|The Story of the Greeks|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. Ages 10-14 |
THE DELUGE OF OGYGES
THE first Egyptian who thus settled in Greece was a prince
called Inachus. Landing in that country, which has a
most delightful climate, he taught the Pelasgians how
to make fire and how to cook their meat. He also showed
them how to build comfortable homes by piling up stones
one on top of another, much in the same way as the
farmer makes the stone walls around his fields.
 The Pelasgians were intelligent, although so
uncivilized; and they soon learned to build these walls
higher, in order to keep the wild beasts away from
their homes. Then, when they had learned the use of
bronze and iron tools, they cut the stones into huge
blocks of regular shape.
These stone blocks were piled one upon another so
cleverly that some of the walls are still standing,
although no mortar was used to hold the stones
together. Such was the strength of the Pelasgians, that
they raised huge blocks to great heights, and made
walls which their descendants declared must have been
built by giants.
As the Greeks called their giants Cyclops, which means
"round-eyed," they soon called these walls
Cyclopean; and, in pointing them out to their
children, they told strange tales of the great giants
who had built them, and always added that these huge
builders had but one eye, which was in the middle of
Some time after Inachus the Egyptian had thus taught
the Pelasgians the art of building, and had founded a
city called Argos, there came a terrible earthquake.
The ground under the people's feet heaved and cracked,
the mountains shook, the waters flooded the dry land,
and the people fled in terror to the hills.
In spite of the speed with which they ran, the waters
soon overtook them. Many of the Pelasgians were thus
drowned, while their terrified companions ran faster
and faster up the mountain, nor stopped to rest until
they were quite safe.
Looking down upon the plains where they had once lived,
they saw them all covered with water. They were now
forced to build new homes; but when the
 waters little
by little sank into the ground, or flowed back into the
sea, they were very glad to find that some of their
thickest walls had resisted the earthquake and flood,
and were still standing firm.
The memory of the earthquake and flood was very clear,
however. The poor Pelasgians could not forget their
terror and the sudden death of so many friends, and
they often talked about that horrible time. As this
flood occurred in the days when Ogyges was king, it
has generally been linked to his name, and called the
Deluge (or flood) of Ogyges.
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