The History of the Deukalionid Family

Authored by: Robin Hard

The Routledge Handbook of Greek Mythology

Print publication date:  June  2008
Online publication date:  October  2003

Print ISBN: 9780415186360
eBook ISBN: 9780203446331
Adobe ISBN: 9781134664061


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The two greatest families in Greek heroic mythology were the Inachids, who originated in Argos, and the Deukalionids, who originated in Central Greece and spread to other areas of the Greek mainland and also to the western Peloponnese. After having devoted the preceding chapter to the greatest adventure associated with this second family, Jason’s quest for the golden fleece, we must now go on to trace its full history from the time of its founding. Deukalion, son of Prometheus, the founder of the family, and his wife Pyrrha, who was the daughter of the first woman Pandora, were the central figures in the myth that was devised to account for the origin of the people of Eastern Locris in east-central Greece. After surviving a great primordial flood that inundated much of Greece (or the whole of it or indeed the whole world in accounts from the later tradition), Deukalion and Pyrrha created a new race of people in Locris by tossing stones over their shoulders; and they also produced various children by natural process, including Hellen, the eponym of the Greek people, the Hellenes. Hellen was in his turn the father or grandfather of Aiolos, Doros, Achaios and Ion, the eponyms of the four main divisions of the Greek people, the Aeolians, Dorians, Achaeans and Ionians. None of these were of any significance as heroes of legend (apart from Ion to some limited extent). All the main heroes and heroines of the family were descended from Aiolos alone through his many sons and daughters; the history of the Deukalionids is largely the history of the Aiolids.

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