passing progressively larger islands, until they came to the Fourth World. When they reached the fourth world, the islands sank into the ocean.


In Caddo mythology, four monsters grew in size and power until they touched the sky. At that time, a man heard a voice telling him to plant a hollow reed. He did so, and the reed grew very big very quickly. The man entered the reed with his wife and pairs of all good animals. Waters rose, and covered everything but the top of the reed and the heads of the monsters. A turtle then killed the monsters by digging under them and uprooting them. The waters subsided, and winds dried the earth.


In Menominee mythology, Manabus, the trickster, "fired by his lust for revenge" shot two underground gods when the gods were at play. When they all dived into the water, a huge flood arose. "The water rose up .... It knew very well where Manabus had gone." He runs, he runs; but the water, coming from Lake Michigan, chases him faster and faster, even as he runs up a mountain and climbs to the top of the lofty pine at its peak. Four times he begs the tree to grow just a little more, and four times it obliges until it can grow no more. But the water keeps climbing "up, up, right to his chin, and there it stopped": there was nothing but water stretching out to the horizon. And then Manabus, helped by diving animals, and especially the bravest of all, the Muskrat, creates the world as we know it today.


In Mi'kmaq mythology, evil and wickedness among men causes them to kill each other. This causes great sorrow to the creator-sun-god, who weeps tears that become rains sufficient to trigger a deluge. The people attempt to survive by traveling in bark canoes, but only a single old man and woman survive to populate the earth.[20]


Several different flood stories are recorded among the Polynesians. None of them approach the scale of the biblical flood.

The people of Ra'iatea tell of two friends, Te-aho-aroa and Ro'o, who went fishing and accidentally awoke the ocean god Ruahatu with their fish hooks. Angered, he vowed to sink Ra'iatea below the sea. Te-aho-aroa and Ro'o begged for forgiveness, and Ruahatu warned them that they could escape only by bringing their families to the islet of Toamarama. These set sail, and during the night, the island slipped under the ocean, only to rise again the next morning. Nothing survived except for these families, who erected sacred marae (temples) dedicated to the god Ruahatu.

A similar legend is found on Tahiti. No reason for the tragedy is given, but the whole island sunk beneath the sea except for Mount Pitohiti. One human couple managed to flee there with their animals and survived.

In Hawaii, a human couple, Nu'u and Lili-noe, survived a flood on top of Mauna Kea on the Big Island. Nu'u made sacrifices to the moon, to whom he mistakenly attributed his safety. Kane, the creator god, descended to earth on a rainbow, explained Nu'u's mistake, and accepted his sacrifice.

In the Marquesas, the great war god Tu was angered by critical remarks made by his sister Hii-hia. His tears tore through heaven's floor to the world below and created a torrent of rain carrying everything in its path. Only six people survived.

Hypotheses of origin of flood legends

The publication of The First Fossil Hunters by Adrienne Mayor, followed by Fossil Legends of the First Americans, have caused the hypothesis that flood stories have been inspired by ancient observations of fossil seashells and fish inland and on mountains to gain ground. Though the Greeks, Egyptians, Romans, and Chinese all commented in ancient writings about seashells and/or impressions of fish that they found inland and/or in the mountains, it was Leonardo da Vinci who postulated that an immediate deluge could not have caused the layered and neatly ordered strata he found in the Italian Apennines. The Greeks hypothesized that the earth had been covered by water several times, and noted the seashells and fish fossils that they found on mountain tops as the evidence for this belief. Native Americans also expressed this belief to early Europeans, though they had not written these ideas down previously.[citation needed]

Some geologists believe that quite dramatic, greater than normal flooding of rivers in the distant past might have influenced the legends. One of the latest, and quite controversial, hypotheses of this type is the Ryan-Pitman Theory, which argues for a catastrophic deluge about 5600 BCE from the Mediterranean Sea into the Black Sea. This has been the subject of considerable discussion and a news article from National Geographic News in February 2009 reported that the flooding might have been "quite mild".[21]

There has also been speculation that a large tsunami in the Mediterranean Sea caused by the Thera eruption, dated ca. 1630–1600 BCE geologically, was the historical basis for folklore that evolved into the Deucalion myth. However, the tsunami hit the South Aegean Sea and Crete; it did not affect cities in the mainland of Greece such as Mycenae, Athens, and Thebes which continued to prosper, therefore it had a local rather than a regionwide effect[22].

Another theory is that a meteor or comet crashed into the Indian Ocean in prehistoric times around 2800-3000 BCE, created the 30-km undersea Burckle Crater and generated a giant tsunami that flooded coastal lands.[23]

The Biblical Deluge

Flood geology

Proponents of flood geology contend that the Biblical Deluge, Noah's Ark, is to be taken literally in which most observed geological processes, like fossilization and sedimentary strata, are a later result of this event.

While some people hold the belief there was a worldwide flood, flood geology itself has been rejected by mainstream geologists, biologists, and historians, many of whom consider it pseudoscience.[24] Though at one time even prominent workers in biblical archaeology were willing to argue support for flood geology,[25][26] this view is no longer widely held.[27]

Sumerian king list flood

The Sumerian king list mentions a flood which divides older, possibly mythic kingships from more recent and possibly historic kingships in Sumer. In the 1920s, archaeologists associated this historic flood with a layer of riverine deposits which interrupted Sumerian settlements over a wide area of southern Mesopotamia. This led to speculation at the time that the flood mentioned in Noah's Ark had been found, by trying to connect the Ancient Near East flood legend (beginning with the Sumerian Eridu Genesis and continuing with the later Atra-Hasis legend, the Utnapishtim episode in the Epic of Gilgamesh, and Noah's Ark) with this historic flood. However, there is no evidence that the flood legend in the Eridu Genesis was the same as the historic flood mentioned in the king list, or that the Sumerians themselves ever linked them together.

Popular Culture

As a well-known part of Genesis the flood myth has appeared in various films and stories. A notable example is Robert A. Heinlein's Lost Legacy, which combines a worldwide flood with the sinking of the Lost Continents of Atlantis and Mu. Expeditions searching for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat have been filmed and shown on television.

See also


  1. ^ Overview of Mesopotamian flood myths
  2. ^ - Passage Lookup: Genesis6:5-7
  3. ^ - Passage Lookup: Genesis6:8
  4. ^ - Passage Lookup: Genesis6:15
  5. ^ - Passage Lookup: Genesis7:11
  6. ^ - Passage Lookup: Genesis7:24
  7. ^ See Shujing, Part 1 Tang Document, Yao Canon; James Legges translation
  8. ^ "Shu King, p. 28". 
  9. ^ See Shanhaijing, chapter 18, second to last paragraph; Anne Birrells translation. Note: Nüwa is not mentioned in this translation in the context of a flood
  10. ^ See Nüwa for additional detail
  11. ^ Myths and Legends of the Andamanese
  12. ^ Myths and Legends of the Australian Aborigines - A Legend of the Great Flood
  13. ^ Entry O?????? at Liddell & Scott
  14. ^ Gaster, Theodor H. Myth, Legend, and Custom in the Old Testament, Harper & Row, New York, 1969.
  15. ^ Luce, J.V. (1971), "The End of Atlantis: New Light on an Old Legend" (Harper Collins)
  16. ^ Weaver, JA, Saenko, OA, Clark, PU, & Mitrovica, JX. (2003). Meltwater Pulse 1A from Antarctica as trigger of the Bølling-Allerød Warm Interval. Science. 299(5613): 1709-1713 DOI: 10.1126/science.1081002
  17. ^ Bosley, K., translator (1999) The Kalevala. Oxford World's Classics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  18. ^ Kuusi, M., Bosley, K., and Branch, M., editors and translators (1977) Finnish folk poetry: epic: an anthology in Finnish and English. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society. p 94
  19. ^ Kuusi, M., Bosley, K., and Branch, M., editors and translators (1977) Finnish folk poetry: epic: an anthology in Finnish and English. Helsinki: Finnish Literature Society.
  20. ^ Canada's Fist Nations - Native Creation Myths
  21. ^ ""Noah's Flood" Not Rooted in Reality, After All?" National Geographic News February 6, 2009 [1]
  22. ^ Castleden, Rodney (2001) "Atlantis Destroyed" (Routledge)
  23. ^ Link:
  24. ^ Plimer, Ian (1994) "Telling Lies for God: reason versus creationism" (Random House)
  25. ^ William F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (Baltimore: John Hopkins, 1953), 176.
  26. ^ Nelson Glueck, Rivers in the Desert: A History of the Negev (New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Cudahy, 1959), 31.
  27. ^ Dever, William G. (2001). What Did the Biblical Writers Know, and When Did They Know It? What Archaeology Can Tell Us about the Reality of Ancient Israel. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans. pp. 21.  (quoted in Packham, Richard (2006). "Review of Veith: The Genesis Conflict". )


  • Alan Dundes (editor), The Flood Myth, University of California Press, Berkeley, 1988. ISBN 0-520-05973-5 / 0520059735
  • Lloyd R. Bailey. Noah, the Person and the Story, University of South Carolina Press, 1989, ISBN 0-87249-637-6
  • John Greenway (editor), The Primitive Reader, Folkways, 1965
  • G. Grey, Polynesian Mythology, Illustrated edition, reprinted 1976. (Whitcombe and Tombs: Christchurch), 1956.
  • A.W. Reed, Treasury of Maori Folklore (A.H. & A.W. Reed:Wellington), 1963.
  • Anaru Reedy (translator), Nga Korero a Pita Kapiti: The Teachings of Pita Kapiti. Canterbury University Press: Christchurch, 1997.
  • W. G. Lambert and A. R. Millard, Atrahasis: The Babylonian Story of the Flood, Eisenbrauns, 1999, ISBN 1-57506-039-6.
  • Faulkes, Anthony (transl.) (1987). Edda (Snorri Sturluson). Everyman. ISBN 0-460-87616-3.

External links

List of names for the Milky Way

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of the names for the Milky Way in various languages. Some of them derive from myths, which can be found at Milky Way (mythology).



List of name in various languages

  • Armenian: Յարդ զողի Ճանապարհ hard goghi chanaparh "Straw Thief's Way", from a myth.[1]
  • Arabic: درب التبانة(Darb Al-Tabana) means Milky way.
  • Basque: Esne bidea, from Latin.
  • Bulgarian: Млечен Път, "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Bosnian: Mliječni Put, "Milky Way" translated from Latin.
  • Catalan: Via Làctia "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Catalan: Camí de Sant Jaume, "The Road to Santiago".
  • Cherokee: ᎩᎵ ᎤᎵᏒᏍᏓᏅᏱ Gili Ulisvsdanvyi "The Way the Dog Ran Away", from a myth.
  • Chinese: 銀河 "Silver River".
  • Croatian: Mliječni Put "Milky Way" translated from Latin. Traditionally it was named Kumova slama (Godfather's straw)
  • Czech: Mléčná dráha "Milky Way" translated from Greek or Latin.
  • Danish: Mælkevejen.
  • Dutch: Melkweg "Milky Way" translated from Latin.
  • English: Milky Way, translated from Latin.[2]
  • Estonian: Linnutee "Way of Birds", from a myth.
  • Faroese: Vetrarbreytin "The Winter Way".
  • Finnish: Linnunrata "Way of Birds", from a myth.
  • French: La voie lactée "The Milky Way".
  • German: Milchstraße "Milky Way"
  • Georgian: ირმის ნახტომი, irmis naxtomi "The Deer Jump"
  • Greek: Γαλαξίας κύκλος Galaxias Kyklos "Milky Circle", from a myth.
  • Hebrew: שביל החלב‎ "The Milky Way".
  • Hindi: akashaganga "Ganges River of Heaven", from a myth.[1]
  • Hungarian: Hadak Útja "The Road of the Warriors", from a myth. However this is the historical term, today it is known simply as "Tejút", meaning "Milk Way".
  • Icelandic: Vetrarbrautin "The Winter Way."
  • Indonesian: Bima Sakti "Magical Bima", a character in Sanskrit epic Mahabharata
  • Irish: Bealach na Bó Finne, "The Fair Cow's Way", or Slabhbra Luigh, "Lugh's Chain"
  • Italian: Via Lattea "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Japanese: 天の川 amanogawa "River of Heaven"
  • Korean: 은하 eunha "Silver River", from Chinese, or "미리내"(mirinae) in pure Korean. The Milky Way is specifically called "Uri Eunha" ("Our Galaxy").
  • Latin: Via Lactea "Milky Way", translated from Greek.
  • Lithuanian: Paukščių Takas, The Birds' Path
  • Latvian: Putnu Ceļš, The Birds' Path
  • Maltese: It-triq ta' Sant' Anna,St Anne's road
  • Malay: Bima Sakti "Magical Bima", a character in Sanskrit epic Mahabharata
  • Norwegian: Melkeveien "The milky way" (Bokmål, comes from Danish)
  • Norwegian: Vinterbrauta "The Winter Way" (Nynorsk, related to Icelandic)
  • Portuguese: Estrada de Santiago, "The Road to Santiago" (used in European Portuguese only)
  • Polish: Droga Mleczna "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Portuguese: Via Láctea "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Romanian: Calea Lactee "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Russian: Млечный путь "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Serbian: Mlečni put "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Serbian: Млечни пут "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Slovak: Mliečna dráha "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Slovene: Rimska cesta "The Roman Road", because pilgrims followed it when traveling to Rome.
  • Spanish: Via láctea "Milky Way", translated from Latin.
  • Spanish: Camino de Santiago "The Road to Santiago".
  • Swedish: Vintergatan "Winter Street", because it is more visible during the winter in Scandinavia and looks like a snowy street.
  • Thai: ทางช้างเผือก "The way of the white elephant".
  • Turkish: Samanyolu "Road of Straw"
  • Ukrainian: Чумацький шлях "Way of Chumak"
  • Vietnamese: Ngân Hà "Silver River", translated from Chinese.
  • Welsh: Llwybr Llaethog "Milky Way", translated from the Latin.
  • Welsh: Caer Wydion "The Fort of Gwydion" (Gwydion).

Common names

Birds' Path

The name "Birds' Path" is used in several Uralic and Turkic languages and in the Baltic languages.

Milky Way

Many European languages have borrowed, directly or indirectly, the Greek name for the Milky Way, including English and Latin.

Road to Santiago

The Milky Way was traditionally used as a guide by pilgrims traveling to the holy site at Compostela, hence the use of "The Road to Santiago" as a name for the Milky Way.[2] Curiously, La Voje Ladee "The Milky Way" was also used to refer to the pilgrimage road.[3]

Silver River

The Chinese name "Silver River" (銀河) is used throughout East Asia, including Korea and Viẹt Nam. In Japan, "Silver River" (銀河) means galaxies in general.

River of Heaven

The Japanese name for the Milky Way is the "River of Heaven" (天の川).

Straw Way

In a large area from Central Asia to Africa, the name for the Milky Way is related to the word for straw. It has been suggested that the term was spread by Arabs who in turn borrowed it from Armenia.[4]


Some links to Flood Myths: