|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 |
STORY OF DEUCALION
THE Greeks used to tell their children that
Deucalion, the leader of the Thessalians, was a
descendant of the gods, for each part of the country
claimed that its first great man was the son of a god.
It was under the reign of Deucalion that another flood
took place. This was even more terrible than that of
Ogyges; and all the people of the neighborhood fled in
haste to the high mountains north of Thessaly, where they were kindly received by Deucalion.
When all danger was over, and the waters began to
recede, they followed their leader down into the plains
again. This soon gave rise to a wonderful story, which
you will often hear. It was said that Deucalion and his
wife Pyrrha were the only people left alive after the
flood. When the waters had all gone, they went down the
mountain, and found that the temple at Delphi, where
they worshiped their gods, was still standing unharmed.
They entered, and, kneeling before the altar, prayed
A mysterious voice then bade them go down the mountain,
throwing their mother's bones behind them. They were
very much troubled when they heard this, until
 Deucalion said that a voice from heaven could not have
meant them to do any harm. In thinking over the real
meaning of the words he had heard, he told his wife,
that, as the Earth is the mother of all creatures, her
bones must mean the stones.
Deucalion and Pyrrha, therefore, went slowly down the
mountain, throwing the stones behind them. The Greeks
used to tell that a sturdy race of men sprang up from
the stones cast by Deucalion, while beautiful women
came from those cast by Pyrrha.
The country was soon peopled by the children of these
men, who always proudly declared that the story was
true, and that they sprang from the race which owed its
birth to this great miracle. Deucalion reigned over
this people as long as he lived; and when he died, his
two sons, Amphictyon and Hellen, became kings in
his stead. The former staid in Thessaly; and, hearing
that some barbarians called Thracians were about to
come over the mountains and drive his people away, he
called the chiefs of all the different states to a
council, to ask their advice about the best means of
defense. All the chiefs obeyed the summons, and met at
a place in Thessaly where the mountains approach the
sea so closely as to leave but a narrow pass between.
In the pass are hot springs, and so it was called
Thermopylæ, or the Hot Gateway.
The chiefs thus gathered together called this assembly
the Amphictyonic Council, in honor of Amphictyon.
After making plans to drive back the Thracians, they
decided to meet once a year, either at Thermopylæ or
at the temple at Delphi, to talk over all important
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