HOME
The Info List - Pyrrha





In Greek mythology, Pyrrha
Pyrrha
(/ˈpɪrə/; Greek: Πύρρα) was the daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora
Pandora
and wife of Deucalion
Deucalion
of whom she had three sons, Hellen, Amphictyon, Orestheus; and three daughters Protogeneia, Pandora
Pandora
II and Thyia. According to some accounts, Hellen was credited to be born from Pyrrha's union with Zeus.[1] Etymology[edit] In Latin
Latin
the word pyrrhus means red from the Greek adjective πυρρός, purrhos, i.e. "flame coloured", "the colour of fire" or simply "red" or "reddish".[2] Pyrrha
Pyrrha
was evidently named after her red hair. Horace
Horace
(Ode, i. 5) and Ovid
Ovid
describes her as red haired. Mythology[edit] When Zeus
Zeus
decided to end the Bronze Age with the great deluge, Deucalion
Deucalion
and his wife, Pyrrha, were the only survivors. Even though he was imprisoned, Prometheus
Prometheus
who could see the future and had foreseen the coming of this flood told his son, Deucalion, to build an ark and, thus, they survived. During the flood, they landed on Mount Parnassus, the only place spared by the flood. Once the deluge was over and the couple were on land again, Deucalion consulted an oracle of Themis
Themis
about how to repopulate the earth. He was told to throw the bones of his mother behind his shoulder. Deucalion
Deucalion
and Pyrrha
Pyrrha
understood the "mother" to be Gaia, the mother of all living things, and the "bones" to be rocks. They threw the rocks behind their shoulders, which soon began to lose their hardness and change form. Their mass grew greater, and the beginnings of human form emerged. The parts that were soft and moist became skin, the veins of the rock became people's veins, and the hardest parts of the rocks became bones. The stones thrown by Pyrrha
Pyrrha
became women; those thrown by Deucalion
Deucalion
became men. The story of Deucalion
Deucalion
and Pyrrha
Pyrrha
is also retold in the Roman poet Ovid’s famous collection Metamorphoses. In this retelling, Jove (the Roman equivalent of Zeus) takes pity on the couple, recognizing them to be devout worshipers. He parts the clouds and ends the deluge specifically to save Deucalion
Deucalion
and Pyrrha, who are floating aimlessly on a raft. When the storm has cleared and the waters have subsided, Deucalion
Deucalion
and Pyrrha
Pyrrha
are taken aback by the desolate wreckage of the land, and understand that they are now responsible for repopulating the earth. Confused on how to carry out their destiny, they go to see the goddess Themis. Themis
Themis
tells Pyrrha
Pyrrha
that she must cast the bones of her mother to successfully reproduce. Pyrrha
Pyrrha
is distraught at the idea of desecrating her mother’s honor by digging up her bones, but Deucalion
Deucalion
correctly reasons that Themis
Themis
is referring to great mother earth, as Themis
Themis
would never advise someone to commit a crime. Both Pyrrha
Pyrrha
and Deucalion
Deucalion
throw a stone over their shoulder – Pyrrha’s turning into a woman, Deucalion’s turning into a man. Once the land has been repopulated with humans, mother earth follows suit and begins to produce all other forms of life. Ovid
Ovid
uses this opportunity to inform his audience that heat and water are the sources of all life – “because when heat and moisture blend in due balance, they conceive: these two, these are the origin of everything. Though fire and water fight, humidity and warmth create all things; that harmony” ( Ovid
Ovid
– pg 15). Other personages[edit] Creon, king of Thebes, has a daughter named Pyrrha. "Pyrrha" was, possibly, the name used by Achilles
Achilles
while hiding among the king of Skyros' daughters.[3] Genealogy
Genealogy
of Hellenes[edit]

Genealogy
Genealogy
of Hellenes

v t e

 

 

Prometheus

 

Clymene

 

Epimetheus

 

Pandora

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deucalion

 

Pyrrha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hellen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dorus

 

 

 

 

 

Xuthus

 

 

 

 

 

Aeolus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tectamus Aegimius

 

Achaeus Ion

 

Makednos Magnes

See also[edit]

Noah's ark

References[edit]

^ Apollodorus. Bibliotheca, Book 1.7.2 ^ πυρρός. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project ^ Hyginus, Fabulae, 96.

External links[edit]

Pyrrha
Pyrrha
– http://www.theoi.com/ Pyrrha
Pyrrha
– http://www.mythindex.com/ Phyrrha, Three translations in English The Library of Greek Mythology (Apollodorus), translated by Robin Hard Ovid
Ovid
Metamorphoses
Metamorphoses
(new translation by A. D. Medville (2009))

Authority control

GN

.